i’ve had a lifelong love of beer, with craft beer being my alcohol of choice for most of my adult life. (i was lucky enough to move to new orleans at age 22 where abita beer was already a thing. it was my introduction to “craft” beer and their brews are still some of my favorites.)
in recent years, however, i started to notice my body REALLY not liking alcohol anymore. so i reduced the amount of beer i was drinking, usually no more than 1 or 2 at a time, because of how awful it made me feel the next day. alcohol is very much a way of life here in new orleans, though, so it was still very much a part of my social life, even at a reduced amount.
about a month before my brain surgery (around september of last year), i stopped drinking alcohol entirely, wanting to go into surgery feeling as good as i possibly could. post surgery, i have not felt like i am ready yet to return to alcohol; i’m wanting to give my body and brain some more time to heal without the inflammation and toxicity that alcohol brings. given that, around mid-november, ahead of the holiday season and some anticipated socially-distanced social gatherings, i began investigating non-alcoholic beer as a possible option.
much to my surprise, i’ve found a burgeoning and exciting NA craft beer scene taking root in the US. (NA beer has already been a much bigger thing in europe and other parts of the world, but as usual, the US lags behind.) i started sampling various brands and breweries, mostly ordering online because it’s so hard to find locally, and joined a few facebook groups dedicated to non-alcoholic beer appreciation as a way to learn more. i now find myself reading a lot of articles online and listening to several podcasts about NA beer and its makers. i’m a little obsessed!
so i am making a category here on this blog to easily catalog all my reviews of various NA brews and other thoughts on the trend/industry as it develops. i am hopeful that the craft brewing scene here in new orleans will eventually catch on and some of our successful local breweries will take on the challenge of making delicious NA brews of their own.