Food & Drink

The Best Non-Alcoholic Beers, Wines, and Cocktails for Adventurers

Posted by
Emily Pennington
August 31, 2023
Updated September 27, 2023

non-alcoholic beverages
Photo: Emily Pennington

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We get it: sometimes winding down on a camping trip with a nice cold something is way more exciting than sipping lukewarm water from your Nalgene.

But what if you’ve got a big-mile hike the following morning? Or you’d rather rehydrate after your day of climbing than strangle your liver? Well, great news! Non-alcoholic beers, wines, and mocktails have come a long way in recent years, with craft breweries and mixology stations popping up across the globe to churn out just-like-the-real-thing bevvies for adventurers of all stripes.

Plus, the science is showing that non-alcoholic brews are effective as recovery drinks for athletes, thanks to plant-derived compounds called phenols, which help lower inflammation.

We did a comprehensive search for the best non-alcoholic wines, beers, and craft cocktails on the market today, pitting them against each other in a Thunderdome-style face-off to bring you the best of the best. Here are our favorite non-alcoholic drinks to bring on your next adventure or camping trip.

Pair with one of our hand-picked one-pot recipes and you’ll be in hiker heaven.

The Best Non-Alcoholic Beers

Athletic Brewing – Free Wave Hazy IPA

Photo: Emily Pennington

Athletic Brewing Company has made a big splash in the n/a beer scene in the last few years, releasing a flurry of bespoke craft beers from their non-alcoholic-only brewery in Stanford, Connecticut.

Though the company also offers a “Run Wild” IPA that’s delicious, the brand’s Free Wave Hazy IPA managed to transcend the competition. It’s a true IPA lover’s beer. It’s crisp, refreshing, and bitter in the best possible way.

Brooklyn Brewery – Special Effects Hoppy Amber

Another amazing find that’ll fool even the most erudite beer snob into thinking it’s the real thing is Brooklyn Brewery’s Special Effects Hoppy Amber.

Don’t be fooled by the name — this tasty can is more bready and malt-forward than hoppier beers like IPAs. The secret to getting that flavor just right? This brewery uses an expert-concocted method of slow-fermenting the ingredients, so that a full-bodied beer flavor emerges, sans alcohol.

Lagunitas IPNA

This name-brand brew house has jumped aboard the non-alcoholic train, and Lagunitas’ IPNA (get it?) has quickly become a fan favorite. It manages to maintain the dry-hopped flavor of the company’s best-selling India Pale Ale, without that pesky, hangover-inducing alcohol.

Plus, because of their wide distribution model, it’s easier to come by than some of our smaller-brand picks on this list.

Athletic Brewing – Wit’s Peak Witbeer

Fans of Belgian beers, rejoice. This one’s for you. Like nearly all of their carefully-constructed recipes, Wit’s Peak Witbeer is a high-quality n/a beer that perfectly mimics your favorite hefeweizen from across the pond.

It’s got the perfect balance of light citrus and that oh-so-craveable bubblegum flavor, paired with coriander and the right hint of malt.

Weihenstephaner Non-Alcoholic Hefeweizen

Unlike most of the beers on this list, which halt the fermentation process prematurely to hinder alcohol production, Weihenstephaner actually goes through the complicated process of removing the alcohol from their fully-formed wheat beer, using a technique called falling film evaporation.

The result? A tasty, perfectly-spiced German brew that’ll knock your socks off.

Athletic Brewing – Upside Dawn Golden Ale

Though the IPAs were the most similar to the real deal when we tested them for this list, one lighter beer truly stood out for drinkers who prefer fewer hops in their beverage: Athletic Brewing’s Upside Dawn Golden Ale.

It’s clean-drinking, refreshing, and just a tad citrusy. Serve cold and pair with a side of backcountry rafting on a warm day.

Beck’s Non-Alcoholic

Another crisp, light, name-brand brew that we loved was Beck’s Non-Alcoholic, which I fell in love with aboard a cruise ship of all places (sometimes, downing three old fashioneds before a sweaty excursion day is not the best move).

It was the first non-alcoholic beer I ever tried after a lifetime of revering craft breweries, and I was amazed at how easy-drinking and true-to-its-predecessor this one tasted.

Brooklyn Brewery – Special Effects IPA

Love hops? Great news: Brooklyn Brewery’s Special Effects IPA is a full-bodied, excellently-crafted non-alcoholic India pale ale that’s full of complex flavors, all under 100 calories.

This one’s a bit fruitier and maltier than our other top IPA pick, but don’t worry, it’ll still provide you with that bitter, hoppy sensation you crave.

The Best Non-Alcoholic Wines

Thompson & Scott – Noughty Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Chardonnay

The best non-alcoholic wines we tried for this piece were those that had been dealcoholized, rather than created using a thrown-together list of ingredients (sorry, Proxies).

Thompson & Scott’s Noughty series of non-alcoholic wines were all top-notch, and we especially loved this crisp, low-sugar sparkling chardonnay paired with a fish or pasta entrée at mealtime.

non-alcoholic beverages
Photo: Emily Pennington

Studio Null – Solo Garnacha

As a former dark wine enthusiast, I found it troubling how few good non-alcoholic reds there were in stores today.

This single-varietal Grenache wine wasn’t quite as full-bodied as its alcoholic cousins, but, unlike many reds we tried, it has blissfully balanced tannins and doesn’t feel like sipping spiced grape juice.

Thompson & Scott – Noughty Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Rosé

Another excellent find from the Noughty n/a umbrella, this vegan sparkling rosé offers crisp, easy-drinking dealcoholized wine vibes, ideal to toss into an ice-filled cooler for a picnic or car camping trip.

Enjoy the sweet, yet slightly bitter pucker of a properly-blended rosé without the odd, grapey aftertaste of so many non-alcoholic wines.

Studio Null – Prickly Red

Yes, their wines are pricey, but Studio Null is one of the few companies out there that knows how to create a great-tasting non-alcoholic red wine.

Their more spice-forward Prickly Red bottle is made with organically-grown Tempranillo and Syrah grapes, just like the real thing.

The Best Non-Alcoholic Cocktails

Ghia Non-Alcoholic Apértif

Photo: Emily Pennington

For fans of cocktails with extra bitters (we’re looking at you, Negroni lovers), Ghia has taken the market by storm with its just-right Non-Alcoholic Apértif, which can be mixed with any of your favorite bubbly beverage, like sparkling water, juice, or kombucha, for a complex, herbaceous drink that mimics a Euro-style sundowner.

Pentire Adrift

When The Wirecutter says that something is a best-in-class cocktail alternative, we listen, and Pentire’s epic trio of low-calorie, plant-based mocktail mixers is truly outstanding.

If we had to pick a favorite, however, we’d go with their classic Adrift bottle, paired with a tiny can of Fever-Tree Tonic. Together, it’s a dead-ringer for a refreshing G&T.

Curious Elixir No. 3

Not all of Curious Elixir’s mixology-style mocktail bottles are created equal, but their No. 3 blend hits just right after a long day in the mountains.


It’s a crisp combo of lemon, cucumber, and alpine herbs, plus a dash of ashwagandha to help mellow you out before bedtime.

Rasāsvāda – Rose Bergamot

Photo: Emily Pennington

Rasāsvāda is a purveyor of gorgeously-designed bottles containing some sincerely well-made elixirs. Touting itself as a “spirit restorative” company, the brand prides itself on including ingredients rooted in ancient herbalism and Eastern medicine.

I tried the Black Ginger and Ruby Artemesia varietals, but the Rose Bergamot was my absolute fave­. Full of bittersweet grapefruit, yuzu peel, and Moroccan pink rose petal flavors, it was delicious.

Recess Zero-Proof Lime Margarita

Top sparkling brand Recess recently launched a gaggle of canned mocktails that are easy to toss into a cooler or cup holder on a road trip into the wilderness.

To be honest, all four flavors were a big hit (check out the Ginger Lime Mule for an extra kick), but we feel the Zero-Proof Lime Margarita is the ideal companion on a summertime adventure, perfectly tart and sweet.

Ghia Non-Alcoholic Ginger Le Spritz

If you’re on-the-go or don’t want to pack in a glass bottle and a mixer on your adventure, Ghia also offers a selection of pre-mixed canned mocktails that feature the same delightful bitter, herbal bliss of the original aperitif mix.

All of them are tasty, but the Ginger Le Spritz offers a little extra punch that’s ultra-satisfying.

Seedlip Garden 108

Seedlip offers several light, refreshing, well-blended herbal spirits that can easily be blended with your favorite sparkling water or tonic for a bubbly, refreshing post-hike drink.

It might sound strange at first glance, but Garden 108 — a mix of pea, thyme, and rosemary flavors — was my favorite of the bunch. The brand recommends swirling 2 ounces of this one with tonic water or citrus seltzer.

Other Non-Alcoholic Recommendations

Bravus Focus Functional Sparkling Water

Hop water is all the rage in non-alcoholic circles these days, and Bravus’ gluten-free mix of Amarillo and Citra hops, lemon, and ginger truly takes their product to the next level.

It’s also got a secret, bespoke blend of adaptogens and nootropics to help you focus, so this can is one you can sip happily when you’re at your desk, planning the next getaway.

Buchi Kombucha – Fire

Brewed with spicy cayenne pepper and ginger juice, Buchi’s elemental Fire flavor provides the perfect invigorating kick when served icy-cold or poured on the rocks.

It’s raw, unpasteurized, and full of gut-friendly probiotics to help kickstart your digestion after all those dehydrated backpacking meals.

Hoplark – Citra Hop Water

Hoplark likes to add a lot of modifiers to its Citra Hop Water: vegan, gluten-free, zero-sugar, organic — but at the end of the day, it’s a crisp blend of Citra hops and sparkling water that stands a cut above the rest.

The best part? It’s zero calories, so you can sip guilt-free.

Rowdy Mermaid Kombucha – Roaring Pineapple

All of Boulder-based Rowdy Mermaid’s kombuchas are PDT (that’s Pretty Darn Tasty in layman’s terms), but we’re big fans of their adaptogen-centered sparkling tonics, like this Roaring Pineapple flavor, which boasts fruity pineapple, anti-inflammatory turmeric, and cognition-boosting lion’s mane mushroom.

Factor in the digestion aiding live cultures, and it’s a match made in mountain heaven.

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