The UK-wide lockdown of 2020 and to some extent 2021 was an awful time for the hospitality industry, including brewers and pubs, as their places of business were compelled take on massive restrictions to their business practices or close altogether. But it was also a time of triumph in the face of adversity for many existing and newly formed businesses, with creative minds spotting gaps in the market and having time to develop their ideas as their day jobs were in many instances on hold. Bach 95 is one such company, the product of a trio of current and former rugby players. It was set up in March 2020, with an idea to bring out their own beers with lower calories for those more interested in health and wellness. The trio, consisting of Tom Holmes (current Nottingham RFC lock), Jesse Coulson (former USA international player), and Will Cliff (current scrum-half for Sale Sharks) took the name Bach 95 from the Cheshire town of Sandbach (where two of the players grew up) and a combination of their playing numbers – 9 for both Will and Jesse, 5 for Tom.
Now based in Macclesfield, their first beer was a 4.2% ABV lager, with a calorie count of 95 calories per can, released in December 2020. But it was not until 1st April 2022 that their non-alcoholic offering, Bach 95 Zero, was launched. Thankfully not an April Fool’s gag, this nolo also clocks in at 95 calories per can, but has an ABV of 0.4%. Whilst we’ve certainly seen many alcohol-free beers with much fewer calories (the lowest at time of writing is the lovely Unltd IPA at only 13.2 calories) as always it’s more about the taste of the beer than what damage it will do to your belly. The brewer has Gregg Sawyer of Tatton Brewery to thank for their recipes, so let’s see what Mr Sawyer has managed to squeeze out of just shy of 100 calories and 0.4% alcohol.
The beer pours a clear golden colour with many visible streams of bubbles. A nice creamy frothy head builds up as we pour and will stick around giving some upper-lip padding for a good portion of the session. On the nose we get sweet lager malt, with a good crack of black pepper spice, and some background stone fruit. Not as clean and fresh as say a macro lager, but inviting enough.
Malt and roasted grains meet us when we taste, with the latter transforming into a nuttiness in the background as we continue drinking. Some floral notes pop in and out, as does a touch of spice, with a nice bitter edge tempering any sweetness. The body is light and the mouthfeel good and smooth. We get a bitter finish to the drink.
Bach 95 Zero is a tasty lager that manages to walk a good balance between the malt and hops. It’s not a ‘hoppy lager’, it’s a lager with enough hop interest to keep your taste buds happy. And whilst the calorie count is below much of the full ABV macro lagers, it’s not really anything special in the alcohol-free world – indeed it’s on the higher end of the spectrum when we look at data on all the beers we’ve reviewed here. A sound choice though.
Buy Bach 95 Zero
Bach 95’s beers are mainly available direct from the brewer, but you can also buy Bach 95 Zero from specialist nolo websites such as the ones below:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the can)
|Additional nutritional information not given. Boo, hiss!
|Water, Malt, Hops, Yeast
|Country of Production
|Bach 95 Limited – https://bach95.com/
Bach 95 Zero Alcohol-Free Lager Review
Decent crisp non-alcoholic lager, though not as low calorie as it thinks it is!