In the past few years, the popularity of non-alcoholic and alcohol-free beers has increased significantly. According to a Statista report, the non-alcoholic beer market was globally valued at around $18 billion in 2020. This value is expected to increase to $25 billion by 2024. Non-alcoholic beer is any beer that has been labeled containing 0.5% or less alcohol by volume (ABV). Not only does it taste great, but it also contains fewer calories, which is beneficial for many reasons. It is also great for those looking to cut down their consumption of alcohol. It is evident from this that there are many benefits of drinking non-alcoholic beer; however, the question that plagues many people is – can non-alcoholic beer get you drunk?
In this article, we will try to answer this question for you and explain how non-alcoholic beers compare to their alcoholic counterparts. Let us dive right into it.
How is Non-Alcoholic Beer Made?
Most of the non-alcoholic beers are made using the basic four ingredients –
While making these beers, the alcohol is either produced in very small amounts or removed through one of several ways. Most brewers make non-alcoholic beers by using a special strain of yeast or dealcoholizing the brew with heat. Dealcoholizing a brew with heat essentially means boiling a liquid to remove the alcohol, as alcohol tends to have a lower boiling point as compared to water. However, this method often affects the body and flavor of the beer.
This problem can be remedied by heating the brew using a vacuum process. In the vacuum distillation process, the boiling point of the alcohol is reduced even further. This means that the liquid would be subjected to a lesser amount of heat, and the flavor of the beer will be retained.
In other cases, brewers use special yeast strains that help in reducing the production of alcohol in the brewing process. Special kinds of yeast have been developed in recent decades that stop the process of fermentation once the mixture reaches 0.5% ABV.
What is meant by being drunk?
When the alcohol starts taking effect, you will be able to experience it as you start feeling tipsy. When you start getting drunk, you would most likely feel more relaxed, chatty, confident, with a greater feeling of well-being. The blood alcohol level during the initial stages of getting drunk remains at around 0.03 to 0.12 percent. After this point, when you start consuming more alcohol, you will enter the stage of getting drunk. During this stage, you can become unstable, easily saddened, or excited. You might also make bad decisions. The general feeling most people describe is feeling drowsy or tired. The blood alcohol level at this stage remains at 0.09 to 0.25 percent. When you drink any non-alcoholic beer, it is impossible to bring your blood alcohol level to 0.04 percent.
How fast is alcohol metabolized by the body?
The average rate at which alcohol is metabolized in the body is one standard alcoholic drink (containing 0.6 fluid ounces alcohol) per hour. The metabolism rate of alcohol is often dependent on various factors like weight, gender, and age. When anyone consumes alcohol, it goes through the person’s bloodstream and is then circulated through the body, including the liver and the brain.
A standard serving of alcohol is metabolized at 0.6 fl oz/hour, which is equal to around 0.01 fluid ounces per minute. This means that an entire can of non-alcoholic beer containing 0.06 fluid ounces of alcohol would be metabolized in around 6 mins.
Can You Get Drunk on Non-Alcoholic Beer?
Given the above calculations, it is near impossible to get to a drunken stage on non-alcoholic beer. Even if you drink 20 cans of non-alcoholic beers (containing 0.5% alcohol), it would not be possible to feel drunk with non-alcoholic beer. A study was conducted in Germany in 2012 to test this out. This research was performed on 78 individuals who were required to abstain from drinking alcohol for five consecutive days. Thereafter, they were asked to drink 1.5 liters of non-alcoholic beer in an hour. When the blood alcohol level of these participants was measured, the maximum recorded value was found to be 0.0056 percent. This is significantly lower than the drunk driving limit of many countries, which is –
- 0.05% in Australia
- 0.08% in China
- 0.05% in France
- 0.03% in India
- 0.08% in the UK
How many Non-Alcoholic Beers Equals to One Beer?
To provide a definitive answer to the question – can non-alcoholic beer get you drunk? – we will do a simple calculation. We will find out the number of non-alcoholic beers that will be equal to one regular beer. For this, the thing we have to do is find out what is meant by a standard serving of alcohol. According to the CDC and the NIAAA, one standard serving of alcohol is equal to 12 fl oz of beer, which has an alcohol by volume of 5%. This would be roughly 0.6 oz of alcohol. Taking this information into account, one regular beer would be equal to around ten non-alcoholic beers.
Amount of regular beers that would get you drunk
The CDC says that an average man (weighing 160 pounds) would need to drink 2.4 oz of alcohol or four beers to get drunk. It is only after crossing this threshold that you would exceed blood alcohol level of 0.08, which is the drunk driving limit in most states in the United States.
Amount of non-alcoholic beers that would get you drunk
According to our calculations, ten standard servings of non-alcoholic beer are equal to one regular beer. This means that one would have to drink around 40 cans of non-alcoholic beers to consume the amount of alcohol it takes to get drunk. Even this would be almost impossible, as the body tends to process alcohol quicker when you drink non-alcoholic beer. Thus, the blood alcohol content cannot build up to a level that will make you feel drunk.
Based on these calculations, it can be safely assumed that it is impossible to get drunk from non-alcoholic beer. With this, we have hopefully given a satisfactory answer to the question – can non-alcoholic beer get you drunk? So you can go ahead and enjoy any of the non-alcoholic beers available on the Better Rhodes marketplace without worrying about the risk of getting drunk.