O’Doul’s non-alcoholic beer comes in two flavors: Amber and Golden. O’doul’s makes the original na beer, and it wouldn’t be fair to leave them out of the list of options. I’m going to review both of these beers, describe how they taste, and compare them to other non-alcoholic beers. Keep reading for all the details!
O’doul’s has been around since 1978. For what seems like a new trend, O’doul’s surely showed up to the party early. It was created by the company that would later become Anheuser-Busch, and it originally came in two varieties: a light beer and an amber.
Bottom line: Neither of these beers is going to blow you away with flavor complexity, but they’re both reasonably crisp and refreshing, at least for the first few sips.
Even without alcohol, there are some definite similarities in taste between O’Doul’s and real beer. They also both score well in terms of budget – if you’re looking for a straightforward and affordable non-alcoholic beer, either of these beers will do the trick.
O’doul’s Non-Alcoholic Beer: Taste
Here are the two O’doul’s non-alcohol malt beverages and what they taste like. It should go without saying, but if you’re going to try these, make sure they are ice cold, and consider pre-chilling a beer glass so they don’t start heating up while you drink them.
O’doul’s Golden Non-Alcoholic Brew
Taste: The aroma is quite delicate. At first sip, O’doul’s Golden has a slightly sweet taste, even a little creamy, but not complex. There is no aftertaste, nothing on the back end. It’s not offensive, a pretty straightforward light beer.
Ingredients: Water, Barley Malt, Corn, Cane Sugar, Hops
Nutrition: Per 12oz bottle; 68 Calories, Carbohydrates 14.1g, Fat 0g, Protein 1.1g
O’doul’s Amber Non-Alcoholic Brew
Taste: O’doul’s Amber is slightly more aromatic than the Golden brew, but not much. It has a bit of bitterness and rich toastiness but again, not that complex. It definitely has more substance than the Golden. There isn’t much bitterness or lingering flavor.
Ingredients: Water, Barley Malt, Cane Sugar, Hops
Nutrition: Per 12oz bottle; 91 Calories, Carbohydrates 18.5g, Fat 0g, Protein 2.2g; 0.5%ABV
Unfortunately, both O’doul’s beers are okay for the first few sips, then begin to start tasting like that flat beer whose keg wasn’t dialed in quite right at the bar. Neither of these has a flavorful hop finish.
O’doul’s vs Other Non-Alcoholic Beer Brands
For the purpose of this review, I’ll stick to comparing O’douls with comparable products. If you’re interested in non-alcoholic craft beer, there are so many options. Just check out the beer page for more reviews.
O’doul’s is owned by Anheuser-Busch, who also owns the brands that make these NA beers: Budweiser Zero, Stella Artois Liberté, Beck’s Non-Alcoholic, Busch NA, and St. Pauli Girl NA. Some other contenders in this space will be Heineken 0.0, and Coors Edge. Here are a couple of them to compare:
O’doul’s vs Budweiser Zero:
Both being light non-alcoholic drinks, Bud Zero flavors are richer and more complex compared to O’doul’s Golden brew. Budweiser Zero is completely alcohol free, while O’doul’s has 0.5% ABV. Plus, Bud Zero has fewer calories than both O’doul’s brews.
O’doul’s vs Beck’s Non-Alcoholic:
Beck’s smells more bitter, similar to the level in O’doul’s Amber, but that is where it ends. Beck’s tastes really sweet, like spoiled fruit sweet, so O’doul’s is the much-preferred option. The nutrition facts are very similar between these two products, but both O’doul’s beverages are better.
How to Make Non-Alcoholic Beer
How non-alcoholic beer is made varies widely from brand to brand. Techniques and recipes for these other malt beverages are sometimes guarded. O’doul’s is made and fermented the same as traditional premium beers. The only difference is that it goes through a low temperature and low-pressure distillation process to remove the alcohol.
This extremely gentle process attempts to retain all the flavors in the beer while removing the alcohol. Does it work? At the end of the day, if it tastes like a drink that you enjoy, the answer is yes.
What People Are Saying About O’doul’s
After reading over one hundred reviews on these two flavors, here are the most common things said about O’douls by tasters:
- Most tasters thought both O’doul’s brews tasted like real beer
- 10% considered it mid-range quality/drinkable
- Commonly mentioned O’doul’s being a great value
Where to Buy O’doul’s Non-Alcoholic Beer
You can try it in this fun NA beer variety pack (link to check price on Amazon) or check Instacart to see which local retailers stock it and have it delivered right to your door.
Can you drink non-alcoholic beer while pregnant?
O’douls non-alcoholic beer has a very small amount of alcohol in it, less than 0.5%, but consult your doctor for any medical advice regarding pregnancy.
Can you buy non-alcoholic beer under 21?
This is tricky because it depends on individual store policies and state laws. The easiest way to find out is to check directly with your local retailer.
Why drink non-alcoholic beer or near beer?
Whether someone is watching their alcohol consumption for a drink, a week, or forever, everyone has their reasons. The reality is that the world of non-alcoholic beverages is ever-expanding. It’s no longer alcoholic vs non-alcoholic drinks.
Product substitutes like O’doul’s have a purpose, but there are also loads of new drink options that are unique and happen to not contain alcohol.
O’doul’s is a light, straightforward non-alcoholic beer option, plus it’s cheap. If you typically enjoy Anheuser-Busch beers, you might also enjoy O’doul’s or one of their other brand’s non-alcoholic options.
While these two NA brews are light and refreshing when ice cold, I’ll probably stick to exploring more alcohol free craft beer.