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Eat, Drink and Be Merry II

Christmas is all about staying in, out of the cold, and stuffing your face with treats whilst watching Christmas films. Now that shouldn’t always have to mean all the booze, fat and calories you can imagine. I’m always trying to find snacks that do not sacrifice on taste, even when they are perhaps a little better for you.

Krombacher Alcohol Free

The Krombacher range includes a couple of great alkohol-frei options, but the Weizen beer is by far my favourite. I will confess I am a big fan of a German wheat beer anyway, but the depth of flavour of this bottle really surprised me. It has the characteristic hazy gold colour and thick, tight knit head that you would expect of a German wheat. On the nose there is all the pronounced notes of banana, slight sourness and a lighter yeasty note which I find really appealing.

When you drink it, you are first struck by the full body. This is a lovely weighty beer, without being overpowering. That banana note comes through also, along with a lighter sweet spice character which is balanced with a sweet honey-like flavour. It has a long finish and holds its head all the way down the glass. Refreshing and delicious, I don’t think you’ll miss the alcohol. In fact the first bottle of this I tried I had to quickly double check the bottle to make sure I hadn’t picked up the alcoholic one by mistake!

Krombacher alcohol free Weizen beer

Traditional German Brewing

Krombacher are an experienced brewery to say the least. They have been doing their thing since the turn on the 19th century, so it’s not surprising that they can turn their hand so confidently to alcohol free beer. As you would expect too, what they have created is completely in-keeping with German character and flavour. It has become as at home in my Christmas arsenal as lebkuchen and Nussknackers (I lived in Germany for 18 months when I was little so I have a natural inclination towards German festive culture.)

German christmas tree decoration
I found this little chap in the charity shop for 10p. He reminds me of our Christmas tree when I was little.

Of course, as there is less alcohol, there is also a lower calorie content involved. It may surprise you to know that this beer is actually an isotonic drink. But that only means that it has a similar sugar level to the human body which means it hydrates and is turned into fuel more quickly than other drinks, which is why they help you re-energise after sport. So now you know!

Purely Wild Garlic Plantain Chips

To go with this beer, and the latest Netflix Christmas special, I would heartily recommend Purely Plantain Chips. Specifically the wild garlic flavour to go with the Krombacher alcohol free Weizen. These are a vegan friendly snack that have a good fibre content and 30% less fat than regular potato crisps, so you can consider them fractionally less guilt inducing.

They are made with pure plantain chips, natural spices, salt and kettle cooked with sunflower oil. This gives a delicious savoury snack with enough salty goodness to be the perfect match for beer. Although (as I’m sure you know) there is no real ‘banana’ flavour to plantains, there is still a background sweetness and character to these chips that really complements the Krombacher Weizen beautifully. That kick of wild garlic is also well balanced but just enough to punch through the body of the wheat beer. Devilishly satisfying.

There are just over 2.5 portions in each 75g bag, but they are incredibly more-ish, so I recommend opening them when friends pop round to visit. Save you from yourself. Well, save me from myself really. I’m only human.

I was sent a selection of Krombacher products and a selection of Purely products separately for the purposes of review. As ever my words here are an honest reflection of my experience of trying the products for myself.


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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