Does Non-Alcoholic Beer Contain Alcohol?

This might sound like a silly question to you if you’re not very familiar with alcohol free beer, however, most alcohol free products do contain a small amount of alcohol. 

Does Non-Alcoholic Beer Contain Alcohol

In the U.S, the alcohol content in alcohol free beer is usually up to 0.5% ABV. While there is some alcohol content in the alcohol free beer, this is a very low amount. 

Why Does Alcohol Free Beer Contain Alcohol?

It is difficult to remove all of the alcohol from the beer which is why the beer does not have 0% alcohol content. This is because of chemistry. 

Alcohol is a product of the beer brewing process, the alcohol is not simply added afterwards. This is why it is difficult to brew beer without alcohol. You brew beer using barley, hopes, yeast and water.

The sugars in the barley ferment because of the yeast and this leads to the production of the beer. This process produces alcohol naturally.

This is why you will find alcohol in certain foods – such as orange juice, because the sugars are fermented in this same way to make the juice. 

So, in order to make non-alcoholic beer, you have to brew the beer and then remove the alcohol afterwards. This is a fairly difficult and complicated chemical process. 

How Do Manufacturers Remove Alcohol From Beer?

The first way that this was done was through heating the beer to a high temperature in order to boil off the ethanol which is the chemical basis of alcohol.

However, this is not the best option as when you heat beer, the flavor is affected. 

Since then, there has been more of a demand for good-tasting alcohol free beer which can match the color, variety and flavor of the beer they are mimicking. 

Certain manufacturers use a vacuum process in which they distill the beer before they heat it. This way, the beer doesn’t have to be heated too high in order for the alcohol to boil off. 

Reverse osmosis is another way that manufacturers produce non-alcoholic beer. This is where the beer is filtered through a mesh at high pressure which separates the alcohol from the rest of the liquid. 

Some have experimented with using different grains other than barley in order to make the beer as they ferment less.

Alcoholic beer has become a lot better over the years as the non-alcoholic beer market has become more popular.

What Are The Laws In Different Countries?


In the US, the law states that beers can be labeled as alcohol-free if the beers have less than 0.5% alcohol content in them.


The laws are different in the UK. They are more strict. In the UK, alcohol-free beers are only allowed up to 0.05% alcohol by volume. If the beers have anywhere between 0.05% and 0.5% in the UK, they will be labeled as de-alcoholised.

This is only true for beers that are produced in the UK. If a beer has been produced by a foreign producer and it has been labeled according to their laws, then it can be sold as non-alcoholic beer in the UK.


In Canada, producers who make beers that are low in alcohol content should not use the phrase ‘non-alcoholic’, instead they use ‘low-alcohol’. This is because they technically have some levels of alcohol in them.

In Canada, the term ‘low-alcohol’ refers to beers containing 0.4% ABV or under. You can also get extra-light beers and light beers in Canada.

Light beer refers to beer that contains between 2.6% and 4% ABV and extra light beer refers to beer with alcohol levels of 1.1-2.5%.

Alcohol Content In Everyday Food

There is quite a lot of alcohol content in different foods and drinks that are part of our everyday diet. These foods are things that children are often exposed to. 

Does Non-Alcoholic Beer Contain Alcohol (1)
  • Bananas contain up to 0.5 grams of alcohol for every 100g of banana. An average sized banana weighs around 100 grams.
  • Orange juice has up to 0.73 grams of alcohol in it per liter. This is around 0.18 grams in a glass of orange juice.
  • A burger roll contains up to 1.28 grams of alcohol per 100 grams. 

According to this study, there is a lot more alcohol in a banana than there is in the alcohol-free beer. If you eat a few bananas, then you will have consumed the same amount of alcohol that there is in a pint of beer.

Does The Amount Of Alcohol In Alcohol Free Beer Have An Effect?

It is important to note that the amount of alcohol that there is in alcohol free beer is so low that it won’t have much effect. If you are consuming the same amount of alcohol in everyday foods, then it won’t have much of an effect. 

Making a big deal of the small amount of alcohol content in alcohol free beer can have very negative effects on those who are drinking it.

Lots of people who opt to avoid alcohol will replace it with this non-alcoholic beer, but if they think that there is alcohol in it then they might feel guilty about this.

The small amount of alcohol in this alcohol-free beer shouldn’t stop anyone from drinking it.

Can You Get Drunk From Non-Alcoholic Beers?

Non-alcoholic beer can’t get you drunk. When you get drunk, you are drinking alcohol at a rate that is faster than what your liver can process.

This means that it starts to build up in your bloodstream which will then have an effect on your behavior and functioning. 

The alcohol content in non-alcoholic beers is not enough for an adult to be unable to process, so no matter how much of the non-alcoholic beers you drink, you won’t be able to get drunk. 

Final Thoughts 

Non-alcoholic beers do contain a very small amount of alcohol, however it is not enough alcohol for anyone to get drunk from.

Jenna Priestly
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