The brewers describe Stella Artois Alcohol-Free as a full-flavoured Belgian Pilsner Lager beer – a beautifully balanced, full-flavoured premium lager with a pronounced hoppy bitterness and a crisp, clean and refreshing finish. And I have to agree. This is a darned good alcohol-free pilsner. This alcohol-free lager earned a gold award as the best non-alcoholic beer at The Drinks Business Global Masters, a renowned blind tasting competition. I’m not a regular Stella drinker (although I have been in the past), but to me, this tastes like Stella. And to make sure I wasn’t wrong, I tasted it alongside an alcoholic Stella Artois. I also included Stella Artois Alcohol-Free lager in our taste test of alcohol-free lagers and it came out in the top three. So, read on for our Stella Artois Alcohol-Free review, comparison with the alcoholic version of Stella Artois, tasting notes, nutritional information and best places to buy for special offers.
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Stella Artois is an interesting pilsner lager in the UK – branding that includes “Reassuringly expensive” and “Perfection has its price” and recommending that it be drunk from its unique Chalice glass competes with the colloquial name of “wife-beater”, a nod to its high alcohol content and a perceived connection with binge drinking and aggression. The alcoholic Stella Artois today has an ABV of 4.8% compared to a previous 5.2%, but the alcohol-free Stella Artois comes in at an ABV of 0.00%, but how does it stack up as an alcohol-free drink and also in comparison to its older alcoholic sibling?
Stella Artois Alcohol-Free launched in early 2020, as brewers ABInBev recognized the growth in the low and no alcohol drinks market.
What does Stella Artois Alcohol-Free taste like?
I’ll start by saying if you like Stella then you’ll like Stella Artois Alcohol-Free. We found the alcohol-free version of Stella to be a really good, well-rounded pilsner lager. It hits the top 3 of our alcohol-free lagers (they’re all in there for different reasons, but they also all deserve to be in there). Stella Artois AF pours exactly like the alcoholic Stella. With a good medium-sized white foamy head. I couldn’t bring myself to do a European pour with a huge head, so this poured as an English pour with a regular-sized head, but it will definitely pour with a bigger head. And I don’t have a Stella Chalice either, although this is a recommended glass for Stella Artois Alcohol-Free.
The aroma is very similar to the aroma of the alcoholic Stella and in our blind taste test, we couldn’t distinguish between the two on looks. The bottles look very similar, buy a bottle of Stella Artois Alcohol-Free in a pub and you’d be hard pushed to notice that it was different to the alcoholic one, yet this comes with an ABV of 0.00% and with just 60 calories per 330ml bottle (18 calories per 100ml compared to 39 calories for the alcoholic Stella).
So back to the aroma, flavour and taste of Stella Artois Alcohol-Free. The aroma is malty, with some citrus notes, it really is similar to the regular Stella Artois. The mouthfeel isn’t thin like so many alcohol-free beers – this is a decent weight, there’s a hint of the sweetness that you get with alcoholic lagers and the carbonation is good too, not too much, not too little. I think the weightiness of the mouthfeel helps that, too often if the mouthfeel is thin, then the bubbles feel overdone. The flavour of Stella Artois is unpretentious, it’s a clean-tasting lager that tastes like, well, Stella Artois.
Perhaps if we were regular Stella Artois drinkers we’d notice more of a difference, but I think this is a really good alcohol-free lager. And for lager and specifically Stella drinkers looking for a lower-calorie, lower alcohol drink, then, I’d say you’ve found it right here.
This is a good decent thirst-quenching lager that I’m happy to drink.
What does Stella Artois Alcohol-Free look like?
We drank our Stella Artois Alcohol-Free poured from a standard 330 ml bottle. It pours just like a regular Stella. It’s a golden, amber colour, with a medium head. It looks indistinguishable from regular alcoholic Stella Artois.
How does Stella Artois Alcohol-Free Compare to Stella Artois?
Where the brewer produces an alcoholic version of their alcohol-free beer we always try to taste test them alongside each other. We take account of the following in our comparison
- Head and Pour
- Calories and other Nutritional Differences
The branding of Stella Artois Alcohol-Free is on a par with the alcoholic version of Stella Artois. The bottle is similar, yet the labelling states clearly that this is alcohol-free. However, if you weren’t specifically looking for it, it doesn’t scream that this is an alcohol-free beer.
The alcohol-free Stella Artois produces a medium head which stays around a good while. It looks exactly the same as the alcoholic pilsner.
Could I tell that the alcohol-free version was exactly that when tasting next to the alcoholic version? Yes, the alcoholic version has a slightly sweeter taste. But there’s none of the metallic tinge in the aroma that so many alcohol-free lagers have.
Stella Artois Alcohol-Free compares extremely favourably with alcoholic Stella Artois.
Does Stella Artois Alcohol-Free taste the same as Stella Artois?
I think Stella Artois alcohol-free DOES taste the same as Stella Artois, or at least it’s pretty darned close. It doesn’t have the slightly sweet aftertaste that the alcoholic Stella has, but it’s a pretty close match.
How many calories does Stella Artois Alcohol-Free have compared to Stella Artois?
There are 18 calories per 100ml in non-alcoholic Stella, compared to 39 calories per 100ml in Alcoholic Stella Artois.
Ingredients in Stella Artois Alcohol-Free
Stella Artois non-alcoholic is still made in Belgium like the alcoholic version, and its made of water, malted barley, hops, sugar and natural flavours.
How is Stella Artois Alcohol-Free made?
ABInBev aims to have 20% of its drinks as alcohol-free and their stated mission is to have their alcohol-free beers tasting the same as alcoholic beers. Stella Artois alcohol-free is made from an alcoholic beer using the same raw materials that Stella Artois is made from. It is then dealcoholized – gently, they state. (You can read about the geneal process of making alcohol-free beer here) The beer aroma is recovered during the process and reintroduced into the alcohol-free beer so that it keeps its taste. The team at ABInBev in Belgium “developed a revolutionary process that gently removes alcohol from the traditionally brewed beer using special equipment, including a de-alcoholizer and an ‘evaporation column’ that can recover the beer’s aroma, another important element to authentic taste. “
Watch more information about how Stella Artois alcohol-free is made here.
Best Type of Beer Glass to drink Stella Artois Alcohol-Free from
The brewers say that Stella Artois, whether its alcoholic or not, should be drunk from a Stella Chalice, and it should be poured according to their 9 step pouring process. Read about that here.
Nutritional Info for Stella Artois Alcohol-Free Premium Per 100ml
- Energy (kcal) 18kcal
- Fat 0.0g
- Carbohydrate 4.2g
- Sugars 0.8g
- Protein 0.3g
- Salt <0.1g
Vital Statistics of Stella Artois Alcohol-Free
- Name: Stella Artois Alcohol-Free
- Type of Beer / Style of Beer: Alcohol-Free Pilsner Lager
- Brewed by: Stella Artois (ABInBev)
- Alcohol Content: 0.00% ABV
- Ingredients: Water, malted barley, hops, sugar and natural flavours
- Country of Origin: Belgium
- Dispensed In: 330ml bottles
- Calories per bottle: 60 kcal / 330ml
Where to Buy Stella Artois From (in the UK):
Other beers similar to Stella Artois
If Stella Artois Alcohol-Free is to your taste and you want a premium good tasting lager, that is a great take on alcohol-free lager, then you might like these
These are other alcohol-free pilsner lager-style beers – that we love and think you will too.
Final Words on Stella Artois Alcohol-Free
Stella Artois Alcohol-Free is a great take on pilsner lager and its one of the top alcohol-free ones. If you’re a Stella drinker then this is a great way to continue enjoying the taste with less of the alcohol and less of the calories. If you’re new to alcohol-free lagers, then this is a fabulous one to start with, although we warn you, others may seem wanting after you’ve drunk the alcohol-free Stella Artois.