1/31/23: Guinness 0.0

7:49 PM

For my second and final Dry January (well, in my case, more like Damp January--I had my planned hiccup weekend and a one-beer, post-moving-out-a-friend unplanned hiccup) post, I'm doing something special. 

A pint glass filled with Guinness 0.0 beside the beer's empty can.

I was at a local bottleshop trying to decide what non-alcoholic beer to grab next. The lady working there suggested the Guinness, saying that she's been having customers report to her after trying it, saying "It's as good as the real thing!" With her recommendation (and an observation that it was the cheapest non-American macro option), it was a done deal. This evening, I'm doing up Guinness 0.0.

I know Guinness. You know Guinness. They're one of Dublin's favorite sons. They've been in the game longer than the US has been independent. There's a very specific way to pour their beer from a tap. Their legacy is one of excellence. I don't need to say more, but I'll still point you to their "The Story of Guinness" page for your perusal. 

Guinness 0.0 (0.0 henceforth) is a non-alcoholic variation of the brewery's flagship stout. The brewery does up a standard batch of the black stuff before putting it through a cold filtration process that removes the alcohol. What's left (after a little tweaking and mixing) is our finished product: 0.0, which boasts aromatics of coffee and chocolate, malt flavor that's, at turns bitter and sweet, and a ruby body with a creamy head.

In my glass (because this is a Guinness and I'm not a monster), the beer boasts the same aroma of what it's attempting to recreate. By this, I mean I'm getting coffee, chocolate, and a little lactose. If I'm digging deeper, I get plum and a light touch of candied orange. Really, this is a near-perfect facsimile of a pint of Guinness. Purrl gave it eight whiffs (she's not sure if she's a big Guinness cat).

Purrl sniffing my pint of Guinness 0.0.

0.0's flavor profile's wonderful. There's coffee and chocolate on the fore which, combined here, taste like a chocolate mousse. The plum and orange from the bouquet are absent, but they aren't missed. There's some dryness in the long finish, hops and black coffee.

The mouthfeel's a little thinner than your typically pint of the black stuff, but I'm more than willing to overlook that for an NA beer as flavorful as this.

And, since it's in a glass, let's talk a little about its appearance. At first, the body's as black as Guinness Draught, but that ruby red coloring is revealed when the beer's held to a light. The head topping my pint's pillowy soft with delicate, cream-colored lacing.

My pint glass held to a light to show the ruby-colored body.
It's ruby!

The creamy head on my pint.

0.0 is reminding me of the first time I had Guinness: at a bar in Athens during my undergrad. I met up with a friend for a quick drink and ordered a pint. I got to watch the bartender pour it properly and was awed by the skill she exhibited and the way the head cascaded up the glass. It was my first stout, and it set a high bar.

Anyway, 0.0 clocks in at a 9.0/10. I mean that on my regular, not-non-alcoholic rating scale. It's that damn good. Guinness really took the challenge of making an alcohol-free version of their bread and butter and ran with it. Honestly, I'd most likely drink this over regular Guinness and it'll be a frequent staple in my fridge from here on out.

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