Brewdog Nanny State

Brewdog Nanny State

A brigade of speciality malts and North American hops sends bitterness to the brink and back

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  • Unique within the Brewdog range
  • Good introduction to "ale" style beers
  • Easy to find
  • Not to everyone's taste
  • Poor Aroma

Some of the best things in life started out as a joke, a muck around, a couple of folks having a laugh. Don’t believe me? Get ready to have your mind blown. Did you know the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles started out as a one-off parody creation? Yes really! 

However, some of the worst things in life also started out as a bit of a laugh that unfortunately got old quickly: Angry Birds, Karaoke, the Trump presidency. Swings and roundabouts. 

The subject of this review is Brewdog Nanny State – Brewdog’s first commercial foray into low alcohol beers, launched back in 2013 when Brewdog were making waves as the punk rock disruptors of the beer industry creating stronger and stronger beers and encouraging us to DRINK! Or, so some would have you believe.

Brewdog’s response to the nanny state political leanings of the media? Make an alcohol free beer, call it Nanny State, oh, and make it amazing too. At the time I don’t think the Brewdog team knew they’d just created a whole new market for a whole new generation of conscientious beer lovers. Check out their original press release for the 2013 launch.

But, years down the line in an increasingly busy market for alcohol free beers does Brewdog Nanny State still hold its own, or is it a joke turned sour?

Brewdog Nanny State Beer Initial Review

Brewdog Nanny State is a cleverly simple beer. Let me explain.

The familiar Brewdog branded matte can states that this 0.5% brew is an “alcohol free hoppy ale”. Doesn’t give much away when you think about it – there are loads of hoppy ales out there, all quite distinct from one another. The best way I can think to describe this beer is to look to some beer loving countries for advice. In Germany this would be described as a brown beer, or in Scotland it would be described as red ale. Basically, what Brewdog have cleverly done is to create a simple beer like your grandad would have drunk, but with an alcohol content low enough to be classed as alcohol free.


Brewdog Nanny State really does look the part – dark reddish brown in colour with a pale brown foamy head that clings to the glass and lasts for the whole pint. It looks just like an export style ale but with a fraction of the alcohol. It tastes like an old fashioned Scottish ale – strong and hoppy but in a rounded and full bodied sense, not simply bitter. There’s a strangely pleasant aftertaste of tobacco smoke that reminds me of my time working in pubs, pulling pints of heavy and listening to stories. In the new age of craft beers, against a backdrop of increasing alcohol content, Brewdog created a proper old fashioned beer with no alcohol that a new generation could get behind. Cleverly simple.

Aroma is always a sticking point for me. After all let’s be honest, beer doesn’t always smell good and low alcohol beer almost never smells good. Brewdog Nanny State isn’t particularly easy on the nose, but for those of you with a history of bar work you’ll no doubt remember the smell of drip trays at the end of a shift? How can a low alcohol beer have such a complex aroma? Cleverly simple.

Nanny State won’t be to everyone’s taste, but for those looking to delve into an old fashioned ale with a low alcohol content it’s a strong choice. It’s also arguably the beer that started the current low alcohol craze, so it must be good.

Where Can I Buy Brewdog Nanny State?

Most major supermarkets are Brewdog stockists and Nanny State is a universal favourite low alcohol beer so it should be easy to pick up. I grabbed a pack of 4 x 330ml from Tesco for £4.50, but here are some other stockists:

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Brewdog Nanny State Ingredients, Nutritional Information and Calories

Brewdog Nanny State is an honest brew of water, malted barley, hops, malted wheat, yeast and malted rye.

Fine if you’re lactose intolerant, but not suitable for gluten intolerance. Nutritional values of Brewdog Nanny State per 100ml are as follows:

Nutritional InformationPer 100mL
Energy (KJ / KCal)27 / 6
Fat (g)<0.1
Of Which Saturates (g)<0.1
Carbohydrate (g)1.2
Of Which Sugars (g)<0.1
Protein (g)0.1
Salt (g)<0.1

Final Thoughts on Nanny State

Brewdog Nanny State is a polarising beer – a quick search around the web reveals that people either love it or hate it. It’s more complex than a lager but less in your face than an IPA. Its full bodied and rounded character isn’t for everyone but if you want more taste and less alcohol this is a solid choice.

Brewdog Nanny State is best described as a ‘proper’ beer…but with almost no alcohol.

What could be more simple than that?

Brewdog Nanny State Details

Drink Style

A brigade of speciality malts and North American hops sends bitterness to the brink and back

Value For Money
3.8 Overall Rating
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Brewdog Nanny State