Dear 100 Hour Board,
So I saw a commercial for this Heineken product that has zero alcohol, and I'm just baffled, I don't even know what to call it, so I turn to you. Is it still called a beer if there isn't any alcohol? Is a non alcoholic beer a product that anyone has asked for? (apple beer and ginger beer don't seem to have a great deal of traction) can minors buy this product? And finally, would this be breaking the word of wisdom? (not planning to bring it to the ward barbecue, but I can't keep seeing the commercials without asking the question)
-the old bookshop
Dear king's english,
As you're undoubtedly aware, apple beer and ginger beer—like root beer—are sodas.
What would you call it? Simply enough, it's termed non-alcoholic beer. As far as non-alcoholic beers go, O'Douls is a popular brand. I tried a bit once as a pairing with a Limburger-and-onion open-faced sandwich. I don't feel like it was a Word of Wisdom issue, but as I didn't particularly enjoy it I don't particularly care to try it—or Limburger cheese—ever again.
That cheese is pungent, and notorious enough that it garnered an Ig Nobel prize when researchers demonstrated malaria-carrying Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes were equally attracted to the smelly subtance as they were to the subtle scent of human feet.
P.S. Tipperary informs me non-alcoholic wines were very popular in Argentina at Christmas time, and some people brought it to ward barbeques. Make of that what you will.
I grew up in the Midwest, and non-alcoholic beer is most definitely a thing. Believe it or not, some people like the taste of beer and want to cut down on their overall alcohol consumption. Almost every beer company makes a non-alcoholic variety to go along with their alcoholic ones.
I can tell you for sure also that you still have to be 21 to buy them. My brother (who is a member) and his best friend (who is not) got pretty interested in them for a while and tried some different kinds, some grosser than others. My family also used to do a thing where my parents would take a sibling that just turned 21 to go buy some non-alcoholic beer, usually O'Doul's. The last of my siblings that I remember them doing that with is my sister who is six years older than me. 15-year-old me had a sip of non-alcoholic beer with some lemon juice and I decided I would never drink beer again, alcoholic or not. It tasted like nasty, moldy, soggy bread and I did not want that near any of my face holes ever again.
In addition to the O'Doul's, I've also had a non-alcoholic sangria that was delicious but a bit vinegary and weird. In my personal opinion, I don't think it's breaking the Word of Wisdom.
P.S. Also, there's a very good song called "Odouls" by Serengeti and Jade. Part of the lyrics are based on the old O'Doul's tagline, "It's what beer drinkers drink when they're not drinking beer." It's got some mild swearing but I think it's pretty amusing because it's a relatively dramatic poppy love song about how this dude just resolutely crawls under all her expectations. Just like O'Doul's is the absolutely crappiest not-actually-beer of all time, apparently.
Please bring it to the ward barbecue. I bought de-alcoholized wine from Taste in downtown Provo and brought it to Easter dinner at a friend's house. It was disgusting. It tasted like moldy grapes. Regardless of its horrible smell and taste, everyone wanted to try a small sip of it because, while it technically was still wine, it had no alcohol and thus wasn't breaking the Word of Wisdom! I predict if you bring non-alcoholic beer to a ward event you might get a few side glances but most people will try a sip (and then instantly throw it away, if beer tastes anything like wine) out of curiosity.
I wouldn't imagine non-alcoholic beer being an asked for product (besides those of us who want to try it out without breaking any rules), but according to this article, "The number of people seeking non-alcoholic beverage options is growing as people shift away from drinking alcohol. According to Beverage Daily, 84 percent of people who drink alcohol are looking to drink less, and a recent article in Business Insider notes Generation Z is consuming less alcohol than previous generations." So apparently non-alcoholic beer is rising in demand! Good on you, Generation Z!
-guppy of doom
Back home we called it Near Beer and it's been around a looooong time.
I know wine tastes like moldy grapes. And I like to think I would hate it like any self-respecting non-alcoholic. But patterns suggest I would probably be an absolute wino. Complete with inflated sense of sense, and consistent compromise on quality. It's a good good thing I don't drink alcohol.