Odoul’s is a non-alcoholic beer available as a Premium or Amber non-alcoholic beer. Although it claims to be non-alcoholic, it has an alcohol content of 0.4% ABV (alcohol by volume).
Does O’Douls Have Alcohol?
So does O’Douls have alcohol? The short answer is yes, but it is still classified as a non-alcoholic beer. Non-alcoholic beer laws vary by state, but most follow the federal legislation defining beer with less than 0,5% alcohol as non-alcoholic.
We will look a bit more into the history of Odouls as well as how its low alcohol content can affect you.
History of Non-Alcoholic Beers
Non-alcoholic beers became popular during Prohibition. In 1919 the Volstead Act was approved by Congress, limiting the alcohol content of all beverages to 0.5%. To enable them to stay in business, breweries began brewing beer below 0.5 %. They became known as tonics.
The well-known NA (non-alcoholic) beer Anheuser- Busch’s O’Doul’s was created 30 years ago and is still available and continues to be the top-selling NA beer in America. In 1990 O’Doul’s was marketed throughout the USA with the slogan “The Taste Will Win You O’ver.”
An increased emphasis on living healthy and people’s tastes in beer changing with more and more consumers expressing the desire to decrease alcohol consumption for health reasons has meant that the demand for NA beer is increasing considerably.
In 2016 less than 2% of the total US beer market consisted of non-alcoholic beer. By 2019 retail sales of non-alcoholic beer had risen 23% to $151 million. Projections are that the NA beer market in the USA could exceed $6 billion by 2026.
How is O’Doul’s Beer Made?
O’Doul’s and O’Doul’s Amber are produced using the same brewing process of eight steps that all premium beers undergo. Non-alcoholic beer then have an additional process where the alcohol is removed.
Barley is prepared by soaking in water which allows the grain to germinate and soften the starch molecules converting them to sugars. The sprouts are then dried in a kiln.
The malted, dried grain is ground into a cornmeal consistency that allows the sugars and remaining starches to be quickly released when mixed with water.
When combined with water, the milled malted grain is known as the slurry. Pulverizing the slurry converts the starches to sugars that dissolve in the water.
The mix is heated to 75 deg. C in a mash tun, then filtered to remove the solids. The sugary filtrate is known as the wort.
The wort is sterilized through a boiling process in a kettle that halts enzyme activity and condenses the liquid. Hops are added during the boiling process, lasting between 60-120 minutes.
After boiling, the wort is transferred into a whirlpool for the wort separation stage, during which malt or hop particles are removed, leaving a liquid ready to be cooled and fermented.
Yeast is added to the wort entering the fermentation tank. The yeast converts the sugars to alcohol, carbon dioxide, and flavors to create beer.
The freshly fermented beer is placed in a conditioning tank and allowed to age, during which most of the remaining particles will sink to the bottom of the tank.
Removal of Alcohol
Once maturation is complete, the alcohol is removed through low-pressure, low-temperature distillation. This process allows the alcohol to be removed without overheating or cooking the beer.
When the alcohol has been removed, the beer is filtered, carbonated, and bottled.
The average calorie count in a 12-ounce bottle of regular beer can range from 150 -200 calories, whereas a 12-ounce bottle of O’Doul’s beer contains 60 calories per serving, 0 grams of sugar or fat, and 13.3 grams of carbs.
Barley malt is used to make O’Doul’s; therefore, it is not gluten-free and should be avoided by those people with gluten sensitivity.
Benefits of Drinking O’Doul’s (NA beers)
Having a few regular beers at a bar or restaurant may not feel like it affects you, but if you drove there, you could be over the legal limit making getting home risky unless you have a designated driver.
Choosing a NA beer is safer, and more restaurants are starting to list alcohol-free options on their menus.
Hydrates instead of Dehydrates
While the alcohol in a regular beer can dehydrate you if too much is consumed, the non-alcoholic beer will hydrate you, and you won’t experience a hangover caused by dehydration.
Can you get Drunk on an O’Doul’s beer?
No, you will not get drunk from drinking O’Doul’s beer, as it only has an alcohol content of 0.5% ABV. In addition, your blood alcohol content can’t build up to a level that makes you feel drunk because your body processes the alcohol in a NA beer almost as quickly as you drink it.
A 12-ounce bottle of O’Doul’s contains 0.28 units of alcohol which the average person will process in about 16 minutes, compared to a regular beer with 5% ABV that will take the body approximately three hours to process.
Can you Purchase O’Douls if you are under 21 years old?
The purchase of non-alcoholic beer is illegal for individuals under 21 years old in most states in the USA. However, you are permitted to consume NA beer if younger than 21 years if done under your parent’s supervision.
Would O’Douls show up on a Breathalyzer?
Although O’Doul’s has a low alcohol content, it will still appear in a breathalyzer or other alcohol test.
Can I drink O’Douls if in Recovery?
While, in theory, a non-alcoholic beer allows you to give up alcohol without giving up your favorite habit, firstly, O’Doul’s does contain alcohol even though a low 0.4% ABV and, more importantly, changing habits is a crucial aspect of recovering from addiction.
Giving beer up completely and changing previous habits is key to avoiding relapse for someone who is an addict.