Doom Bar is one of the most popular mass-produced craft ales in the world, but will their venture into the alcohol-free arena be doomed to fail?
In a word: no. It's a relatively new release - hitting the shelves in August 2020 - but it brings something different to the table.
Where a lot of alcohol-free ales rely on using strong flavours to make them work, Doom Bar Zero relies heavily on the malt, creating a Horlick's-style taste that if you're a fan of all things malty, you will love.
The aromas heed the first signs of malt and are an indication of just how malty the brew is going to be. It pours a lovely amber colour and the carbonation makes for a thick, but small, caramel-coloured head.
The flavour is at first a little metallic, but then the malt kicks in in a big way that takes that flavour away. Along with the malt comes more subtle, fruity flavours like raisin and currant that work alongside each other in the same was as traditional bitters.
The aftertaste is, bizarrely, exactly like you've necked a mug of cold Horlicks. Which sounds awful, but in actual fact is delicious.
First of all, i'm a big fan of a 500ml bottle. Something with heft, that you can get a good couple of pours from. The label is clever in mimicking the full-strength Doom Bar, but almost in reverse, with the silver colour making up the background and the lettering dark blue.
The addition of the orange 'zero' is a nice touch and marks it out clearly as an alcohol-free beer, along with the neck wrap which has 0.0% on it - just in case you missed it.
We got ours from Morrisons where it was just £1.30 a bottle which is an absolute steal for a 500ml beer, even an alcohol-free one.
It's tough to buy in single bottles online as even on the Sharp's site you need to buy them in packs, but you can get one in most supermarket beer aisles.