Low-alcohol beer

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Low-alcohol beer (also called non-alcoholic or NA beer, small beer, small ale, or near-beer) is beer with very low or no alcohol content. Most low-alcohol beers are lagers, but there are some low-alcohol ales.

In the United States, beverages containing less than 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) were legally called non-alcoholic, according to the now-defunct Volstead Act. Due to its very low alcohol content, non-alcoholic beer may be legally sold to minors in most American states.

In the United Kingdom, the following definitions apply by law (correct as of May 2007):[1]

  • No alcohol or alcohol-free: not more than 0.05% ABV
  • Dealcoholised: over 0.05% but less than 0.5% ABV
  • Low-alcohol: not more than 1.2% ABV

In the rest of the European Union, beer must contain no more than 0.5% ABV if it is labelled "alcohol-free".

Contents

Light beer

Light beer is beer that is reduced in alcohol content or in calories, compared to regular beer. The spelling "lite beer" is also commonly used.

Light beers may be chosen by beer drinkers who wish to manage their alcohol consumption or their calorie intake. However, these beers are sometimes criticized[2] for being less flavorful than full-strength beers, being "watered down" (whether in perception or in fact), and thus advertising campaigns for light beers generally advertise their retention of flavor.

Reduced-alcohol beer

"Light beer" can refer to beer that has significantly less alcohol than regular beer.

In Australia, regular beers have approximately 5% ABV; reduced-alcohol beers have 2.2%–3.2%.

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