Looking for flavour without the high alcohol kick? Here are some fantastic drinks that fit the bill perfectly
There was a time when low alcohol drinks meant low in flavour and, as a result, low in appeal. But there’s now a fresh new take on ‘light’ beverages, thanks in part to growing health awareness, and the stricter drink-driving laws enacted late last year.
There is now a wide range of lower alcohol beers and ciders on the market. They’re fresh and full of oomph, but won’t send you sideways like some of their higher alcohol counterparts.
Kiwi brewers are experimenting with an assortment of techniques to keep the alcohol by volume (ABV) in their beverages down, without having to sacrifice quality and flavour. And since that’s exactly what the people of New Zealand are looking for, lower alcohol beverages are quickly gaining a fan base.
We take a look at labels leading the way.
1. Speight’s Mid Ale – 2.5% ABV (RRP$20.99 12-pack)
In the words of the folk at Speight’s, life is about striking a balance, just like their new mid-strength beer. The low alcohol, full flavoured beer uses Pacific Jade and Green Bullet hops for bitterness, balanced with a smooth caramelized flavour from three malts.
2. Monteith’s Lightly Crushed Cider – 2.8% ABV (RRP$12.99 4-pack)
While most ciders sit around four per cent alcohol, Monteith’s Lightly Crushed Cider is the first lower alcohol cider of its kind in New Zealand. Made from Nelson apples, the fruit is crushed to retain its natural flavours and fermented with a low alcohol profile in mind, but retains body and a full flavour. Try it with warming winter pork dishes or strong cheeses.
3. Stoke 2 Stoke – 2% ABV (RRP$9.99 4-pack)
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. So when the McCashin clan started experimenting with low alcohol beer they realised they needn’t start from scratch. 2 Stoke was born by using an evaporation method to remove some of the alcohol from the already delicious Stoke Gold.
4. DB Export Citrus Grapefruit – 2% ABV (RRP$22.99 12-pack)
This zingy, low alcohol beer joined the DB Export Citrus family in 2014 and was a hit over summer. It’s a blend of DB Export Beer and natural grapefruit juice with no added preservatives. At two per cent alcohol it’s the ideal after-work thirst-quencher.
5. Tuatara ITI Little Big Hop APA – 3.3% ABV (RRP$18.99 6-pack)
While the Tuatara-Liquorland ‘Sauvinova’ was all the rage earlier this year, this little guy made his mark as a tasty low alcohol alternative. ITI, meaning “small” in Te Reo Maori, uses a light malted base to highlight the American and Nelson Sauvin hops. At just 3.3 per cent it’s an ideal session APA.