Here’s where to drink the world’s most convincing alcohol-free beers
Doing Dry January? There are still ways to down a pint of the finest without breaking your zero-alcohol streak
Every January, drinkers ponder the same question: can you enjoy beer without the buzz? BrewDog thinks so and is making a compelling argument to get beer lovers to try going alcohol-free – without compromising on taste. The Scottish brewer, which partnered with British Airways in 2019 to launch Speedbird 100 as part of the airline's centenary year, has a range of alcohol-free brews with colourful names such as Nanny State, Punk AF, Hazy Jane AF and Lost AF. All have such depth of flavour that you’ll happily forgo the alcohol kick – with a hangover-free bonus. Raise a glass at one of their bars around the world, all of which serve alcohol-free brews.
For beer nerds: BrewDog Cincinnati
A huge mural of BrewDog’s signature octopus with its curling tentacles pulls you in at this buzzing beer hall on the edge of the Pendleton neighbourhood in Cincinnati, one of BA’s new destinations launching in summer 2023. Half the menu here is plant-based and, for the geeky pint lover, a corner has been set aside for a 'beer school’ with wall charts, books and events to study up on the golden liquid. Not that it’s all work and no play at this southern Ohio hang – the mezzanine level is crammed with video and board games, making for a right-royal experience in the Queen City.
For a 360° beer experience: DogTap Berlin
As a brewer you have to pull off something pretty special to stand out in the land of the beer hall. That’s exactly what BrewDog has done at DogTap Berlin. Walking up to the doors of the church-like former Mariendorf gasworks in Marienpark dating back to 1901 will get you in the mood for some beer-worshipping – something you can do across four different bars. The food here is influenced by the host country, while there are some nice touches such as a craft beer museum, a retro arcade area with shuffleboards and even a dog park if you want to bring your pooch along.
For the biggest choice of brews: BrewDog Waterloo
The world’s biggest BrewDog sits inside London’s Waterloo station round the corner from the cool, street art-adorned Leake Street Arches, and is a short stroll away from the Thames. The multi-concept venue is a bar, restaurant, coworking space and playground all rolled into one and comes with a podcast recording studio, duckpin bowling and an actual slide. Once you’ve had your alcohol-free beer for Dry Jan, return in February for 60 taps of draft beer and creations from an on-site microbrewery. And if you are beered-out, go in search of the hidden speakeasy somewhere in the bowels of the building and reward yourself with a cocktail.
For unexpected flavours: BrewDog Reykjavik
A chilled place in more ways than one, BrewDog’s Icelandic outpost is slap-bang in the middle of Reykjavik, midway between the Hallgrímskirkja church and the Sun Voyager statue. While it may have fewer beer choices than some of its bigger cousins around the world, the bar makes up for it with its element of surprise. In addition to BrewDog favourites, it pours real cutting-edge brews from across the country, while there’s a weekly ‘secret menu’ food special (driven by the presence of an on-site smoker) that’s paired with your beer of choice. Simply sink into one of its cosy red booths and eat and drink yourself happy.
For a drink at the O.G.: BrewDog Edinburgh Cowgate
As befits a bar based in the brewer’s country of birth, BrewDog Edinburgh Cowgate – just moments from the Royal Mile – underlines everything that’s good about the craft beer experience. There’s the superb range of beautifully crafted amber liquid, a menu with food that’s perfect when you pair it with a pint or two (here it’s mainly handmade sourdough pizzas that soak up the suds) and a lot of fun sideshows such as beer and cheese pairings and ‘dog pawties’ complete with a birthday card, party hat and a canine ice-cream sundae for that special pup in your life.