There are many varieties of non-alcoholic beers that are brewed and imbibed in Germany. From lagers to wheat beers to dunkel braus and more, many German breweries produce alcohol-free versions of their popular beers for both locals and export worldwide. However, it is Clausthaler that was Deutchland’s first brewer to exclusively brew and sell non-alcoholic beer. What started in 1972 as an experiment to produce a low calorie beer by Binding Brauerei in Frankfurt, eventually resulted in the brewers coming up with a technique they christened ‘Controlled Fermentation’. Similar to the methods that many non-alcoholic brewers use today for brewing their beers, the technique involves special mash recipes to reduce the amount of fermentable sugars present, and also being able to stop the yeast from working when the brewer is happy with the level of fermentation.
The first Clausthaler brews came to market in 1979, but were not exactly met with fanfare. Initial uptake of the non-alcoholic beer, which was still a new concept to many drinkers, was low but many years of clever marketing increased the company’s successes, and the Clausthaler range of beers is now sold in 51 countries worldwide. This offering, Clausthaler Original, which has in the past been named Premium and Classic, is the same beer they originally produced all those years ago, with maybe a few tweaks to the recipe and production methods here and there. How does it fare against today’s alcohol-free lagers?
Pouring from the bottle we get a bright, clear light golden coloured liquid with definite visible carbonation. The head is not bad, maybe a finger of white creamy froth, but recedes quickly and is soon nothing to write home about. On the nose we get some malt sweetness, pale grains, a touch of corn, and also some dank leafy hop in the background.
On tasting there is an initial malt sweetness, with roasted pale malts taking over from there. The body and carbonation are good, leaving a pleasing mouthfeel, and the beer is nice and light to drink. We get a slight bitter finish to the drink, which is unexpected but welcome.
Clausthaler Original remains a quality non-alcoholic beer, probably mostly unchanged from the 1970s, and still drinks very well. However it’s very unremarkable, like the vanilla of nolo beers. But then again plenty of people prefer vanilla.
Buy Clausthaler Original
You can occasionally find Clausthaler Original in a larger supermarket, but it’s easy to buy online from one of the following drinks shops:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the bottle)|
|Water, Malted Barley, Hop Extract, Carbonic Acid From Fermentation|
Clausthaler Original Alcohol-Free Lager Review
A standard slow-and-steady nolo pilsner lager. If that’s what you’re after, go at it!