On the hunt for lower-alcohol craft beers

Brewtonic's new low/no-alcohol menu is for those wanting lighter beverages on nights out

Brewtonic's new low/no-alcohol drinks list includes ginger beers, elderflower, lemongrass and other interesting soda waters, low-alcohol wines and cocktails made with Seedlip herbal gin

Brewtonic's new low/no-alcohol drinks list includes ginger beers, elderflower, lemongrass and other interesting soda waters, low-alcohol wines and cocktails made with Seedlip herbal gin

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If you fancy taking it easy on a night out, or not drinking at all, the offerings can be slim – and a little dull. There’s the usual soft drinks, teas or coffees (if the machine is still on) and maybe a choice of one or two non-alcohol beers. And if you’re not a fan of the lighter, industrial low-alcohol beers, there’s not a huge amount in the line of low ABV craft beers either.

“Some people don’t want to drink much alcohol – but they still want to be out and about,” says Trevor O’Shea of Brewtonic. He decided to create a no/low ABV drinks menu to cater for people – like himself – who regularly want to drink something with a lower alcohol content that still tastes good.

Available in the Back Page bar in Phibsborough – and soon to be rolled out to other Bodytonic bars including the Bernard Shaw and Wigwam in Dublin – the new drinks list includes ginger beers, elderflower, lemongrass and other interesting soda waters, low-alcohol wines and cocktails made with Seedlip non-alcoholic spirit.

Irish craft beers make a good showing on the list too including the lovely Rollover session IPA by Whiplash (3.8 per cent), two sour beers from White Hag (3.5 per cent), 9 White Deer’s Stag Saor gluten-free stout (4.2 per cent) and a bitter from Dungarvan (3.8 per cent).

The problem with craft beer, says O’Shea, is that lower alcohol often means under 5 per cent, which is not low enough for many drinkers. “A low alcohol beer ideally needs to be under 3 per cent,” he believes.

The challenge is for brewers and drinks manufacturers to make lower ABV drinks tasty, so that you’ll drink a few over an evening. Whether it’s spicy or bitter, a low or non-alcoholic drink needs a kick of flavour or something special, O’Shea says, “to feel like you’re out”.

@ITbeerista beerista@irishtimes.com

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