Erdinger is a German brewer based in, you guessed it, Erding, and is also the largest producer of wheat beer in the world. They’re approaching 150 years in the brewing game, and so it’s no surprise they’ve tried their hand at a non-alcoholic version of one of their creations. However, their methods of marketing the brew are very different to other AF beer makers.
Erdinger Alkoholfrei is marketed as a post-sports recovery drink, with the health benefits of it’s ingredients highlighted prominently on the bottle. Despite it being a non-alcoholic wheat beer, the product is labelled as a ‘refreshing isotonic drink’ – but this is certainly no Lucozade or Red Bull!
Pouring from the generous 500ml bottle into a glass the beer is a golden amber colour – not cloudy as usual for a wheat beer. We also get a tall foamy head, and for once the head lasts more than a few seconds. In fact it’ll probably be your faithful companion for the entire drinking session! This is certainly a first for me in my experience with non-alcoholic beers.
On the nose there are aromas of wheat and banana, similar to other weissbiers, but also a citrus note. The presence of banana continues on when we taste the beer, but it is certainly less pronounced than in a standard wheat beer. In fact I’d say the taste has more in common with a Pilsner. It’s good and malty and the carbonation saves it from being too thin.
Erdinger has roped in a bunch of German sportsmen and sportswomen to promote their ‘healthy’ non-alcoholic beer, and the product is also regularly available at the end of marathons and other sporting events in Germany. Whatever health benefits there may be aside, I find Erdinger Alkoholfrei a very palatable non-alcoholic beer. It’s wheat beer-lite, which means it should appeal to more mainstream beer-drinkers, and I’d certainly take this as an after-exercise thirst-quencher over any other energy or isotonic drink.
Erdinger run a weekly competition on Twitter to win a crate of Alkoholfrei every Friday. Check out their dedicated Twitter account for more information: https://twitter.com/Alkoholfreiday
Nutritional Information (per 100ml)
<0.5% alcohol by volume
25 calories energy
(taken from the Erdinger website)
Water, Wheat Malt, Barley Malt, Hops, Yeast, Carbon Dioxide
Erdinger Alkoholfrei Alcohol Free Beer Review
Once you get past the rather strange way it’s been marketed, this is a tasty non-alcoholic beer that does it’s producer proud. Plus, finally a decent head from an AF beer!