What attracts you to pick up and purchase a certain beer or cider? With no prior knowledge and without the opportunity for tasting, you are restricted to simply what it looks like; The name, the quality of the container and label, the brand colours, and the label design itself.

Quite possibly one of the most outdated phrases is “Never judge a book by its cover”. Yet the cover alludes to and illustrates the potential of what is inside. The title, typeface, colours and imagery all connote the style and narrative of the contents.

Diverse, imaginative and stylish designs have been a key feature in the craft ale boom of recent years.

Ultimately, from a consumer’s perspective, it is an extremely enjoyable part of selecting a beer to drink; the familiar process encompassing the comfort factor. Browsing the aisles, shelves and screens of shops and stores.

When a brewery takes this much effort in designing their alcohol free ranges you know they mean business. Slapping a 0% ABV version onto of existing branding is lazy, and often shows. This would be fine if the 0% versions tasted like the regular strength brews, but they don’t. Not by a long shot. It is both misleading and disappointing. If they haven’t made an effort with the branding, they likely haven’t made an effort inside the can or bottle either.

Prime examples of those flying the flag here are Mikkeller, Big Drop and And Union. The Small Beer Brew Co have sourced some outstanding bottles earning big bonus points. You can simply tell that they care about what is inside.

The taste is still a mystery, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t leave a few clues.