Peroni are one of the success stories in the last decade when it comes to European beer. The 170+ year-old Italian brewer, now owned by the Asahi group, has seen sales continue to grow thanks partly to successful advertising campaigns establishing the brand as ‘premium’ and ‘blue ribbon’ standard. Very established now on the UK market, it’s Nastro Azzurro is slowly pushing itself into the top three beers over here in the sales figures. Peroni are also no stranger to the alcohol-free market, with their Peroni Libera launching in January 2019 and being one of the standard nolo bottles offered in bars and restaurants when asking for a non-alcoholic option. However Libera leaned towards the sweet side of things, with a slightly worty smell and flavour that has been greatly surpassed in the last few years of alcohol-free beer evolution.
Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0 launched throughout Europe in April 2022 (yet another in a line of AF beer releases coming out on April 1st), replacing Libera in their product line-up, and with an eye to latch on to the established market for the full-alcohol version of Nastro Azzurro. It is also part of the Asahi group’s stated aim to have at least 20% of their portfolio made up of non-alcoholic drinks by the year 2030. A fine aim indeed! Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0 is made simply by de-alcoholising the base beer of Nastro Azzurro, which uses all the ingredients of the original, including the famous (apparently) “Nostrano dell’Isola” maize. What method of alcohol removal the brewer uses is unclear, but it’s likely to be cool vacuum distillation. Will it turn out to be an improvement on Peroni’s earlier nolo attempt?
Pouring the beer out from the bottle we get a clear pale golden coloured liquid, which forms a good finger of soapy head as it fills the glass. This will diminish somewhat, but still leave a few threads of lacing as we drink. The nose is very clean, with lager malt, spice and lemon citrus on show, along with a whiff of that famous maize. More fragrance here than with Libera.
Lager malt greets us on tasting, but there is nowhere near the level of sweetness that we’d get from Nastro Azzurro 0.0’s predecessor. Indeed this is a dry, crisp lager, with hints of fragrant lemon and floral notes dancing on your palate. A nice background bitterness ramps up slowly, with any sweetness resembling honey/sweetcorn and being restricted to the tip of your tongue. The mouthfeel is smooth, with gentle foamy carbonation and a light body. We get a dry finish to the drink.
Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0 is very similar to it’s full-fat brethren, and is a much better quality AF beer than Libera ever was. I’m happy to see Peroni’s former nolo go if this is what supersedes it, and look forward to seeing it as the alcohol-free option in a slew of Italian restaurants and other eateries. Until we all get sick of it again and want something else!
Buy Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0
Peroni seem to have crammed most supermarkets with boxed 4-packs of Nastro Azzurro 0.0 bottles recently. If your local doesn’t have any, they you can easily buy it online:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the bottle)
|Water, Barley Malt, Italian Maize, Hops, Natural Flavours
|Country of Production
|Birra Peroni – https://peroniitalia.com/
Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0 Review
Surpasses Peroni’s previous nolo Libera completely, and is very similar to it’s full-alcoholic version. Should prove popular!