It’s the time of year to cut back.
Traditionally at least, January is a time for resolutions. Junk food is thrown out. Dry January pacts are formed. A better you is usually the goal, even if the results may vary.
But given that we’re still enduring a pandemic, and normal life is hard enough, you couldn’t be blamed for skipping the self-improvement plan and seeking comfort wherever you can find it. If Belgian tripels are your thing right now, there’s no judgment here.
I did Dry January last year, and I’m doing it again this year. One source of comfort for me has been the ever-increasing selection of delicious nonalcoholic beers. Whether you’re going completely dry or are just looking to cut back, there are more flavors and brands than ever. Here are four nonalcoholic beers I’ve come to enjoy.
Partake Brewing Blonde Ale. Like all of the other American breweries on this list, this Canadian brewery will ship directly to you. Each of Partake’s beers is shockingly low in calories — between 10 and 30 — with that fact most accentuated by the Blonde Ale. At 15 calories, it drinks like the suggestion of a beer, giving you hints of bready, floral flavor without the heft. It’s not the most flavorful of the bunch, but good if health benefits are a main concern.
Athletic Brewing Co. Cerveza Atletica. Maybe my favorite producer on this list, Athletic’s popularity has allowed the Connecticut brewery to expand with another location in San Diego. The Run Wild IPA is good, but the Mexican-style Cerveza Atletica lager is rich and toasty like your favorite copper-colored brews. Calories (60) are higher, but still well below what you’d consume in an alcoholic beer.
Hairless Dog Brewing Coffee Stout. There’s something notable about the beers from Minnesota brewery Hairless Dog. Unlike the others, which promise brews below 0.5 percent alcohol by volume, Hairless Dog’s beers clock in at 0.0 percent. That’s important to anyone for whom even a little alcohol poses health risks. Luckily Hairless Dog’s brews are also tasty. The coffee stout, which uses Nugget and Willamette hops to balance out the rich coffee notes, is especially good.
Surreal Brewing Pastry Porter. Surreal also specializes in lower calorie brews, but the California brewery’s most decadent beer is one of its best. Brewed with cacao nibs, milk sugar, and monk fruit, it’s a creamy beer meant for sipping next to a fireplace.