- Looks great when poured
- Good texture
- Tastes bland
- Packaging looks cheap
Some things in life are just a little disappointing.
The last time I had a San Miguel it was a huge disappointment. The first time I recall having a San Miguel ever was in Spain, in a bar, in the heat, and an ice cold brown bottle of malted brew was exactly what I needed. The time after that I was in the UK and had bought some cans of San Miguel from the supermarket, hoping to emulate my Spanish experience. What greeted me when I cracked open the can was a metallic gassy beer that I didn’t even finish.
The point here is that all beers are not created equal – even when we think they are, they may well not be. People have long since argued that Guinness in Dublin tastes different to Guinness elsewhere because it “doesn’t travel well”. Maybe they’re on to something. My own experience would suggest that the San Miguel brewed in Spain is far superior to its doppelgänger brewed on license in the UK.
San Miguel 0.0 is a straight up zero alcohol beer – touted as a pilsner style lager. It was launched in Spain way back in 2001 where it has long since been a hugely popular alcohol free beer. San Miguel 0.0 was launched in the UK by its parent company Carlsberg in 2015 as their answer to the growing alcohol free trend.
So as we review this beer what should we have in mind as a point of reference? Should we try and compare it to its fully loaded namesake brewed in Spain? Should we compare it to its namesake brewed on license in the UK? Or should we simply do the sensible thing and see how it stands on its own as an alcohol free alternative? I’ll drink to that.
San Miguel 0.0 Initial Review
First up let’s discuss the packaging. It’s not great, in fact I would argue that it looks cheap. The blue and gold colour scheme just doesn’t look that good, and seeing these packs alongside the huge array of alcohol free beers in a supermarket there’s little to entice a buyer other than the price point. However, out of the bottle this beer looks great. Rich deep amber colour, pours just like a fully loaded beer, thick frothy head. Looks really great.
This beer also has excellent mouthfeel. The texture is almost perfect – slightly rich, viscous, the bubbles roll over the tongue and the beer just feels substantial. But, overall this beer is disappointing. The aroma is sweet and slightly metallic, whilst the taste is entirely underwhelming. The first taste is sweet and slightly malty, vaguely pilsner like and slightly metallic.
The whole taste experience is slight, vague and half finished. The best alcohol free beers taste like alcohol was never even a thing. Other alcohol free brews taste like a beer with the alcohol removed. This tastes like a beer that was bottled before the alcohol was created. Like they just half finished a beer and labelled it as alcohol free.
Where Can I Buy San Miguel 0.0?
When looking around for alcohol free beers to try I found San Miguel 0.0 in every supermarket I went to. Picking up a pack of 4 x 330ml bottles at Tesco for only £3.50 seemed like an absolute bargain at the time. Here’s a small selection of other suppliers of San Miguel 0.0:
San Miguel 0.0 Ingredients, Nutritional Information and Calories
This straightforward beer has a straightforward ingredients list of water, barley malt, hops and flavourings. Not entirely sure what the “flavourings” are though – seems a little vague. Like most (but not all) beers this brew is lactose free, but does contain gluten. Nutritional values per 100ml are as follows:
|Nutritional Information||Per 100mL|
|Energy (KJ / KCal)||102 / 24|
|Of Which Saturates (g)||0|
|Of Which Sugars (g)||2.7|
Don’t get me wrong here, this isn’t a bad alcohol free beer. It’s just not a particularly good one. When it was launched in Spain in 2001 it clearly swallowed a huge market share due to limited consumer choice. However in today’s ever expanding alcohol free beer market there are so many better choices. Packaging aside the beer itself looks great and feels great, but on taste it falls short.