St Peter’s Without

English | Cymraeg

A review of St Peter’s Without - an organic alcohol-free real ale from Suffolk. Approved by the vegan society you can protect the environment and avoid a hangover.



ABV: 0%
Calories per bottle: 145 (29 per 100ml)

This was the surprise new beer of 2016. Although purists may quibble, it could be called the first “alcohol-free real ale”. It certainly sits in the ale rather than the lager category, and is aimed at drinkers who like to take their time over a drink. The main marketing image, of three young fellas enjoying their pints in front of a roaring fire in a welcoming country pub, conjures up all the right feelings for a good dark ale.

Like FitBeer, St Peter’s Without is a beer with a story. It has its origins back in 2013, when brewery owner John Murphy was diagnosed with cancer, and took his doctor’s advice to abstain from alcohol. The result was a drive to create an alcohol-free beer for people who really like beer. Did he succeed? Yes indeed.

The presentation is excellent – in the same distinctive dark green oval bottle as other St Peter’s beers, a replica of a design last used in an 18th century New Jersey pub. It’s not often we’d call a beer bottle “beautiful” but this one is, and having an alcohol-free beer this well-turned-out is a nice change.

As for the beer itself, it knocks most 0% and 0.5% beers out of the ring and it’s better than most of the big brand 3.5% or 4% bitters you’ll find in cans or on tap. It’s got a lovely nutty colour and pours well with a good head on it, and it’s got a great malty flavour.

It’s one of the few (if not the only) alcohol-free beer available on tap, although at the moment you’ll have to go to the Jerusalem Tavern in London to try it. Since March 2017, it’s also been available in Tesco, which might be a bit more convenient for you.

And in case you’re wondering about the name, it’s a reference to the Medieval term for a church outside a city’s walls, or “without the walls” (so now you know).

Drydrinker and Wise Bartender are online suppliers of low-alcohol and no-alcohol drinks. When you buy drinks from them using these links, Alcohol Change UK gets a proportion of the sales, helping us work to end the harm caused by alcohol.