Beer Without Hops

If you’re not keen on the bitter taste beer produces with hops and want to know which hop-free beers are available on the market, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve scoured the globe and found many refreshing beers that taste just as good, if not better, without this beer ingredient, so get ready for an exciting twist to your conventional beer experience.

Hop free beer

For People Who Don’t Like Hops

Beer without hops is still technically beer, and many brewing companies produce fantastic hop-free beers for those who are allergic to hops or prefer less bitterness in their drink. 

As a whole, almost all beer is brewed with hops except for Sour beers. The bacteria used to make Sour beer HATE hops, as hops were originally used to ward off bacterial infection in beer.

People started using hops to keep beer from spoiling on long voyages across the sea in order to prevent it from turning sour – or even worse, infected and making you sick. This gave birth to the India Pale ale and taught us that hops let beer “keep” for long periods of time.

Although hops are an important ingredient in the traditional beer flavor one associates with drinking it, it is possible to replace it with other ingredients, like herbs, flowers, and spices such as cilantro, coriander, and even yarrow. 

The use of herbs and spices in the brewing process can be traced back as far as the medieval times when gruit beer was widely consumed before hops were introduced.

Nowadays, a hopless beer is hard to come by in grocery stores and the majority of breweries, but some modern brewers in mainland USA and Europe are revisiting these ancient brewing methods, creating otherworldly beers that offer complex, intriguing flavor profiles. 

Beer with no hops

Best hopless beers

Let’s take a look at some of the best hop-free beers on the market. 

Westvleteren 12

Considered the Holy Grail of Beer, the Westvleteren 12 is by far the most exclusive and rated amongst beer connoisseurs for its sultry flavors of caramel, nuts, and dark fruits. The Trappist Quadrupel Belgian Ale is ranked 1st on BeerAdvocate with a score of 100 and can only be bought at the monastery Saint-Sixtus Abbey in Westvleteren, Belgium, by appointment or at the bar across the road.

It’s unlike any other beer in the world and recognisable for its clean no-label bottle and yellow cap. 

As said by Sam Keene, Brewmaster at The Cooper Union, “The beer is known for its deep and complex flavor profile, which includes notes of dark fruits, caramel, toffee, and a subtle spiciness. It has a balanced sweetness and a slightly bitter finish. It is highly sought-after on the “gray” market, and is considered by many to be the “holy grail” of beer.

Samuel Adams Utopias

When it comes to strong beers without hops, Samuel Adams Utopias comes to mind! “I explicitly remember the first time I tried Utopias’ predecessor at Vail Big Beers years ago. Shoulder to shoulder with the best in beer, Triple Bock stole the show all evening” says Josh Roach, Craft Beer Specialist at Vin Sauvage.

Listed in our article of best strong American beers, this incredibly flavorsome ale from Boston Beer Company is aged in barrels of bourbon, port, and cognac to give the beer its signature sweet and malty flavor reminiscent of a vintage cognac or port. 

It’s highly desirable among beer lovers and comes with a high price tag due to it being aged for up to 16 years. With an ABV of 28 percent, it feels more like a sweet liquor than a beer, but one that is perfect for sharing with your besties.

Samuel Adams Double Bock

Samuel Adams is a popular brewery in Boston, producing many beer styles and flavors like Samuel Adams Pumpkin Beer, Samuel Adams Wicked Easy, and this hopless Double Bock. 

Made with several herbs and spices such as bay leaves, coriander, and black tea as alternatives to hops, it’s pleasantly aromatic with hints of caramel, licorice, and a malty backend. 

Double Bock is a well-balanced, strong malt beer that pours dark reddish-brown with a long-lasting white head, perfect for an after-dinner dessert drink and a great alternative to hoppy beers.  


If you’re looking for a farmhouse ale with a twist, Marigold from Scratch Brewing Company is the real deal! It rates highly on BeerAdvocate, and beer experts have also praised it for its unconventional brewing method, using whole marigold roots, stems, and flowers instead of hops.

Marigold is a Saison Beer that pours a slightly hazy orange color with floral, earthy, and citrus notes on the tongue and is aged in neutral oak barrels for 9 months using wild yeast, giving this hop-free beer a unique flavor profile.

It’s a mild beer with a relatively low ABV of 5.1 percent, so you can kick a few of these back without getting drunk!

Hard Wired Nitro

Next up is an intensively satisfying coffee porter from Left Hand Brewing Company.

If you love coffee and beer without hops, then you can’t get better than this Nitro Beer, oozing with chocolatey and toffee notes with a strong cafe/cappuccino aftertaste that is pleasantly smooth and easy to drink. Hard Wired Nitro is another fan-favorite from this award-winning brewery, just like their Peanut Butter Milk Stout

Black Tuesday

Lovers of Imperial Stout may well have heard of this beer from The Bruery in California, aged in bourbon casks for over a year with notes of anise, toffee, toasted malt, and vanilla.

Like the Samuel Adams Utopia, it comes with a high price tag of around $50-60, so it’s one for special occasions, as each mouthfeel is worth savoring and sipping slowly to enjoy the full aromas of this High Alcoholic Beer.

Posca Rustica

A Gruit beer made with several herbs and spices that give it malty, earthy, and floral notes on the tongue with a nice, thick head retention. 

Produced by Brasserie Dupont in Belgium, Posca Rustica brings out complex flavors with a slight citrusy tang that you’re sure to love. 

With an alcohol volume of 8 percent, this Belgian Beer made in true gruit style is definitely worth buying if you can find it in specialty liquor stores.  

Fraoch Heather Ale

Produced by Williams Brothers Brewing Company in Scotland, this Fraoch Heather Ale is one of the most unique hop-free beers on the list. Heather ale is one of the oldest styles of ale in the world, brewed with malted barley, sweet gale, and flowering heather.

The ale is heavily scented with heather flowers and hints of honey and malt sweetness. It’s not readily available in grocery stores, but many bottle shops around the states that import international craft beer have it in stock.

Eau Benite

First brewed in 1996, Eau Benite from Unibroue, Quebec, Canada, is a high-fermented Tripel-style Beer without hops. 

This strong ale beer offers a burst of rich flavor without bitterness as it’s brewed with barley malt, unmalted wheat, yeast, and a high proportion of herbs, spices, and cane sugar. Eau Benite pours a hazy gold color with a two-finger white head and has a crisp, fruity flavor with a mild spice and a subtle yet lasting aftertaste.


Dogfish Head Brewing Company is one of the best producers of uniquely flavored beers using old-age brewing methods. Beers such as Campfire Amplifier and Mango Smoovie are just some of the otherworldly styles to come from this brewery, and Kvasir is certainly on that list too!

Kvasir is a strong beer made with an array of ingredients such as wheat, birch syrup, lingonberries, cranberries, myrica gale, yarrow, and honey. 

Considering it’s heavy on alcohol, it’s not so noticeable on the palate as the wheat and honey add some sweetness, followed by a slightly sour grape taste. Kvasir is not like any beer you’ve probably tried, but it’s a combination of both Weiss Beer and Lambic Beer


The list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Prairie Artisan Ales in Oklahoma and their award-winning Bomb! You can find this coffee-infused aged Imperial Stout flavored with cacao nibs, vanilla beans, and chili peppers in 45 states and in many countries around the world. 

The brewery boasts a plethora of uniquely flavored stouts and sours, like Birthday Bomb, Watermelon Girlfriend, and Rainbow Sherbet.

Beer without hops


What ingredients can be used in beer without hops?

Some common ingredients include rosemary, cinnamon, cardamom, hibiscus, and citrus fruits, but you can also use unusual ingredients, like oysters (used in stouts) and coffee (used in the fermentation process in many Porters, Stouts, and Bock Beers.

Are there benefits to using alternative ingredients to hops?

Yes, many benefits, such as lower production costs, unique flavor profiles, and certain health benefits, are common with some spices, fruits, and plants in the brewing process.

Does Costco or Walmart sell hops-free beers?

Walmart and Costco’s offerings can vary by location due to different liquor laws, but hop-free beer is quite rare to find in mainstream stores due to its limited demand. However, you can find hop-free beers in specialty liquor stores, specific breweries, and online stores. 

Related Hop Articles

Learn more about hops reading these related detailed articles below.

Wrapping up – Best beers without hops

As hop-free beer becomes more popular, more breweries will start producing them for the wider clientele, but until then, there’s only a select group of beers without hops available. So, don’t hesitate to give them a try and see which ones tantalize your palate – let us know your favorites in the comments below!

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