Sam’s Brown Ale Non Alcoholic Beer Review

What type of beer is Sam’s?

Sam’s “Brown Ale” is, um, a brown ale.

A brown ale is a top fermenting, light hopped, gentle, malty beer. They have been around from the end of the 17th Century in London.

Is Sam’s Brown Ale really alcohol free?

This bottle has “alcohol free” written on it but according to the actual UK laws, a drink has to have an ABV of <0.05% to be called alcohol free. Sam’s, with an ABV of 0.4% would be better called “non alcoholic”

I think they are able to do this via EU law which allows all beer under 0.5% to call themselves alcohol free.

With the confusing labelling, you really need to be careful and find the actual ABV if you want to know how much alcohol is in a beer.

In reality, for most people, the very slight difference in alcohol makes no difference.

You can read my entire article on how to tell how much alcohol is in a non alcoholic beer here.

The Ingredients

Brown ales are usually quite traditional so i would not expect too many fancy ingredients.

Sam’s Brown Ale includes…

  • Water
  • Malted barley
  • Hops
  • Yeast

That is what i love to see, just the 4 basic ingredients. If you cant make a regular beer with these there is something wrong.

The Nutrition

A darker beer would often have slightly more carbs and sugar than a pale lager. They can carry off the sweetness with bigger flavours to contrast against.

Values per 100ml or 100g
Calories 21kcal
Sam’s Brown Ale Nutrition Stats

Those stats are pretty average, which is a good thing here. There was the scope for a much higher calorie count and sugar levels.

The Look

The bottle label is a throwback to an advertising poster used by the brewery in the 1950s. I think it is a nice touch

The beer itself is a very dark brown, almost porter black. I didn’t get much head when I poured

The Aroma

Massive malt on the nose, dark bitter chocolate and you can take yourself into roasted coffee is suppose. There is no doubting this is a brown ale tho.

The Taste

It is exactly as you would expect from the smell. There is a big, big malt flavour in your mouth that gives way to a sort of burnt caramel with a nice even finish and long lingering taste

There isn’t really any hops to speak off here and im sure the IBU will be low.

It probably has just about the right carbonation for an ale but there is a reasonable amount of tight bubbles.

The one big or moderate negative is the sweetness. A nice malty ale can carry off a lot of sweetness but despite the carbs and sugar not really being excessive, somehow it does taste too sweet to me.

If you closed your eyes and someone gave you a big drink and told you it was cola, you might not call them a liar.

There is absolutely no shortage of body or mouthfeel which is also good.

The Verdict

I’m undecided. There are big flavours and big body but I just can’t tie it in with the sweet taste

The Score

6.5/10 There is a good beer in there I think. Someone else may love it but just not quite right

Find out where this beer ranks compared to all the beers i have reviewed on my updated “Best Non Alcoholic Beers” page

Where to buy?

You can try these at Wise Bartender as well, a brilliant non alcoholic retailer

For UK readers, Light Drinks has this and others, if you use code OPENINGTHEBOTTLE you get an additional 5% off

You can buy this at Sober Sauce and get 5% off with code OPENINGTHEBOTTLE

*Affiliate Disclosure – if you click on the links and buy from these providers, i might receive a small commission*

Is Sam’s Brown Ale gluten free? 

Sam’s Brown Ale is not gluten free

I have an entire article on non alcoholic beers and gluten if you want more information.

Is Sam’s Brown Ale vegan?

Sam’s is indeed vegan friendly as confirmed but the company

For more on vegan beers see my article on the matter. Why beers may or may not be and how to check.

Review Overview

There is a good beer in there I think. Someone else may love it but just not quite right


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