Meet Matthijs, the next person of interest in our Real People & Their Inbeertweener blog series. Discover below exactly why he started a r/s with non-alcoholic beer (don’t worry, his girlfriend approves), and the benefits he’s discovered since.
Can you tell us a little bit about you?
My name is my Matthijs – and, as you may have guessed from the name, I have Dutch heritage and hail from The Netherlands. I’m a Gas Turbine Engineer by trade, and after traveling the globe for my job, I finally settled in Australia for work and now reside with my girlfriend in Sydney.
When did you first fall in love with beer, and why are you into it?
It took a while before I really started liking beer…for me it was definitely more of an acquired taste. It’s pretty acceptable in The Netherlands to enjoy a beer socially from your younger teenage years, but I didn’t love beer until I graduated high school when I was 18. After that, and going to uni abroad, I got more into specialist beers and flavours from around the world.
Where did the attraction to non-alcoholic beer begin, and why make this transition?
About three years ago I tried a non-alcoholic beer, and it tasted way better than I expected. Before that, I had kind of heard alcohol-free beers weren’t that special and the range available wasn’t where it is now.
Although I’m in my early thirties, I have definitely found as I’m getting older, I just can’t handle “the aftermath” from a “normal beer” the next day anymore. I started switching every second standard alcoholic beer with a non-alcoholic beer when I’m out drinking, so I could pace myself more and not feel extremely hungover the next day. It made a huge difference to me both during the night, not feeling as hazy or dehydrated, and the next day too.
What do you feel are the biggest benefits of drinking non-alcoholic beer for you?
I like that the taste is similar to “normal beer”, but it doesn’t add to your “drunkenness”. This is important to me because Mon-Fri I start work quite early, and, on the weekend, I usually train at the gym or play hockey with my club – (did I mention I’m Dutch? Haha!).
What do you look for in a beer/what’s your idea of a perfect beer?
My favourite beers are either blonde Belgium beers, or German white beers. I like unfiltered flavours, and a more full-bodied taste that is slightly sweet, and has a slight bitter aftertaste. It’s important it doesn’t have a lot of additives and I also like that non-alcoholic beer is quite healthy compared to alcoholic beer.
And…what do you look for in a non-alcoholic beer?
That it tastes the same as the “real thing”. You can really tell the older style alcoholic-free beers are/were way sweeter and for me, much less “drinkable” on a regular basis. The more recent brewing style means they are much tastier!
Is non-alcoholic beer a full-time choice, or a more flexible, “sometimes” option for you (and why)?
It’s flexible for me – I still really like alcoholic beer, but there are lots of occasions or reasons why I need to substitute with non-alcoholic. It might be when I drive to a party or event, or for performance reasons when I have sport commitments.
Where does alcohol-free beer come in most handy for your lifestyle?
I drink non-alcoholic beer during dry July, and I also like alcohol-free beer as an alternative to drinking water in-between standard alcoholic beers. I’m not a huge fan of fizzy drinks as they are too sweet to drink consistently all night. Sometimes it’s just nice to have a beer in your hand, even when you don’t want to “drink”.
Have you found anyone else in your immediate circle has taken an interest in alcohol free beer too?
Yeah, a lot of people around me actually – all different age groups and backgrounds too. I think it’s quite common to drink non-alcoholic beer in my industry at business conferences, or to celebrate during or after a match when we need to drive home. Actually, driving is a big one too, as our friends are spread across Sydney, and sometimes it’s just easier to drive than rely on transport or spend big on an Uber.
Finally, if you could enjoy a non-alcoholic cold one anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
It would be in the sun at the Amsterdam canals with family; because of COVID, I haven’t been able to see them in a while, so this is the dream!
To read more Real People & Their Inbeertweener stories, click here, or learn more about the Beneficial Beer Co. here!