December 12, 2019 Comments (2) Views: 3535 Don't Try This

Don’t Try This : Hoegaarden O.O% “Non-Alcoholic” Wheat Beer



Hoegaarden O.O%, InBev, Belgium (Alcohol 0.0%, although LCBO website lists it as 0.5%) LCBO $11.95 (6 x 330 ml can)

So, as I mentioned a few weeks back, I’ve been trying out quite a few of these non-alcoholic beers lately. Thus far those two beers, the Stout and the Pale Ale, by the UK’s Big Drop Brewing win by a county mile. The rest of the competition is pretty mediocre, and provides very little of the satisfaction that the Big Drop “near beers” do.

And then there is the Hoegaarden 0.0%, an alcohol-free beer so truly terrible that it will put you off ever drinking the proper weapons-grade stuff. Seriously, why did they even bother with this?

First things first, it is brewed by InBev, but confusingly the LCBO website states that it is made in Belgium by Labbat Breweries, Ontario, so I’m not quite sure what is going on here? Perhaps a Labatt brewer goes over to Belgium and introduces the Hoegaarden brewery to Labatt’s notoriously bad brewing practices, and insists that the team make this travesty to his/her bottom-of-the-barrel specifications, I just don’t know.

What I do know is that you should never let this tastebud-free-focus-group-concocted swill touch your lips, and what more would you expect from the world’s largest brewer?

While I understand that there is a growing demand for alcohol-free beers, I’m pretty sure that there’s not a growing demand for something that tastes like half-flat oxidised Britvic 55 (read: rancid carbonated orange juice) mixed with stale beer tailings (Labatt beer tailings at that) and finished off with a little sprinkle of coriander and just a hint of stomach-curdled sick.

And did I mention how damn sweet this stuff tastes? I’d be interested to see the grams per litre, as it tastes decidedly sickly to my palate. Good Lord, what were they thinking? I guess it’s all to do with the fact that the beer is actually dealcoholised, therefore completely throwing off any sense of equilibrium and leaving you with a rank mix of disparate parts that don’t quite fit together?

I opened some for a friend and neither of us finished our glasses, the other four cans going directly to the recycling bin. A complete waste of money.

Avoid at all costs!

Zero apples out of a possible five.


Jamie Drummond

Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And that’s a bona fide brand destroyer. Good work InBev!


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2 Responses to Don’t Try This : Hoegaarden O.O% “Non-Alcoholic” Wheat Beer

  1. Antoine says:

    Let me ask you this: Have you ever tried the original 5% alcohol version of this beer? Don’t you think that you should have done, for your review to be fair? Because if you had, you would have noticed the same hints of fruity sweetness in the original hoegaarden. White beers tend to be sweeter. Looking at your posts, it seems that you prefer dark beers and stouts. Perhaps white beers are just not your thing. Hoegaarden has been making beer for over 500 years. Personally, as someone who was a big fan of the alcohol based hoegaarden, I find the 0.0% alcohol version excellent. Also, why are you reviewing non alcoholic beer? Like me and many others, do you suffer from a health condition preventing you from consuming alcohol? No? So this review is also in bad faith.
    Therefore I believe that your scathing review of this beer is unfair and unfounded, considering that you obviously don’t even like white beers.

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