I’ve been drinking a lot lately and my girlfriend was kind enough to point it out, so I told her I would put down the bottle for a few days. Yesterday was the first day of my temporary sobriety. All I could think about was how nice it would be to go to the bar and watch the baseball game after work, but then I remembered I wasn’t drinking. But then I remembered that non-alcoholic beer is a thing. So I went to the bar and ordered an O’Doul’s with a chilled glass.
The bartender came back with an O’Doul’s Amber. I didn’t even know they had an amber, I’ve only seen the one in the green bottles. I poured the beer into my glass and admired its reddish hue and slightly hoppy aroma. It looked like beer. I took a sip. It tasted like an amber, a little rich and sweet with a slight hoppy finish. It had good mouthfeel. I sat there watching the game and making small talk with the other barflies and it felt like any other day at the bar. I just wasn’t getting drunk.
I had one more O’Doul’s Amber before I left the bar. The evening was still young so I got a six pack of the original O’Doul’s on the way home. The regular O’Doul’s is more like a lager. It’s mild with a slightly dry finish. I normally drink IPAs so it tastes very bland to me, but I still felt like I was drinking beer.
O’Doul’s is not fully free from alcohol. It’s less than .5% alcohol by volume. Kombucha is anywhere from .5% to 2% for comparison. They brew O’Doul’s like a regular beer and then they distill the alcohol out without heating or cooking the beer. That helps to retain the flavor profile. It’s not perfect. It’s like eating meatless chicken. It’s almost like the real deal but something is missing. It’s still a good way to wean yourself off alcohol. I say that as I’m currently enjoying my second six pack in two days. It definitely helps keep me distracted from real beer and my typical morning hangover.
Critically Rated at 13/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young