Nirvana Brewery are one of the earliest proponents of the UK’s modern non-alcoholic brewing scene. Founded in 2016 as a family business by father Jim Kean and daughter Becky Kean, they originally went by the name FitBeer Ltd. Aiming their product to the health conscious crowd, their initial offering also bore the name FitBeer. It was a low-alcohol, low-calorie craft lager which was apparently brewed in Bavaria and marketed as naturally isotonic and full of B vitamins. By all accounts it sold well, but it looks like the Kean team saw more to the future of their business than what could be classed as a gimmick beer.
Fast forward to 2019, and the re-christened Nirvana Brewery have a number of beers on the market, and in October that year, just in time for Sober October, they rebrand FitBeer as their Bavarian Helles Lager. Whether or not they made tweaks to the recipe are unknown but certainly a probability. And instead of being brewed in Bavaria, the beer is now brewed at their own brewery premises in the east end of London. But enough background story, lets see if this stalwart of the UK’s nolo beer scene is still a decent drink in this ever growing market.
Pouring from the bottle we get a light golden liquid with fair carbonation and a fair sized white head. On the nose we get the some malt sweetness, along with a slight biscuit aroma, reminiscent of a fig roll. There’s also a whiff of hoppy lemon there.
Tasting the beer we get sweet grain malt up front, some apple/elderflower, and a biscuit flavour offering somewhat of a backbone. No real bitterness there, but the carbonation gives some level of body, and we get a clean dry finish.
I was hoping I’d be able to write more about Nirvana Brewery’s Bavarian Helles Lager, but there isn’t particularly much to it in my opinion. But this is most probably the aim of the beer – a low calorie, non-alcoholic light beer that can be had at any occasion, be it post-workout, with a meal or just watching TV with a snack. A touch too sweet and not really hoppy enough for my liking, there is nevertheless certainly a place for it in the alcohol-free world, and it’s a better beer than some other AF lagers I’ve tried.
Nutritional Information (per 100ml)
0.3% alcohol by volume
20 calories energy
(taken from the side of the bottle)
Water, Barley Malt, Hops, Yeast
Nirvana Brewery No Alcohol Bavarian Helles Lager Review
A decent light non-alcoholic lager, maybe a bit sweet but certainly a thirst quencher.