A good sustainable beer is made with natural ingredients (most have barley, so are not gluten-free) in plastic-free packaging and free from lactose sugar (also free from filtering through bone or fish bladder). Boycott brands that use plastic beer rings, which choke and strangle wildlife. Companies can easily use cardboard beer holders today. If you see discarded plastic rings, pick them up, rip up the holes and dispose of securely in the nearest bin.
No-alcohol beers still contain the same alcohol as a ripe banana (so you won’t get drunk but they have to legally say so). Low-alcohol beers obviously contain a little, but not much. If on medication or pregnant, it’s best to just avoid any alcohol at all.
There are many reasons why people prefer to drink less alcohol. And some people who do drink alcohol, sometimes like the option of going no-alcohol or low-alcohol, if cutting down on the booze, or being the designated driver (choose alcohol-free for this case). These beers:
- Do not give you a hangover!
- Are much lower usually in calories
- Are good for the drivers (no alcohol)
- Are good to help cut down on drinking
- Cutting down alcohol helps better sleep
- Cutting down alcohol is good for your skin
- Less alcohol can makes you less sluggish
- Alcohol can sometimes deplete vitamins
- For many, alcohol is a depressant
Sustainable Low-Alcohol Beer from London
Small Beer Brew Co (London) brews classic styles in Bermondsey using natural carbonation rather than vacuum distilling or reverse osmosis. This is a very sustainable brewery that has slashed the amount of water needed (1.5 pints to the usual 8 to 10) and saved over 1.4 litres of water, just by this process alone. The range (which includes a gift set in a cardboard box) includes:
- A bright crisp lager has a floral crisp citrus nose and continental bite on the finish, perfect for an evening sundowner. Ideal lunchtime ice-breaker or theatre interval refresher.
- Small Beer Session Pale Ale is full of tropical hops and aromas, with bright fresh citrus and a juicy bitterness, to help you wind down, at the end of a busy working day.
- Small Beer Steam has a punch of British rye spice, which bridges the gap between a lager and ale with dried fruits, a balanced hoppy finish and a rounded malty richness.
- Dark lager has a roasted coffee-led aroma. A refreshing sharp lager finish, with chocolate and a wisp of smoke on the nose.
The brewery is cleaned with recovered heat and water, and runs on green energy (any gas used is frack-free). All packaging is recycled and gift boxes are sent in cardboard. Even the ‘stubby bottles’ are designed to save resources. Spent grain is sent to feed local cattle (the farmer says the higher water of their grain means his cows are more hydrated so end up drinking less water from their troughs, saving more resources). Used grain sacks (which can’t be filled again by their malt supplier) are sent to a local charity that uses them to store and move garden materials for neighbourhood projects. You can also buy kegs and mini kegs (just chill in the fridge and use the carry handle to take with you).
We’re a great tasting beer, that brews with our world in mind. The way things should be. Small Beer
Low-Alcohol Shandy from Hampshire
Shandy Shack (Hampshire) was started by friends who loved to drink beer and party, but could no longer hack the hangovers. The range is sold in cans as a standard traditional shandy or an elderflower top.