Wise Bartender Alcohol-Free Beer and Gin Review & Giveaway

vegan alcohol-free beer, lager and gin

As I mentioned before, in an effort to try and minimise any weight gain and hopefully accelerate the healing process while I’m housebound with a gammy leg and can’t exercise, I’m off the alcohol (40 days so far, go me!) Although come the weekend the wine has been calling me from the little Tesco down the road, despite me being able to limp down there, I’ve ignored it and stuck to water. I got bored quickly with water though and started making my own drinks – I made lemon barley water, dandelion and burdock soda, lemon, ginger and mint lemonade, and ginger lemonade. I even bought swing-top glass bottles to store the drinks in. Despite these drinks being refreshing, tasty and healthy, they weren’t really doing it for me on a Saturday night so, when Wise Bartender offered to send me some alcohol-free drinks, I thought I’d give them a go.

At first I felt apprehensive. I thought, what if they’re minging and all they do is make me want to limp down to the little Tesco and get some of the real stuff? I remember when Kaliber came out years ago and it had a bad reputation. ‘Gnats piss’, I think was the official term. I tried a bit of a Becks Blue a friend had in the pub a few months ago and I was surprised at how realistic it was but I wasn’t convinced it was a proper substitute if I wanted a drink. I mean, it might taste like lager, but it’s not going to make you feel like you’ve had a drink, is it? Which, let’s face it, is mostly why people drink in the first place.

I’d planned for the drinks from Wise Bartender to be my first foray into alcohol-free lager so I could write this review from a complete alcohol-free newbie’s perspective but I had a box of Budweiser Prohibition in the fridge that I’d bought out of curiousness from the little Tesco a week or so previously that I hadn’t had the courage to try yet. Then it got to Good Friday and my Facebook timeline was full of people drinking all day, afternoon and evening and, although Friday has always been a non-drinking day for me because Saturday morning has always been my long run day, cravings kicked in and while I made my dinner, I got a can of the alcohol-free Budweiser from the fridge and cracked it open.

Budweiser Prohibition alcohol-free beer
Budweiser Prohibition alcohol-free beer

Well, that was a revelation. Not only did it smell and taste like a normal can of Bud, on my first sip, I had that ‘first drink of the day’ feeling, too. Amazing. I spent the evening in front of the TV drinking another two cans, feeling just like I was having a drink but without the desire to carry on drinking any more than a normal person should and went to bed at a reasonable time knowing there’d be no hangover in the morning.

I was for sure an alcohol-free convert.

What’s the point of alcohol-free beer?

40 days ago, I thought, ‘what’s the point of alcohol-free beer? No one drinks alcohol for the taste and, even if it did taste like the real thing, it’s not and won’t feel like it, so you might as well drink something that tastes nice, like cranberry and lemonade or something’. But there might be an occasion when you feel like a drink but you can’t because you’re pregnant, driving, on medication, have to be up early in the morning, cutting down on drinking, etc. and I’ve got to say, these alcohol-free beers really hit the spot. Also, beer is REALLY fattening and these alcohol-free versions are much lower in calories than their alcoholic counterparts, with the exception of Budweiser Prohibition which has 111 calories per 330ml can, which isn’t very low in comparison to the 134 calories in the usual one (so it’s unfortunate that the Budweiser Prohibition is my favourite, dammit).  A lot of the beers are brewed like ‘normal’ beer, then they have the alcohol taken out of them. I suppose this is how they keep the taste.

Wise Bartender Alcohol-Free Specialist

Before I’d heard of Wise Bartender, I had no idea there were so many alcohol-free lagers, beers, ciders, wines and spirits around. Kaliber, yep. Becks Blue and Budweiser Prohibition, yep. But Koppaberg, Sauvignon Blanc, sparkling wine, gin and loads of other well-known beer such as Erdinger and San Miguel too? Hell no! But it’s true, they all exist in non-alcoholic-form and Wise Bartender stocks them all. And not only do they stock them all, they allow you to buy single bottles so you can mix and match and try a variety instead of having to buy in multiples, like other websites do. Wise Bartender is also great because not only did they send me a few vegan-friendly alcohol-free beers, sparkling wine and g&ts to try, their website is set up in categories so you can easily find what you want, whether that’s:

  • beer, cider, spirits or wine
  • vegan, gluten-free or isotonic
  • variety packs of sparkling wine, spirits, isotonic, ciders, and more

They also have:

  • free delivery for orders over £59,
  • pop-ups around the country (I need to get them to come to the Folkestone Harbour Arm)
  • a Strava club
  • loyalty scheme
  • 5% discount with the code CLUBSODAVIP

Below, I’ll show you the vegan alcohol-free beers I tried and what I thought of them.

Jever Fun Low Alcohol Pilsner (0% ABV) 39 calories per 330ml bottle

Jever Fun alcohol-free pilsner
Jever Fun low alcohol pilsner

After trying and loving the Budweiser Prohibition, I felt hesitant to try any others as I thought the Bud must be a one-off and all the others would be cack. I’m pleased to be proved wrong though and this Jever Fun had a nice golden colour and you could see the bubbles happily making their way up to the top of the glass after I’d haphazardly poured it into a glass, which resulted in about two inches of froth. It’s initial light, crisp and subtle taste turned a bit sour after it’d been sitting around for a couple of hours but you wouldn’t usually leave beer sitting around for a couple of hours if it had alcohol in it, so that’s neither here nor there really.

And the best bit? There’s only 39 calories in a 330ml bottle. Yee ha.

Estrella Damm Free (0.0% ABV) 50 calories per 250ml bottle

Estrella Damm Free
Estrella Damm Free

This one was a bit darker than the Jever. I poured this one more carefully and it had a bit of froth. It seemed to be a thicker texture with a fuller flavour than the Jever. Nice and hoppy.

Ambar 0.0 (0% ABV) 66 calories per 330ml bottle

Ambar 0.0
Ambar 0.0

The first alcohol-free gluten-free beer. This seemed a bit darker than normal lager colour – it’s darker than the previous two, anyway. My first thoughts were that it had a thin head and a watery appearance with a sour taste that was more like a weak lager-flavoured water and I didn’t really get the feeling I was drinking lager while I drank it. It wasn’t my favourite at the time but it got better the more I drank of it, which is something that usually only happens if a drink contains alcohol. If you’re desperate for a gluten-free alcohol-free beer, give it a go.

FitBeer (0.3% ABV) 66 calories per 330ml bottle

FitBeer
FitBeer

I left this one until last because with all the claims it made:

  • being rich in B12
  • full of folic acid
  • isotonic

I thought, ‘what the fuck – you’re making out a beer is healthy? This is going to be shit,’ so I planned to hate it before I’d even tried it. And now I feel the need to make a public apology to FitBeer because it was it tasty and satisfying and if you say you complement a healthy lifestyle, then I’ll happily drink lots of you.

TeeTotal G’n’T (0%ABV) 52 calories per 200ml bottle

TeeTotal G'n'T
TeeTotal G’n’T

I have to start by saying I am not a gin drinker. I’ve probably drank gin twice in my life and this is nicer than I remember gin being, so it’s probably nothing like gin at all. It had a slightly bitter taste reminiscent of diet lemonade. I’d drink it on a hot summer’s day but it had no ‘I’m having a drink’ feel to it.

So, I’ve got to say – again – these alcohol-free drinks are revelationary. If you’re off the beer for whatever reason but still fancy a proper drink, I certainly recommend giving these a go. I’m astonished at how I felt like I was having a drink, without actually having a drink.

Win a ‘Vegan-ator’ Wise Pack of 11 alcohol-free drinks from Wise Bartender

Vegan-ator wise pack from Wise Bartender
Vegan-ator wise pack from Wise Bartender

Wise Bartender are giving away one of their ‘Vegan-ator’ Wise Packs to one Planet Veggie reader. The pack contains one of each vegan-friendly:

  • Bitburger Drive NA (0%ABV)
  • Brewdog Nanny State (0.5% ABV)
  • Budweiser Budvar B NA (<0.5% ABV)
  • Erdinger Alkoholfrei (<0.5%ABV)
  • Innis & None Pale Ale (0% ABV)
  • Jever Fun Low Alcohol Pilsner (0% ABV)
  • Krombacher NA Pilsner (0.5% ABV)
  • Maisels Alcohol Free (<0.5% ABV)
  • San Miguel 0,0 (0% ABV)
  • Ambar 0.0 (0% ABV)
  • Nirvana Sutra IPA (0.5% ABV)

Enter via the Rafflecopter widget below – good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Many thanks to Wise Bartender for sending me some alcohol-free drinks to review and for supplying the Vegan-ator Wise Pack to give away. Please visit the Wise Bartender website to find out more about them and to view their whole range.




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106 comments

  1. I ma trying so hard to drink less even though I am a “party” girl lol so it would be great to drink this when friends come over … thanks for the chance

  2. Yum! I don’t drink at all (haven’t done so for a few years now) and get well and truly bored of what’s available to me (especially out and about), so this is great to see, thanks for sharing!

  3. I’d love to have this in for my dad, he loves his craft beers but when he drives here, he can’t have any, this would be lovely to have in ready for him.

  4. I’d drink AF beer at most occasions. I’m not a big drinker so it’s a way to join in without standing out.

  5. I drink alcohol free beers a lot because I have a very energetic toddler and can’t cope with hangovers! Nanny State is my favourite so far, but would love to try some others.

  6. This would be perfect for summer get togethers and BBQs. I’m not a fizzy drink or squash fan and don’t always want to drink but you do look a bit sad standing there with your glass of water!

  7. We’ve found some great alcohol free wine at another major supermarket which we love. Both my husband and I tend to drink alcohol free now. This prize would be great for my husband, thanks for the chance to win.

  8. I would drink it because right now, I’m pregnant and I am seriously missing beer! Especially as my other half is a massive craft beer fan so the smell is always around.

  9. I would drink this when I would normally drink beer at home but then have to go out – usually to take someone home

  10. I would drink it on nights that I just want a chill one, despite others wanting to get drunker than I. Maybe the odd saturday night when there’s that one friend who always drinks too much and encourages you too 😛 …

  11. Almost all of these are drinks I’ve never seen before. Looks like an enjoyable testing session or two there. No alcohol to get in the way of the real flavour.

  12. I would drink the alcohol free beer on any occasion I fancied a beer. I’ve recently had to give up alcohol due to medication, which is fine as I was never a big drinker before. But I do really miss the taste of beer, especially when the weather gets warmer, and I can drink it in the garden!
    Also, if any one is interested Seedlip now do alcohol free gin, and it’s delicious, and comes in a beautiful bottle.

  13. I would drink it at my niece’s birthday, as I don’t drink, but it would look like I am having a drink like everyone else

  14. I am a huge lightweight, alcohol makes me fall right asleep so it would be good to be able to drink beer without falling asleep!! I also love shandies yummy.

  15. sounds lovely! its great that you can have a beer but still be able to get home alright! plus you can fit in when you go to a bbq too!

  16. I would drink AF beer on days when I am trying to cut back on alcohol. It is difficult to find alternatives that i enjoy.

  17. We’d take it to family/friends BBQs so that both of us could enjoy the taste whilst still being able to drive the family home!

  18. We’d use it a lot – I only drink on very rare occasions and because it would mean my husband could enjoy a beer and still pick up the children.

  19. I`d drink AF beer more often when driving to friends and returning the same night having wanting to enjoying some tasty nibbles and some beer too

  20. I would drink these at a bbq lunch – when the bbq is on would love a beer, but then end up asleep in the afternoon! These would really help with that problem

  21. I would drink it when I as the dedicated driver or fancied going somewhere a distance from home and wanted a refreshing dream.

  22. I would drink these on occasions when I couldn’t have alcohol – if driving or trying to avoid a hangover the next day

  23. I’d drink this anytime I fancied a beer. Been AF for 7 months now so always on the look out for good products

  24. It’s my birthday coming up and hopefully the weather will be nice enough for a BBQ. I’d offer them to the people who need to drive.

  25. This would be great for a summer bank holiday barbecue with family and friends, particularly for those who drive.

  26. I have just started cutting down on my drinking in order to help heal my mental health and manage my weight. Thank you so much for these suggestions! Would love to try them all out 🙂

  27. I would take these to my friends bbq in June. My husband always drives, so obviously never drinks, Then he can “have a drink” with the lads

  28. I’d drink the alcohol free beer in the day, when were having bbq’s. Alcohol always makes me too tired!

  29. actually any occsion i would drink it, i don’t really drink alcohol anymore, as it makes me so sick and takes days to recover!! xx

  30. I would love these for my husband, he used to love his beer but has had to give up alcohol due to cancer.

  31. I have just given up drinking in order to manage my to try weight. Thank you so much for these suggestions! I’d to try the GnT

  32. Have been looking for some good Alcohol-Free beers, have been stuck with Becks Blue for ages. Will definitely check these out!

  33. Fantastic selection of quality beers .Taste & refreshment & enjoying the party so much more important than the alcohol content

  34. Started to drink AF beer since becoming pregnant. I have tried only a couple as we find them hard to get in our local area.

  35. I hate suffering from a headache after just one beer so anytime any place for me especially in the garden with the sun out and a burger on the barbie.

  36. These would be great to enjoy while watching films. I can enjoy a beer while still being able to focus on the film.

  37. I’m on medication which doesn’t allow any alcohol so these would be great especially with a barbecue.

  38. I love BBQs when the weather is nice, which is an ideal time to have some drinks and a few AF beers to keep my head clear for the cooking 🙂

  39. I normally drink AF when I got out for a meal or to a pub. It’s my way of sort of fitting in while still doing my own thing!!

  40. I think these would be perfect for a family barbecue in the sun I would get to feel like I was joining in with the festivies without having to drink alcohol

  41. What a great idea. All those people who like a beer but don’t like how alcohol changes them are catered for perfectly with these drinks If only we could get everyone to drink them and just ban alcohol altogether!

  42. I like a taste of beer, but not always feel like an alcoholic drink so AF free beers are great for those days, great on family bbq’s too, they are very popular in our family 🙂

  43. Whenever I fancy a drink but now I’m a Mummy to a 7 month old it’s always AF. I will be having one watching the wedding

  44. 40 days off the alcohol. Definitely GO YOU! Hopefully you’re still keeping this up? 🙂

    Like you I do my long run on a Saturday morning. Though I have to say you’re certainly much more disciplined than I am as I still have a glass of wine on a Friday evening. It’s much needed after work! Maybe though I should give that can of alcohol-free Budweiser a try. Maybe…… 😉

    1. Thanks! Almost at 100 days now 🙂 If I could have ‘one’ glass of wine, I would. Unfortunately, I don’t stop at one bottle. Alcohol-free Bud is the best!

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