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No alcohol free beer in UK pubs

Alcohol free beer?  You've got to be kidding.  It looks like it's really not cool to be tee-total in Britain.  If you fancy an alcohol free night out and want to take the car there really isn't much to choose from at the pub when it comes to drinks.  Where's the alcohol free beer?  And how much are you charging me for that glass of coke?

more expensive than the alcoholic equivalent

Here in the UK we seriously have the wrong attitude to alcohol.  You just have to turn on the TV or open a newspaper and you will be swamped with stories about binge drinking, drink driving and alcohol related violence.  Drink driving is probably the main thing that constantly grabs the headlines and yet the industry and government stand by and watch without really doing anything useful to help.

I recently switched over to alcohol free beer myself and found that the local Tesco supermarket does Kaliber and Becks low alcohol at a very reasonable price.  I just can't help thinking that if the pubs and clubs did the same, and offered those who just don't want to drink a reasonable low cost alternative to alcohol, that it could definitely go some way to help fix the alcohol related issues we face in this country.

No it wasn't the alcohol free beer! Some of our pubs do cater for our friend DES!  Unfortunately they have to pay dearly for the privilege of being responsible as the alcohol free beer is just as expensive, or in some cases, more expensive than the alcoholic equivalent.  Not really likely to win over those who might consider staying sober, is it?

Kaliber Alcohol-free Lager = Hello, fair car-legal beer, OK?

Also, what about pregnant women, tee-totalers and people who have a medical condition which prevents them from consuming alcohol?  Is diet coke and the odd OJ the best the local watering hole can offer?  I think the government and alcohol industry need to pull their finger out and get a little more creative.  In my opinion relaxing the licensing laws would be a step in the right direction, but some real alternatives and some good education is needed too.

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Why would anyone wish to go to a pub if not to get drunk? that is what they are for after all, to drink away the stresses of this miserable, modern life. Pubs are not places for teetotalers or recovering alcoholics.

-3

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jobby - 30-Dec-13 10:23

The Sheffield Tap,on the railway station,serves Erdinger non alcoholic and a decent Belgian non alcoholic beer.Sadly most pubs in S.Yorks. sell only Becks non alcoholic beer.Yuk.
On my travels in N.Yorks. I have been served Bitburg Driver in free houses.OK.
I have never been able to buy non alcoholic wine in a pub or restaurant.
Tesco do Sorelle and Asda do Fre,both are OK. as rose and white wine but non alcoholic red wine?Yuk!
Bavaria beer is in most supermarkets in regular and wheat beer form.The latter is good when chilled down to accompany a curry.
There is a specialist retailer of non alcoholic beers and wines on the Oldham side of Manchester and they do have a website.
I do not drink alcohol anymore for health related reasons but I still like to have a drink with my mates in the pub before going for a curry etc.
When you have to give up alcohol it is quite hard to find a decent drink in most pubs.Landlords have to turn a profit and ,reasonably,will not carry dead stock on their shelves,so they tend to stick to Becks or soft drinks for the likes of me.
It is just down to market forces really.
In France you can get non alcoholic Kronenburg and the Germans do Erdinger,Klausthaller and Bitburg non alcoholic beers,with Arabic on the labels,so are our brewers missing out on an export market?
Hope this info. Is of use to fellow ex drinkers who are sick of J2O etc.

+1

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Ken - 27-Dec-13 21:00

I did try alcohol-free becks in my local wetherspoons but it tasted crap.
I personally think pubs are for drinking and if you want non-alcohol solutions have a fruit juice coke, lemonade, whatever that most pubs offer anyway.
Why should a pub thats not a big chain and the landlord is trying to earn a basic living after costs buy in crap that no-one really buys just to have an option for the occasional "pair of poofs" if they visit once in a blue moon?

-15

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ahforfoulkessake - 26-May-13 12:02

I know it wont be agreed with by many but here goes: i think gainsborough lad has a point.
There are plenty of lemons on the road who never drink-drive or go over 30 or 40mph (depending on area limits) and yet they don't have a clue what they're doing.
Putting a limit on number of beers you can drink before driving is silly as the weekly units limit to be healthy. Different people react differently to different amounts/types of alcohol(beer/whiskey/vodka/wine etc) and there are those who can drive after a few with no bother.
In fact some Irish minister got the sack for saying 1-2 glasses would let a nervous driver take the edge off.

-7

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ahforfoulkessake - 25-May-13 16:19

Classic case of British resistance to change with the majority of pubs still 'tied' to 'pubco's' who are little different to the 'tied' houses of brewery days, over priced incoming stock, restricted choice and no innovation in case the rent goes up !
Take a look at Spain, most bars are free houses and '00' and other sin alcohol beers are readily available. It's even available on draught in many places !!
Maybe Tony Blair as our envoy for enlightened change ?

-2

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Chris Cuesta - 30-Aug-12 15:05

There's always pepsi or dr pepper or mountain dew etc.

-12

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Lidman - 4-Mar-12 23:57

I haven't read through the whole email trail but someone somewhere along the way mentioned writing to his local MP: well, I have just written to Lord Howe who appears to be championing the coalition government's forthcoming alcohol strategy.

It may or may not help. It has more chance of being successful if I can persuade more people to write on the same subject. If anyone feels inclined to do so, an easy way to write to him (or any Lord, MP or councillor) is at http://www.writetothem.com/

I wrote to encourage the government to incentivise the provision of free samples of alcohol-free beer and wine as a promotion. If all this achieves is a few pubs in most towns stocking a small variety to meet the needs of a small number of clientele, then it is at least a foot in the door, a step in the right direction. If you agree, please take the time to do something similar to improve the situation.

-1

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Hydie - 4-Mar-12 21:00

Monkeytoes, I've seen non or low alcohol wine for sale in supermarkets so it certainly exists. (Nearly bought some by accident once!) Keep asking in the pub, they may get the message eventually.

-1

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grumpyoldwoman - 16-Feb-12 07:32

I'd happily drink non-alcoholic wine in pubs - but I've yet to find any pub that serves it. Are there any campaigns that are trying to address this? I understand that pubs will not stock things like this if there is a lack of demand - but many people won't ask for it if they continually get told there isn't any at each pub they go to. Many of my friends don't even know non-alcoholic wine exists...

-2

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Monkeytoes - 15-Feb-12 19:40

Wow, the spam on here is incredible "Jerry". A Champagne is it? I don't think so. You might want to check with your lawyers before the Champagne producers' lawyers get to you first - and they will!

+77

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Friendly Advice - 6-Jun-11 17:12

Great article!

I also found an alcohol free champagne which is 0.0% vol alcohol at www.mallinazero.com

Tastes just like the real thing!!!

+41

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Jerry - 19-May-11 14:09

A pub rudely refused a friend and me alcohol free/low alcohol beer - the barman called us 'a pair of poofs'. I wrote to the landlord voicing my complaint, and to the brewery which controls that pub. The landlord never bothered to reply, and the brewery wrote back and said the pub did serve alcohol free beer.

A month later I booked a table for 12 people (a group of guys doing a hike as it happens) for lunch. We took our table, ordered our food, and a round of soft drinks. When the food was being put on the table, we ordered 12 low alcohol beers, were told they didn't serve them, got up and walked out and ate our packed lunches as we continued the hike.

They now stock and serve low alcohol beer.

I would be interested to hear from someone in the trade why there is such a negative attitude to low alcohol beer (apart from the fact that other than Becks Blue it is pretty awful!)

+28

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MikeP - 7-Apr-11 01:46

I've recently been making a point of asking for alcohol free beer in each pub I go into even I. I know the don't sell it, just to get it on their radar.

It really annoys me that there's an assumption that if you're not drinking alcohol, you'll want something sweet and/or fruity. Seriously, there are fruity sweet alcoholic drinks but the majority won't be drinking them - they'll have beer or wine. Why assume different for those avoiding alcohol?

It does come down to promotion. I dot really get why the drinks industry doesn't market them more. Typically they're beer companies and wouldn't be canabalising their one sales. The potential customer will either end up with something like a coke or mineral water. And as has been pointed out above, it's not like the profit margins are smaller on the low alcohol beers.

Maybe I should write to my MP or start a facebook group or something!

-42

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James - 6-Apr-11 21:21

I couldn't agree more with these comments - alcohol free options should be more widely available and especially in pubs and clubs. Until the idea that you can go out and socialise without drinking alcohol becomes more openly accepted the whole booze Britain problem is going to continue to get worse as far as I am concerned. It seems we live in a country where to not consume alcohol means that there is something wrong with you and you don't know how to enjoy yourself. It is time the culture started to change. I agree that more alternatives and decent education is needed. Check out www.alcoholfreedirect.co.uk for some interesting alcohol free alternatives.

+99

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Lindsey - 28-Feb-11 12:45

Bavaria alcohol free wheat beer is now widely available in a lot of supermarkets (certainly Tesco and ASDA).
A really good beer.

+50

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Stu - 16-Dec-10 09:53

My Dad recently suffered from liver cirrhosis and as a result my family has switched to Bavaria and Becks alcohol free beer (along with soft drinks obviously) and I have to say they are actually really nice! Bavaria is in tescos at the moment for 6 cans of Bavaria for about 2 quid! They are a great alternative to alcoholic beer and its so much healthier (though I tend to stick to water and milk as much as possible). But I wouldn't recommend Non-al Cobra, its pretty rank.

+63

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Mark - 10-Aug-10 17:11

Large selection of alcohol free beer in the UK at www.beersofeurope.co.uk

-39

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beercat - 25-Apr-10 07:31

It should be made law that pubs have to sell diluted cordial drinks for a £1-00 a pint and no more, I bet there is at least 500 deaths yearly attributed to drink driving,

Someone driving who has had two or three pints of beer, should not be penalized for then later drinking non alcholic drinks instead of alcholic ones.

-112

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Gainsborough lad. - 25-Mar-10 20:43

£2.50 for a non al Becks (275ml) and £1.80 (330ml) for a non al Holston Pils in the pubs round here. For less than a pint of becks thats 5 quid!!! If the Government want to help with the binge drinking why arent they making it cheaper to buy? My mate and I went into the pub and both had a couple of bottles and put then on a credit tab, when I asked the owner how much they were my mate said HOW MUCH? and went straight for a pint of real ale for his next drink.....

-22

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NH - 25-Mar-10 19:35

We have such a big drinking culture that it is touch to change. Alcohol free beers are catching on now though, especially as more come on to the market. Some bottles are really hard to tell from normal bottles too, so that is slowly helping to crack the image problem.

See http://www.alcoholfreereview.com for details on what is available.

+27

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Graham - 23-Jan-10 21:23

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