No and low-alcohol Somerset drinks

Gone are the days when opting for a low or no-alcohol drink meant sticking to the same old fizzy drinks. There’s only so much orange juice a person can drink, and how exciting is your fourth glass of lime and soda? An alcohol-free revolution is underway across the country, with more and more people choosing to cut out, or cut down on the booze. If you’re giving Dry January a go, or are looking for some alcohol-free tipples, here are some of the best palate-pleasing no and low-alcohol Somerset drinks being produced in the county.

Heroes of zero

Non-alcoholic aperitifs, The Drinks Kitchen

Alli Briaris is the producer and owner of non-alcoholic drinks brand, Drinks Kitchen, which she launched in 2021, thanks to the help and facilities available at Food WorksSW in Weston-super-Mare. When she gave up alcohol, she wanted something that was more complex than your average soft drink, and has created a range of award-winning non-alcoholic aperitifs.

They’re basically a concentrate made from botanical distillates and extracts that vary from fresh-tasting to sweet, bitter and spicy. Alli says: ‘when I’m drinking these, I don’t feel like I’m missing out. My goal is to give people a really good alternative that feels like a treat. Drinking alcohol can easily become a habit and that’s something I experienced firsthand. It’s time to make sober cool’.

Tomorrow, Wiper and True

Tomorrow, the world is your oyster; that’s the thinking behind Bristol brewery Wiper and True’s first low-alcohol lager, Tomorrow, which they released in December 2022. The 0.5% lager is brewed in the German Helles style and has a ‘complex flavour profile of bread crust, and gentle herbal notes from traditional German hops’. After extensive taste tests and research panels, they found that dealcoholising the beer using some fancy kit produced the best-tasting beverage. 

Order cans online or try it on draught in their brewery taproom in Old Market, or their cosy Barrel Store in St Werburghs. Cans and pints are also available at selected stockists across Bristol.

Wiper and True Tomorrow
Photo by Adam Gasson

Somerset Shrubs, Somerset Cider Brandy Company

Somerset Cider Brandy Company are traditional cider makers and distillers, based in South Somerset, at the foot of the extraordinarily picturesque Burrow Hill. Renowned for their famous Somerset Cider Bus (a staple of Glastonbury Festival for the last 30 years) and weekly summertime shindigs, they are the only place in the U.K with a licence to make cider brandy. 

No strangers to concocting drinkable offerings from their 180-acres of orchards, their Shrubs No.2 is described as a delicious, non-alcoholic ‘health elixir’. Made from Somerset cider vinegar, bittersweet apple juice and fresh-pressed raspberries, it makes a great base for cocktails instead of a spirit – mix with ginger ale or similar – or add to dressings.

Somerset Cider Brandy Shrubs
Somerset Cider Brandy Shrubs
Somerset Cider Brandy, Burrow Hill
View from Burrow Hill

Thatchers Zero, Thatchers

Fourth generation family cider makers, Thatchers, make some of the top-selling ciders in the South West at their Somerset farm. Their alcohol-free apple cider, Thatchers Zero ABV 0.0%, is following suit and was named Best No and Low Cider in the UK in 2020 by industry magazine, Imbibe.

You might be forgiven for thinking, ‘isn’t zero-alcohol cider just apple juice?’ The answer is no! Crafted using a selection of bittersweet, traditional and modern apple varieties, Thatchers Zero achieves that tricky thing of retaining the taste and character of a cider, without the booze. 

Hedgerow Rosehip Cordial, The Newt

The Newt in Somerset is a country estate with magnificent woodland and immaculate gardens that are open to members to explore. Onsite eateries serve vegetable-led food foraged from the gardens, and their farm shop is one of the swishest in the biz. Only members will be able to physically browse the produce, but non-visitors can shop it online.

The Newt’s own cordials are designed and made in the UK to a recipe by Head of Food, Alan Stewart, Alan takes inspiration from the bounties of the estate’s orchards and hedgerows, and are perfect when diluted with sparkling water, or as a base to a fruity mocktail recipe.

The Newt cordial somerset
The Newt cordial

Lowtide Brewing Co

Back in 2019, after struggling to find any shops where they could get all of the alcohol-free beers they wanted, Rob and Dave set up a site sourcing AF beers from around the world. It wasn’t long before this idea evolved into a desire to bring their own, true craft beer to the world of the alcohol-free and thus, Lowtide Brewing Co (based in Bath) was born. 

Funky names and stellar artwork emblazon their cans, ready to liven up any fridge. Think inter-dimensional cosmic turtles (yes, you read that right) and wind turbine-headed giraffes accompanying equally snazzy flavours. Sure to tantalise taste buds, pineapple and lemongrass pale ale, chocolate and honeycomb pastry stout, New England IPA and traditional Belgian abbey beer.

Maiden Mill

The world’s only dedicated alcohol-free cider brand, promises ‘no ciderfects’, geddit? Based in Evercreech, near Shepton Mallet, Maiden Mill was set up by three friends who wanted to make a drink that tasted as close to its alcoholic alternative as possible. Using traditional cider pressing methods, they blend a mix of ingredients to create two low-alcohol 0.5% ABV ciders, keeping the tannins, flavour and ‘mouthfeel’ of original cider.

From apple tree to warehouse, the whole process takes place inside a 25-mile radius. ‘Flyer’, their medium dry, cloudy sparkling cider, and ‘Voyage’ – a medium golden sparkling cider (named in homage to maiden flights by aviation pioneers and trailblazing maiden voyages respectively) form Maiden Mill’s core range, with specials to be produced throughout the year. 

Maiden Mill Cider
Photo by Maiden Mill

Liked this post on low-alcohol Somerset drinks? You might want to read:

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