10 local beers with little or no alcohol that will always satisfy your craving | Food + Drink
From spirits to beer, wine and beyond, the low-to-no-alcohol space is booming. San Diego’s robust craft beer scene has taken notice, offering a number of non-alcoholic products as well as plenty of options below 5% ABV. For those looking to avoid a buzz (or at least a nasty hangover), here are some local options to enjoy.
Gimme Golden Ale (4.7% ABV)
Beer and golf remain an iconic pairing, but one drink too many can mean the difference between nailing the putt or smelling it completely. Whether on the course or the driving range, this low-alcohol Golden Ale will quench thirst without spoiling the score.
Viewpoint Brewing Company
Italian Impasta Pilsner (4.9% ABV)
Italian pilsners are known for their crisp finish, German influence, and dry hop aromas, and this collaboration with Dos Desperados Brewing in San Marcos is no exception. This easy-drinking Pilsner has a powerful olfactory punch, thanks to the Southern Cross hops, but the bitterness remains wonderfully contained on the finish.
Light beer (4.5% ABV)
Macro lagers like Budweiser and Coors have recently been given the craft treatment, with breweries like the Company brewing light, crisp lagers on a micro scale. But by using noble hops like Saaz, hybrid hops like Sterling, and German Pilsner malts, drinkers can expect to maintain a clear mind without losing any artisanal flavor.
Second Chance Beer Company
Buddy Lager (4.6% ABV)
Between their annual Pupapalooza dog festival and donating a portion of Buddy Lager’s proceeds to local dog rescues, it’s safe to say that Second Chance loves dogs. Not only does this “Crushable American Lager” go down easily, it helps homeless dogs find their forever home. Bottom up!
Puckeur Factor Berliner Weisse (3.4% ABV)
This bicycle-themed brewery just makes it easy to drink beer and hop on two wheels without wobbling. This slightly sour Berliner Weisse with raspberries, rose hips, hibiscus, and lemongrass is low in alcohol, but still delivers tons of fresh fruit flavor.
North Park Beer Company
Bohemian Pilsner Bird Park (4.7% ABV)
This sublimely drinkable Pilsner won gold at the 2018 Great American Beer Festival, and it’s easy to see why. NPBC recommends pairing it with “any sunny day at your favorite park,” and I can personally attest that’s totally fine (although bringing hot dogs, too, couldn’t hurt) .
Glitz & Glam Berliner Weisse (4.1% ABV)
Eppig may be known for his lagers, but don’t sleep on his sours. This super bubbly and wildly fruity Berliner Weisse practically explodes with fresh cherry and raspberry flavor, and the subtle tart finish makes it a funky alternative for your next backyard barbecue.
Haters will argue that non-alcoholic beer isn’t really beer, but AleSmith begs to differ. Iconic brewery Miramar recently entered the realm of non-alcoholic beer with their NA IPA, and as someone who’s tried a lot of non-alcoholic beers, I can safely say this is one of the top contenders. for one of the best.
Improvise non-alcoholic cocktails
Two craft beer industry veterans, James Murray (formerly Ballast Point, Coronado Brewing) and Alex Brooks (formerly Latitude 33, Craft Sourcing Collective) witnessed the rise of low or no alcohol and decided to ‘enter the game for themselves. The non-alcoholic Paloma is ready to drink and ready to change the minds of die-hard tequila fans.
Superfood Swell Tropical IPA
Athletic remains the uncontrollable leader of NA beer, and their latest Tropical IPA collaboration with Laird Superfood emulates notes of mango, pineapple and, of course, hops to continue to fool palates into thinking it’s is a typical IPA. At 80 calories, this limited-edition brew has all the personality without all that other stuff.