Brasserie Meteor is a French brewery located in Hochfelden, near Strasbourg in the east of France, and is a rarity on this site. The only other alcohol-free beers originating in France that we’ve reviewed here are Sainsbury’s lacklustre attempts, but best not to talk further about them. I was initially surprised about the lack of AF beer from a country I usually equate to quality beer, but mulling it over further I came to the conclusion that many of the beers I equate to France are actually brewed in other countries, and it’s just I’m used to drinking them while in France in years gone by. Either that or they’re doing an awful job of exporting them to other countries.
Back to Brasserie Meteor, which was founded in 1640, which makes it the oldest brewery location in France. It was initially named Metzger & Haag after the owners, but was renamed Meteor in 1925, a name apparently more suited to the French tastes, and the brewer’s pilsner lager was launched a few years later in 1927 – apparently the first of the style on the French market. The brewery is still in the hands of the Haag family, with Michel Haag currently chairing the brewery, and according to their website they churn out an impressive 500,000 hectolitres of beer per year. Meteor Sans Alcool (Meteor without alcohol) is their only offering that is non-alcoholic, and appears to be a de-alcoholised version of their pilsner. It comes in small 250ml bottles, a size beloved by the French, and it does make drinking the things ridiculously easy. Let’s hope there’s enough in this bottle for a proper review!
The beer pours a pale golden colour with great clarity and seemingly high carbonation judging by the many visible streams of bubbles. A tight white head initially adorns the top, but this fizzles away with haste. On the nose we get sweet malt, stewed corn kernels, and a golden syrup sweetness. There’s also a slight lemon citrus crispness there, helping to cut through the sweetness.
The sweetness greets us when we taste however, and is quite syrupy and worty. Grains and malt aplenty, but it’s not all sweetness – there’s a decent hoppy bitterness coming in that helps the beer from becoming another Bavaria 0.0, but doesn’t really save it. The body is not bad, a bit syrupy, and the carbonation is high. We get a watery finish to the drink.
Meteor Sans Alcool is an alcohol-free beer from times past, similar to what we had to put up with back in the ‘dark days’ of Beck’s Blue and Kaliber. Overly malty, with a bitterness which helps things balance out, but we’ve moved on from such offerings in recent years. Time for a French brewery to step up and into the modern non-alcoholic beer scene. If anyone has any examples of such a brew, please send recommendations our way!
Buy Meteor Sans Alcool
If you really want to replicate the French summer holiday drinking experience, sans the alcool, you can pick up Meteor Sans Alcool from the following stores:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the bottle)
|Ingredients and further nutritional information not supplied by brewer. Boo, hiss!
|Country of Production
|Meteor Brewery – https://www.brasserie-meteor.fr/en
Meteor Sans Alcool AF Lager Review
Old-fashioned AF beer which has been surpassed in recent years, but I suspect still has a following.