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Clausthaler – one of the first non-alcoholic beers from Germany!

A Clausthaler non alcoholic beer poured into a German beer glass.

It all started with Clausthaler Classic beer in Germany in the late 1970s – one of the first non-alcoholic beers. You will find different Clausthaler beers on the US market.

You probably already know that Clausthaler sells more than two non-alcoholic brew taste varieties: Clausthaler Premium Classic, Clausthaler Unfiltered and Clausthaler Golden Amber. Very popular in the US, Clausthaler originates in Germany. The funny thing is, when you want to order them in Germany, you just won’t get them or see them in shops. These non alcoholic beers – although actually produced in accordance with the German Purity Law of 1516 – are for the export market solely, and they taste different than the Clausthaler versions available in Germany. But keep in mind that there are even more interesting facts related to Clausthaler and beer reviews to read!

Do you know the actual home of Clausthaler beer in Germany?

Where is Clausthaler beer brewed? In Clausthal, Germany?

Clausthal belongs to the small town of Clausthal-Zellerfeld within the Harz Mountains. With a population of only about 15.000, Clausthal-Zellerfeld is well-known for its Technical University and its history of mining as well as its hiking trails. And, of course, for its beer, right? The answer is not that simple. Typical for the region of the Upper Harz (Oberharz), Clausthal and nearby Zellerfeld, is that they once had their own breweries. This resulted from their status as Freie Bergstadt (Free Mining Town), associated with several important privileges, such as the right to brew beer. Back in the days! The beer brands were Berg-Quell in Zellerfeld and Claus-Bräu in Clausthal, providing the region with beer – until the breweries had to close in the second half of the 20th century. However, there was never a single beer brewed in Clausthal or Zellerfeld called Clausthaler. Which inevitably leads us to the question how Clausthaler obtained its name.

Well, Clausthaler as a beer brand is simply an invention. After Clausthal’s breweries closed, the name was available for a larger brewery to use. It was the huge Binding-Brauerei AG residing in Frankfurt am Main – which today belongs to the largest German brewery group Radeberger Gruppe KG – that established the brand and its non-alcoholic beer in 1979. At that time, non-alcoholic beer was something many people could not imagine at all, and most considered it to be a joke – one can actually speak of a pioneering approach. By the way, Clausthaler hit the US market in the mid 1980s, and was able to up to this very day. Let’s now summarize our knowledge on Clausthaler, and add a few interesting facts about this fresh non-alcoholic beer full of flavor:

  • Clausthaler does not come from Clausthal in the Harz Mountains.
  • The name Clausthaler is just an invention.
  • Only non-alcoholic beers are sold under the brand Clausthaler.
  • Clausthaler beer is brewed in Frankfurt/Main.
  • The Clausthaler beer brand is one of the oldest non-alcoholic beer brands, existing since the late 1970s.
  • Clausthaler beers available in the US differ from the German Clausthaler beers.

If you intend to try a beer from the upper Harz Mountains, you will have to choose a beer from the brand Altenauer. Altenau is an old Free Mining Town about 10 km from Clausthal and is home to the only brewery in the region still producing (excellent) beer today. Regardless of the fact that Clausthaler does not originate from the Harz Mountains at all, it is in our humble opinion indeed a very good non-alcoholic beer!

How does the German version of Clausthaler taste?

Clausthaler non alcoholic beers as a set: Clausthaler Extra Herb, Classic and Radler.

There are three Clausthaler beers available in Germany: Clausthaler Extra Herb, Clausthaler Classic and Clausthaler Radler.

Before answering this question, we should have a look at the product range of Clausthaler in Germany. As mentioned before, Clausthaler Golden Amber and Clausthaler Premium are not available on the German market and were created especially for American market demands. In Germany, Clausthaler is available in the following brew taste varieties:

  • Clausthaler Classic – Premium Alkoholfrei (lager beer in a classic version)
  • Clausthaler Extra Herb – Premium Alkoholfrei (bitter type)
  • Clausthaler Radler – Alkoholfrei (beer mix with lemonade)

As it is not a regional brand, all these Clausthaler non-alcoholic beers are sold everywhere in Germany, so you will usually be able to find one when on vacation there. Now it’s time to give these three beer types a try!

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Clausthaler Classic - Premium Alkoholfrei - Non alcoholic Beer from Germany

Clausthaler Classic - Our Review

Summary

Pouring Clausthaler Classic beer from a 0.33l bottle into an ordinary beer glass, we observed only little and inconsistent froth. The color is golden and comparable to the color of a Lager or Pilsner beer, while smelling like a typical beer. Clausthaler Classic tastes well-balanced, very fresh and is of general pleasance. It reveals a strong and intense aftertaste and gives the impression of a typical bottom-fermented beer. We really liked Clausthaler Classic beer and you can consider it as a welcome substitute for alcoholic beer. Well done!

4/5
  • Taste
  • Beer Froth
  • Bitterness
  • Color
  • Overall Impression
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Clausthaler Extra Herb - Premium Alkoholfrei - Bitter non alcoholic beer from Germany

Clausthaler Extra Herb - Our Review

Summary

Yes, it's taste is a little bit more bitter than Clausthaler Classic, yet we could not reveal any great difference when testing Clausthaler Extra herb. Only the froth was more and of somewhat greater consistency, and the Clausthaler Extra Herb contained some more carbon dioxide. All in all, Clausthaler Extra Herb is a great non-alcoholic beer with a sound taste, but the difference to Clausthaler Classic is rather insignificant, leading to the conclusion that the actualname may be a bit disappointing for those wanting a very bitter beer. Don't get us wrong: Clausthaler Extra Herb still is a fantastic non-alcoholic beer from Germany!

4.3/5
  • Taste
  • Beer Froth
  • Bitterness
  • Color
  • Overall Impression
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A bottle of Clausthaler Radler - a non alcoholic beer lemonade mix from Germany

Clausthaler Radler - Our Review

Summary

This is the Clausthaler version of the popular German Radler (shanty) beer-lemonade mix, also known as Alsterwasser or Alster in Northern Germany. The color of Clausthaler Radler is very yellowish and seems artificial, despite a hint that it still contains some beer. We found the amount of its long-lasting froth quite remarkable, after we had served ourselves a glass each. In addition to the froth, Clausthaler Radler only has little carbon dioxide and its taste is very mild. There is not much sweetness but a light scent of lemons. We both found it hard to distinguish whether the taste was more beer or rather lemonade defined, while the smell was kind of awkward. To us, Clausthaler Radler simply lacked real character. Therefore, we would recommend drinking it extremely cold and only on hot days. Beer novices will probably like Clausthaler Radler as a German beer mix to start with. Nevertheless, we would strongly recommend other German non-alcoholic Radlers.

2.8/5
  • Taste
  • Beer Froth
  • Bitterness
  • Color
  • Overall Impression

*We tasted these non-alcoholic beers with 2 persons and the rating reflects only our personal impression, which we discussed after tasting each beer. The beers were cooled to the recommended temperature for the relevant beer type prior to testing. You may have a different taste and come to other results.

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