Monday, May 28, 2007

'The lawn was littered with cans of Barbican ' - Low Alcohol Beer Taste Test

Thought I'd try a few low- or no-alcohol beers to see how drinkable they are. Here are the results.

Carling C2
I'm not a regular Carling drinker by any means. I admire their advert with the flocking birds for encapsulating the Friday-night-drinkathon-as-homoerotic-Nuremberg-rally ethos of lager drinking with such elegant simplicity, but always see it as a kind of lowest-common-denominator commodity drink, irrevocably tainted with football. Still, the idea of a 2% alcohol beer is appealing in a Silk Cut Ultra kind of way. However it tasted thin with a faint tang of plasticene, so after half a can I made it into a ginger beer shandy.

Bitburger Drive
Nice packaging, and a cool name - 'drive' cos you can drink and then drive cars (this doesn't work for me as I haven't got a license); 'drive' cos the <0.5% alcohol doesn't impair one's libido, Nietzschean 'will to power', or golfing skills. (However at 'under 0.5%' it does have some alcohol - but you'd need to drink an ocean of the stuff before waking up in an unknown town or needing to 'check the peeling walls for lips and eyes'.) But... it's bitter, and not in a good way. Like chewing a bunch of willow branches that have been trailing in a river. Two swigs and it was in with the ginger beer again.
[Later - had a couple more of these and it grew on me. Maybe the homeopathic doses of alcofrol had dissolved my superego or p'raps its just an acquired taste...]

Cobra 0.0%

Now that's more like it - actually tastes like beer. Good branding: I love the mannered '0.0' implying that technical drinkers are monitoring their intake in decimal fractions. This is the placebo for me.

Looks like there are loads of non-alcohoholic beers these days. Becks might be worth a try along with some of the others - perhaps I'll lay on an alkoholfrei kegger without telling anyone and see how drunk the guests become. Guess this genre has come along way since the days of Laurie McMenemy forcing down a gulp of Barbican, sighing with manly satisfaction and opining 'It's great, man!'

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