German made beer, 0.4% alcohol, only $1.75 a bottle
I don't always buy local, not when there is something better to be had.
Sure, all other things being equal I will buy local, especially if there is a lot of transport involved, but when it comes to beer or wine I will shop around, internationally.
After a big day on our bank in Vauxhall, Dunedin, I look forward to a beer, but mostly I do not need the alcohol hit. Not at that time of the day when I still have a dinner to cook and/or a kitchen to clean up.
In the past, when drinking low-alcohol beers (<0.5% alcohol) I missed the mouth feel that alcohol creates, and I never found a flavor that I liked.
Up till now I have not found a beer that combines no alcohol with a great taste.
A friend visited some months back and wouldn't drink the Emerson's beer I had bought in for him and he kindly left me a couple of his 'non-alcoholic' beers. A couple of months later I tried one and I was hooked.
Clausthaler Original is the most popular 'alcohol-free' brand of beer in Europe. It won "World's Best Alcohol-Free Beer" award in the 2013 and the 2015 World Beer Awards. Brewed and bottled in Germany. Contains no more than 0.5% alcohol, about the same as the Kombucha we also drink at home.
To give Clausthaler its real Pilsner taste, they add the hops at an advanced stage of the brewing process. This allows for the characteristic aroma of Clausthaler to be released. The resulting taste is full enough to compete with a regular Pilsner.
Most non-alcohol beer is made from full-strength beer with the alcohol removed as a final process. Clausthaler is not made like this. The normal brewing process is stopped at 0.4% alcohol and that's it. The mechanical process of removing alcohol seems to remove most of the flavour along with the alcohol. They say that this is the secret of the Clausthaler taste.
Clausthaler also make a Nonfiltered and a Dry Hopped non-alcoholic beer although I have not seen any yet in New Zealand. If anyone knows of its whereabouts, please let me know.
Keep asking great questions ...