Shape up for Spring

Image source: Contributed

Tony Cox takes some of the latest non-alcoholic offerings for a taste-test drive and finds he can still walk a line without sacrificing taste.

You know something is brewing when the publisher rings and asks, “Coxy, are you doing Dry July?”

Must be new profile shots or something like that. Deb, maybe the wide-angle lens doesn’t cover this wide, but I now have the motivation to lose some of those COVID curves and shrink from the 2XU’s down to the 1XU’s! And what better way than to test drive a few zero-alcohol products. Better still, I don’t have to wait to midday to crack the top off a frothy!

My experience has consistently been that the zero alcohol products can often get close on taste to their full-strength counterparts, but the key differential is they find it difficult to replicate the viscosity and texture, although this is probably more applicable to spirits and wine than beer.

I knocked the top off a few lager-style beers, Great Northern, Heineken 00 and Peroni Libera to see what they were like. 

To be honest the Great Northern was the most ‘beer-like’ flavoured beverage and was not far off the mark of its full-strength counterpart. Refreshing, with a touch of hops with a crisp finish it was very pleasant.

The Heineken 00 had the trademark hop-driven flavour of its big brother, lovely malt profile and was a contender for top spot but in my opinion was just shaded by the Great Northern.

In comparison, the Peroni Libera appeared a little sweet and the least beer-like of the three.

From there I launched into two ‘craft’ beers. The Sobah Ginger Lime Cerveza, brewed on the Gold Coast by Indigenous owners is infused with finger lime and delivers a refreshing citrus tang balanced with hop bitterness.

The Australian Sports Brewing Company produces the Zero+ Electrolyte Enhanced Pale Ale. I got right into the theme of this, donning the lycra, and for a fleeting moment I did feel like an elite athlete. Just like a pale ale it had a strong hop presence and expressed typicity you would expect from a pale ale. It was a pleasant drink.

To finish the session, I waded into two premix drinks put out by the team at Lyre’s.

Packaged to reflect their premium positioning in attractive slim line 250ml cans, the G&T had all of the flavours of a regular gin & tonic: citrus, juniper, quinine. I found it very palatable.

The American Malt & Cola offering smelled just like a bourbon and cola. With vanilla sweetness mimicking the sweet American oak, balanced by a slightly less sweet cola the overall impression was very positive. 

The only thing missing was the alcohol warmth – very true to the original.

These pre-mixed drinks from Lyre’s present a sophisticated, high-quality offering in the zero-alcohol space and I can’t wait to explore the range further. 

To further help the no-alocohol cause, local lager specialists, Heads of Noosa, has added Hop Valley H20 to its range. A sparkling hop-infused water that has the distinct aromatics of hops, therefore beer, with zero sugar and zero alcohol. Great packaging so you look like part of the session but a clean, refreshing taste with no alcohol. Designated driver written all over it!

Overall, the exploration into non-alcoholic beer and pre-mix spirits was an eye-opener into how far along the quality path these products have come. Whether you don’t drink but are looking for something that makes fitting in easier or if you wish to savour the taste without the alcohol, these offerings highlight some of the better examples of what is available. 

Cheers and responsible drinking!

About the Author /

[email protected]

After 25 years of sniffing, swirling, spitting and slurping various vinous temptations our wine writer has decided that his future lies firmly planted on the consumption and storytelling side. Tony not only still enjoys consulting about wine and other beverages but is now part of the successful Kate Cox Real Estate Team at Reed & Co. Estate Agents.

Post a Comment

Want more? Subscribe!

Get the latest news delivered fresh to your inbox!

Want to list your business?

Contact us to find out how! Contact us

Get ready for a night of sensory splendour at "The Sculpted Dinner" – where every bite, beat, and bid will elevate your experience!

Join in on the 2nd December at @artsconnectinc exclusive gala fundraiser for @sculptureontheedgesc , promising a night unlike any other!

The @flaxtongardens team is set to dazzle your taste buds with a menu that celebrates the vibrant flavours of the Sunshine Coast`s finest local produce. Get ready for a culinary journey that will leave your senses dancing!

Immerse yourself in captivating performances, groovy tunes, and a thrilling auction that promises surprises at every turn!

Save the date for an unforgettable evening filled with art, flavour, and entertainment!

Let`s make memories together at "The Sculpted Dinner" – a delight for all the senses!
(Visit the link in bio to secure your tickets today!)

`Tis the season to shop local! Join in for Christmas Shopping in the @thevillageperegianbeach where @thelocalperegian and @talacollectiveau are turning up the holiday cheer with late arvo/early eve shopping every Friday in December!

Embrace the laid-back vibes of late-night shopping in Peregian Beach, ensuring your Christmas finds are as unique and special as the season itself.

Don`t miss out on the festive fun – let`s make this holiday shopping spree one for the books!

Join @headspacemaroochydore for a transformative workshop on Connection Skills!

Improve social connectedness, conquer awkward moments, and boost your conversation game! Let`s navigate emotions together and enhance those social skills. Hosted by the incredible headspace GP, Dr. Amanda.

When: Monday, December 4th, 2-4pm
Where: YouConnect Hub (Warehouse) @ headspace Maroochydore

Ready to level up your social game? Register now via the link in the bio or calling 5409 4900 and let`s make connections that last a lifetime!

It might have been raining, but that didn’t dampen spirits during our summer fashion shoot at the stunning @novotelsunshinecoast resort!

Thanks to our wonderful team for bringing the much-needed sunshiney vibes and being such a joy to work with.

We can’t wait to see the beautiful looks we’ve created together – stayed tuned for our sensational Summer Issue! 🌞

Fashion Editor, Ally Chuck @ally_chuck
Photographer, @laurenbiggslbph
Hair and Makeup, Justina Simone @justina_simone
Models, Lucia and Cinzia Cimino, @luciaciminolashes @cinziaciminoc_
Assistant, Chloe Knight @chloeaknightt
Social Media, Rebecca Jamieson Dwyer @becjamiesondwyer
Shoot Manager, Deb Caruso @debcarusopr
Nature, @novotelsunshinecoast’s own 🌿🦘🌿🦘

Master the art of kefir-making @greensmithgrocers workshop on December 3rd! Discover the health wonders and simplicity of crafting this fermented elixir at home.

Benefits include restoring gut bacteria, cleansing intestines, and boosting the immune system. It`s a protein-packed, lactose-friendly powerhouse!

Unlock the secret on December 3rd. Don`t miss out – arrive early for a pre-workshop coffee & pastry! (link in bio to reserve a spot)

Unleash your inner artist at @sculptureontheedgesc 2023!

Dive into a full 18-day program of creative workshops, designed for EVERYONE!

From beginners to masterclasses, there`s a workshop for every level of creativity.

Bring the kids along for weekend fun with Monte Lupo Arts and Paintbox Art School! Let them explore their artistic talents and make new friends in the process!

Have a blast, learn new skills, and immerse yourself in a world of creativity!

Join in for an unforgettable journey of self-expression and artistic discovery!

Click the link in bio to discover the full Workshops Program!

Sculpture On The Edge
Event dates: 23 November - 10 December 2023
Flaxton Gardens, Flaxton, Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
8 AM - 4 PM Daily
Indoor & Outdoor Exhibition, Workshops & Special Events.

image: @barry_eyeswideopenimages
artwork: Sugarbag by Parthenopi @parthenopium

Join the festive fiesta @greensmithgrocers Christmas Market Night – their biggest market of the year on Thursday 30 November!

Support incredible local brands and farmers, and score a jolly 10% off storewide from 2pm-7pm!

Get ready for a merry shopping spree, load up on holiday must-haves, and indulge in scrumptious food tastings!

If you`ve never experienced their market nights, this is THE one to be at – their grandest and best yet! ​​​​​​​

Don`t miss the magic at Greensmith Grocers, Stockland Birtinya! (link in bio)