Low/no-alcohol World Beer Awards winners 2018

Germany remains a country kilometre ahead of the rest of the world in low-alcohol brewing, scooping up 17 of the 34 awards given to beers of this type at the World Beer Awards 2018 (see table). Belgium and the UK came a distant second with three, closely followed by Canada and the US with two. The Czech Republic, Denmark, Iceland, the Netherlands, Spain and Vietnam all managed a single entry, with Vietnam being the only Asian country in this year’s alcohol-free roll of honour.  ■

Name Expression Category Style Country Winner Title
Maes 0.0% Lager Light Belgium Country Winner
Maes 0.0% Lager Light Belgium Style Winners
Hoegaarden Rosee 0.0 Wheat Beer Alcohol Free Belgium Silver Medal
Partake Brewing Pale Ale Pale Beer Low Alcohol Canada Country Winner
Partake Brewing Pale Ale Pale Beer Low Alcohol Canada Style Winners
Pivovar Samson Pito Lager Light Czech Republic Silver Medal
Svaneke Bryghus Don´t Worry Pale Ale Pale Beer Low Alcohol Denmark Country Winner
Franziskaner Alkoholfrei Zitrone 0,0% Alkoholfreies Weißbier 0,0 -Mix Citrus Flavoured Low Alcohol Germany Silver Medal
Franziskaner Alkoholfrei Blutorange Alkoholfreies Weißbier-Mix Blood Orange Flavoured Low Alcohol Germany Country Winner
Franziskaner Alkoholfrei Blutorange Alkoholfreies Weißbier-Mix Blood Orange Flavoured Low Alcohol Germany Style Winners
Hachenburger Radler Alkoholfrei Flavoured Low Alcohol Germany Gold Medal
Craftwerk Brewing Mad Callista Session Lager Lager Light Germany Country Winner
Waldhaus Sommer Bier Lager Light Germany Silver Medal
Clausthaler Dry Hopped Lager Light Germany Bronze Medal
Clausthaler Unfiltered Lager Light Germany Gold Medal
Riegele BierManufaktur IPA Liberis 2+3 Pale Beer Low Alcohol Germany Country Winner
Hachenburger Alkoholfrei Pale Beer Low Alcohol Germany Silver Medal
Franziskaner Alkoholfrei Alkoholfreies Weißbier Wheat Beer Alcohol Free Germany Silver Medal
Maisel’s Weisse Maisel’s Weisse Alkoholfrei Wheat Beer Alcohol Free Germany Country Winner
Maisel’s Weisse Maisel’s Weisse Alkoholfrei Wheat Beer Alcohol Free Germany Style Winners
Lauterbacher Schlanke Weisse Wheat Beer Alcohol Free Germany Gold Medal
Schlappeseppel Weißbier Alkoholfrei Wheat Beer Alcohol Free Germany Bronze Medal
Ketterer Weizen alkoholfrei Wheat Beer Alcohol Free Germany Bronze Medal
Warburger Bio Weisse Alkoholfrei Wheat Beer Alcohol Free Germany Silver Medal
Volcania Light Beer Lager Light Iceland Silver Medal
Grolsch 0.0% Lager Light Netherlands Country Winner
Mahou 0,0 Tostada Lager Light Spain Silver Medal
Moritz 0.0% Lager Light Spain Country Winner
Adnams Ghost Ship Alcohol Free Pale Beer Low Alcohol United Kingdom Bronze Medal
Infinite Session Pale Ale Pale Beer Low Alcohol United Kingdom Country Winner
Nirvana Karma Pale Beer Low Alcohol United Kingdom Bronze Medal
Surreal Brewing Company Non-Alcoholic Red IPA Flavoured Low Alcohol United States Country Winner
Athletic Brewing Company Run Wild Pale Beer Low Alcohol United States Country Winner
Sagota Alcohol Free Beer Pale Beer Low Alcohol Vietnam Bronze Medal

Source: World Beer Awards

Be wary of “persistent hangovers”

Feeling crummy more than a day after an alcohol session should give us pause for thought.

The alcohol response of our brains changes depending on our alcohol exposure over the past few hours and days and, less obviously, that over the last few months and years.

In our student days and early twenties, for instance, many of us might drink enough to move our brains into the outer regions of dependency, where our neurons misbehave when alcohol free.

No klaxon accompanies this shift so we may never know it happened. And our recovery from it can happen without us knowing too, with our drinking levels falling as our circumstances change.

But we can also inch into dependency at any time if we drink heavily for long enough, perhaps triggered by friends, a trauma or Christmas. We can unwittingly inch out of dependence again too. But we can’t rely on it.

So how do we know where we stand? It is not easy. If we drink less than the UK guidelines of 14 units (140ml) of alcohol a week for months, there is little chance of a problem. If not, we can’t be so sure.

We can look for clues, however: If we binge-drink, the classic pattern of the enthusiastic “social drinker” in northern Europe and North America, then our recovery after a heavy one is a good place to look.

Overlong aftermath
Having routine hangovers means we are not looking after our brains very well and could eventually face difficulties. But discomfort within the first 24 hours is a normal reaction to an alcohol overdose.

But feeling meh more than 24 hours after an alcohol session is something else. We might think it is a “prolonged [or delayed] hangover”, but it is not an overdose rebound, but a reaction to absence.

We have, in other words, some degree of withdrawal. We might sweat, have headaches, feel grumpy, tense, forgetful or nauseous. If we have anything more than the mildest discomfort we should go and see our doctor.

“Two-dayers”, as this phenomenon is sometimes dismissed, are potentially a sign we are flirting with alcohol dependency. Nobody wants to find this out, but the sooner we do, the easier it will be to reverse.

Avoiding heavy alcohol use for three months to a year is typically enough to be rid of it. Making this change on purpose is not always easy, but we can get help from our doctors and online and offline support.

If we stick to it we can reasonably expect clearer thinking, better memory, improved and more stable mood and better sleep. And, on a more practical level, we can substantially cut costs and so improve our finances.

Looking out for “persistent hangovers” or “two-dayers” can enable to look past unhelpful folk wisdom and misinformation to identify a potential problem, a crucial step in improving our long-term wellbeing. ■

Guest post: Why we should call time on airport drinking

by Simon C Moore, Cardiff University

As the alcohol industry continues to make healthy profits, Britain is left counting the increasing cost of its unhealthy relationship with booze. From overstretched accident and emergency departments to a steady incidence of alcohol-related disease, the cost is massive. The most recent figures reveal that alcohol-related harms cost the NHS around £3.5 billion annually.

And the problems don’t end there. Often the erratic and antisocial behaviour of intoxicated people will have an impact on others. This becomes apparent when walking down any UK high street on a Saturday night, as you dodge obstacles from aggressive drinkers to broken glass.

Alcohol issues aren’t limited to towns and cities, either. Recently, budget airline Ryanair once again called for airports to introduce “preventative measures to curb excessive drinking”, following a flight that had to land unexpectedly when three passengers became disruptive. Airports are places where high security and order are paramount to safety so, really, no alcohol should be allowed whatsoever.

Drunk on board

In recent years, there have been several high profile incidents involving drunk passengers on planes – as well as countless other unreported events. In fact, figures show 387 people were arrested for being drunk at airports between February 2016 and February 2017 – up from 255 the previous year. And a BBC Panorama investigation has found that more than half of cabin crew have seen disruptive drunken passenger behaviour at UK airports.

Problems linked to alcohol consumption in airports and on planes include passengers being too drunk to board, or being out of control on planes. Those who do not board have their bags removed, causing delays for other passengers, while those who board drunk can cause disorder and endanger passenger safety – especially pertinent in the confines of an aeroplane where other passengers can become scared.

Cheers? [cunaplus/Shutterstock]

Drunk behaviour is not just disruptive to other passengers, however. Air travel involves a tightly integrated, complex set of processes and the effects of drunk passengers can impact this infrastructure. The number of professionals required for the safe management of drunks can divert resources away from normal service, potentially affecting security and the safety of other travellers.

Drunk people have reportedly tried to open plane doors and smash windows while in flight. The extent of drunkenness has caused planes in flight to divert so that the intoxicated and disorderly can be offloaded, again affecting all other passengers’ safety and convenience.

Licensing rules

The government is examining how alcohol is sold in airports, but they stop short of banning it altogether. Instead, restrictions have been proposed to end rules which allow airport bars and pubs to operate outside UK licensing laws. Limiting the number of drinks a passenger can have, both before and during flights, would almost certainly bring this number of alcohol-related incidents down, and result in fewer delays and a more secure and pleasant trip for passengers and staff.

It’s not about being puritanical. Choice is important and many choose to make alcohol an important part of many activities, including their holidays. At the same time, choices have been made to ensure the safety of air passengers and to keep flights running on time. Airport and aeroplane staff, given the choice, would probably prefer not to mop up vomit from those who have drunk too much – or worse, potentially put themselves in harm’s way to protect other passengers.

During air travel, travellers are contained in secure areas, with no choice over their fellow passengers. Removing the irrationality of intoxication from such an activity is not the tyranny of the majority, it is simply asking people to temporarily abstain until they reach their chosen destination. Many passengers choose not to drink and, given the choice, families would likely prefer that their children are not exposed to disorderly drunks.

No one has the right to cause harm to others and it is trivial to expect abstinence while passengers make their way to their destination, whether it is an alcohol-fuelled excursion, a family holiday or a business trip. For those who use alcohol to cope with anxiety, there are more effective and safer alternatives. For those who cannot go without alcohol there are many services available to help with dependence.

The ConversationUltimately, the needs of the many must outweigh the desires of a minority who want to “start their holiday early”. ■

Simon C Moore, Professor of Public Health Research, Co-Director of Crime and Security Research Institute and Director of Alcohol & Violence Research Group, Cardiff University This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Alcohol: Take courage from competence

Like England’s footballers, who overcame a decades-long inability to win on penalties, we are better off finding our courage through practice, not through alcohol.

Sports sponsorship, like Budweiser’s backing of the World Cup, and thrilling advertising images reinforce the phoney link between alcohol and courage, despite codes barring it being done explicitly.

Alcohol plays no part in the confidence of sports people, or anyone else. We all know it, but facts are not what advertising is about. Advertising connects feelings, not facts, in this case tension and alcohol relief.

Our pre-scientific alcohol lexicon provide a flimsy barrier to prevent this powerful emotional linkage. The phrase “Dutch courage” contains only an oblique reference to the Netherlands to trigger suspicion.

Own goals
Lingering misgivings about the Low Countries, alas, do little to prevent our behaviour from being influenced, so we often turn to alcohol to cocoon ourselves from anxiety and even use it to assuage our excitement.

This is doubly ironic, if not more. We watch sport stars perform feats of skill with amazing calm, focus and concentration, while consuming a substance which interferes with our ability to emulate them.

Alcohol inebriation slows our brain function, reducing our competence in activities requiring us to use our brains. This includes practically everything, even sleep.

And, of over the long term, using alcohol tends to fuel our fears and anxieties and lengthen jumpiness after stressful events, whether they end badly or well.

Practice kills nerves
The competence we developed in our jobs and sports mean we are rarely gripped by nerves. Experience teaches us, like professional sportspeople, to know our limits, estimate risk and gauge the chances of success.

Our biggest worries typically revolve around the more haphazard world of our social lives. We often worry about our ability to converse, make friends, find partners and, heaven forbid, give a speech.

We are often first faced with these types of challenges at the same time as we have our first chances to drink alcohol. And they often remain paired thereafter, seemingly inextricably linked.

Alcohol reduces our awareness of distractions which might interrupt our flow, but it does not give us any new skills. We can make fluent, jovial, spontaneous conversation just as well without alcohol. Even dancing is possible.

Social situations which do not enforce alcohol drinking are a help, though not necessary if we can slip under the radar. Like practising penalties, socialising without drinking will eventually bring results.

Liberty includes the freedom to think clearly

Restricting alcohol use can dramatically improve our decision-making, the key to our personal freedom.

Our choice to consume alcohol is often coerced, through social pressure and misleading ideas. And alcohol reduces our ability to assess our options. Continue reading “Liberty includes the freedom to think clearly”