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Food For Thought Free Beer
(Entered Jul. 06, 2009)
  Recent Food For Thought:

I almost walked out of the supermarket with a bunch of these cans tucked under my arm until I realized that the 'free' on the label refers to the alcohol content, not the price. Before putting them back in disgust, I took a quick look at the label to try to get a better understanding of why anybody would produce, buy, or drink alcohol-free beer.
The label says that it contains 0.00% alcohol in it, and I wonder at the necessity of writing zero to two decimal places. Either the beer really has no alcohol, in which case a simple 0% would've sufficed, or it has 0.009% alcohol, and they're just false advertising. However the can does say that it uses a 'yeast free brewing process', so maybe it's true? I'm familiar with, and have reluctantly tried beer with alcohol levels as low as 0.1% before, but I don't think I've ever had a completely non-alcoholic beer before. Hmm... The days where I drank to get drunk are long gone, and putting aside the feeble image of non-alcoholic beer for a minute, if it tastes as good as regular beer, why not make the switch?

kirin free beer

Buying non-alcoholic beer for the first time is not unlike buying a box of condoms for the first time. You stand at the cash register trying unsuccessfully to look nonchalant and cool, while keeping your face averted and not making eye contact with anybody. Trying to explain to the cashier and the other people in the line that yes, you do like regular beer, and no, you're not a wuss, will only make the hole you've dug deeper, so grab the bag and beat a hasty retreat.
Being non-alcoholic I decided heck, I'd have one of them for lunch on a Monday. As you can see, it looks like a regular foamy beer, but the first thing you'll notice is the smell, which is bad... Not sure how to describe it really except that you know right away that this is not beer. If I had to try though I'd say it was something like a mixture of rotten hay and sugar plus something sharp, not unlike the smell of urine.... Smell aside, perhaps the taste was fantastic? After a very hesitant sip, then another just to confirm that yes, it was a weak, watery liquid that tasted almost like celery juice, I poured the rest of it down the sink.
Forgive me regular alcoholic beer, I will never doubt you again!



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