Merriam Webster defines beer as “a carbonated, fermented alcoholic beverage”—emphasis on “alcoholic.” So imagine my confusion when a new “beer” entered the local market: San Miguel’s San Mig Free 0.0, an alcohol-free pilsner-style lager.[READ: Tell us your go-to beer and we’ll tell you what noche buena food should be on your Christmas spread]
Introduced a few days before the end of 2020, San Mig Free 0.0 has been a best-seller in Spain since its inception in 2001.
According to the brewer’s website, San Mig Free 0.0 zero alcohol beer is made with two types of malt: select pilsen malt, which provides grain and cereal aromas and determines the stability and creaminess of its foam and a small proportion of coloured malt that’s more deeply roasted, which adds a darker tone to the golden colour.
Despite its zero alcohol content label, it is, however, still prohibited for people under 18. Why? One probable reason is that thorough reading on the fine print reveals that it is not absolutely 100 percent alcohol-free. It is in fact, “Not more than 0.04 percent alcohol by volume (ABV).”
But here’s a more important question: if it is alcohol-free but still considered a beer, how does it taste then?
“Appreciable but moderate aromas of herbs and hop flowers with hints of grain and cereal,” its description reads. “New aromatic flavours of grain and hops reappear on the palate, complemented by moderately intense bitterness and a slightly sweet finish. The texture is agreeable, with a sensation of light but balanced body.”
Now, we are no beer experts but it is safe to assume it tastes pretty much like, well, beer.
Don’t believe us? Luckily, San Mig Free 0.0 zero alcohol beer is now available locally at Ministop convenience stores, select resellers and San Miguel online delivery website. So try it yourself and tell us. Is it beer?