Galley Guys 1By The Galley Guys
Greg Nicoll
John Armstrong
Andy Adams

The Galley Guys assemble on the spacious port side deck of theNeptunus 550 Express in Harbour West, Hamilton.

There is nothing so refreshing and enjoyable as a frosty, cold beer on a hot sunny afternoon, but sometimes one tastes like another and the added effects of the sun and the boat’s movements can make a couple of beers, a little too much.

Ice cold water is the most refreshing thing I can think of, but after a few sips with little or no flavour and no “body”, the water looses its appeal.

What to do?

We like beer, but it’s the alcohol that makes it a bad choice. Perhaps the solution is beer without the alcohol. In typical Galley Guy fashion, we wanted to try out this theory under the best possible circumstances, so we contacted our friend Jan Willem De Jong, Managing Director at Neptunus Yachts and invited him to bring his gorgeous new Neptunus 55 over to Harbour West so we could relax together onboard and test the theory that “near-beer” is a good solution.

Galley Guys 2A few cold brew awaiting the big test!

In preparation for this, we went to the Beer Store to check out the selection and discovered that in Ontario at least, they don’t sell near-beer. All the beers the Ontario Beer Store carry have at least a bit of alcohol (and some contain a fair bit)!

The next course of action was to head to the grocery store and sure enough, we discovered that they all carry some form of low alcohol or de-alcoholized beer. As true Galley Guys, we didn’t know this…although I’m betting that you probably already did!

In a story by the Canadian Press last summer, we learned that Budweiser is launching its first non-alcoholic beer since Prohibition in Canada targeting what they expect will be a growing thirst for near-beer.

In recent years, Canadians have increasingly turned to low- and non-alcoholic beverages, and Labatt, which has brewed Budweiser in Canada since 1980, is counting on that to continue.

According to Euromonitor International, in 2015, Canadians consumed 11.6 million litresof , low- and non-alcoholic beverages which was an increase of 9.1 per cent over the previous year. That preceded double-digit annual growth from 2010 and 2014, the market research firm says.

The Canadian Press story noted that the market is unlikely to stop expanding any time soon. From 2015-2020, sales volume is expected to grow by more than eight per cent a year according to Mark Strobel, a Euromonitor International research analyst.

Strobel said the rise in the non-alcohol business is being driven by young people who are more socially responsible and also older folks who want to limit their alcohol intake, just like the Galley Guys!

Galley Guys 3Greg Nicoll sets up the “blind” taste test using the comfortable dinette in the Neptunus 550 Express.

Despite continuous growth, non-alcoholic beer is still a fairly small market in Canada, especially when compared to the overall beer business.For the year beginning at the end of March 2014, Canadians drank 2.257 billion litres of regular beer, Statistics Canada data shows.

Labatt is confident that Budweiser will be the top choice for non-alcoholic beer drinkers and they have made a $6 million investment in equipment to make Prohibition Brew.

But, all the major beer companies are offering low- and non-alcoholic choices and so are more and more craft breweries. Labatt will make Budweiser Prohibition Brew available in some convenience stores, grocery stores and fast-food outlets. It’s the fast food opportunity that could be the most valuable. Canada’s aging and more health-conscious population may be turning away from soft drinks at the fast food outlets.

As a bit of background, non-alcoholic beer actually starts out as normal beer. A brewer mashes malt and boils it with hops and then the beer goes through a fermentation process, which creates alcohol and carbon dioxide. At this point, a brewer would bottle the beer if itwas their regular alcoholic version. But, if it is to be non-alcoholic, the beer must undergo another step.

The most common method to remove alcohol from beer is to heat the brew. Since alcohol has a lower boiling point than water, brewers can heat the fermented beer until the desired amount of alcohol remains, however this process can sometimes alter a beer's taste.

To reduce the unwanted change in flavor, some brewers heat beer in a vacuum, and this technique significantly lowers the alcohol's boiling point and affects the flavor much less.

Galley Guys 5Agreement! We can all appreciate the non-alcoholic brews as refreshing and a far better choice for boating; we support near-beer off the pier. From the right -  Jan Willem De Jong of Neptunus Yachts and Galley Guys Greg Nicoll, John Armstrong and Andy Adams.

There are other methods as well but the point is that the beer starts out just like regular beer. Some beer styles, mostly those lower in bitter hops, adapt better to becoming non-alcoholic and of course, the goal for non-alcoholic beer is to deliver flavor, aromatics, balance and body. It's just harder to achieve without the alcohol.

So, can the Galley Guys tell the difference?

Reaching back in time to the Coke – Pepsi Taste Test, we selected a group of beers, some regular and some non-alcoholic, masked the bottles and cans with numbered sleeves and we poured out some test samples.

We had Molson Canadian and Molson Excel, Labatt Blue and Labatt .5, Beck’s and Beck’s Non-alcoholic beer…and there a host of others on the market – this was just a sampling.

You won’t be surprised to learn that in our blind taste test, the Galley Guys were able to consistently choose the regular beer! But that was not the point. We were there to compare.

We knew we liked regular beer. What we wanted to learn was if we would enjoy the non-alcoholic beer enough to want a ‘fridge full on our next cruise and we all agreed – the answer was “yes”.

Still cool and refreshing and not sweet, and not bland either – it’s near-beer off the pier for us.

If you’re not already a non-alcoholic beer drinker, it’s certainly worth a try this summer. And, if you can enjoy your beer on a Neptunus 550 Express – so much the better!

 

 

Related Articles

Destinations

  • Prev
We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set ...
The Halifax waterfront has been attracting more and more large yachts in recent years. However, a ...
Ah Canadian simplicity at its finest; small town, big marina. Little Hilton Beach (population ...
Vancouver-based Big Blue Yacht Charters Worldwide owner Emma Murdoch explains that luxury crewed ...
In the 1920s, a small cove in Canoe Bay was used as a shipping point and safe-haven for rum runners ...
Here’s an update from Caroline Swann with some news for the adventurous types who may be heading to ...
The New Glasgow marina is located about six miles up the East River of Pictou in the heart of the ...
The British Virgins took a huge hit last fall from Irma. Boats were stranded on the shore by the ...
Located about half way between Shediac and the Miramichi on New Brunswick’s Acadian Coast, the town ...
Suddenly the once forsaken city of Hamilton, Ontario is booming for at least two good reasons.

An Abacos Adventure

Great Guana CayBy Mark Stevens; Photos by Sharon Matthew-Stevens

It’s a perfect Sunday morning jaunt.

We’re gliding through green-blue waters, colours so vivid and bright they hurt your eyes. We’re set for a close reach out of a harbour guarded by a necklace of tiny emerald islands decorated by palms that dance in fifteen knots of wind.

Our boat, “Tropical Escape II” (perfect name for both the boat and our adventure), is a 44-foot Robertson and Caine catamaran, chartered from Sunsail’s Marsh Harbour base on Bahamas’ Great Abaco Island.

Read More about An Abacos Adventure...

 

Boat Reviews

  • Prev
At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives ...
Sometimes a great idea requires an encore, and French yacht builder Jeanneau got that with the ...
Tactical Custom Boats announces the sale to a North American client of a custom Tactical 77’ – Fast ...
Bruce Elliott is an inventor. And when he sold the technology he developed to build utility poles ...
One often asks of a winning achievement or a fabulous design, could it have possibly been done ...
The latest new model from Cruisers Yachts is the Cantius 42 and this yacht made its debut in the ...
The Sabre 45 Salon Express is new for 2017, making its debut at the Fort Lauderdale International ...
Jeanneau’s newest NC model is the NC 33, and it’s an exciting and innovative inboard cruiser ...
The Four Winns H290OB combines two of the most popular new big boat trends to come up with a great ...
Commodore’s Boats is a full service shipyard with over 50 years of generational history and ...

Hanse 388

Hanse 388By Katherine Stone

The Hanse group produced their second most popular boat of all time with the Hanse 385. The trick was to build on that winning formula when they upgraded to the Hanse 388, which they have done in spades. The German build quality is first rate and true to the Hanse tradition. Leaving the hull the same with a steep stern and straight stem for an optimal long water line, they went with a slightly stiffer, heavier displacement, new deck, interior layout and window line. Hanse’s highly experienced yacht construction team, judel/vrolijk & co., have combined ease of sailing, comfort and performance into the newly designed Hanse 388.

Read more about the Hanse 388...

 

 

 

DIY & How to

  • Prev
A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out ...
As the cold approaches, shrink-wrapping is a hot topic, and I’ve heard more than a few debates at ...
Nothing stops a vacation faster than a problem with the fresh water system – be it leaks, smells, ...
Pyrotechnic distress flares have been around for decades, while electronic strobe distress flares ...
Most of us don’t give a second thought to our sacrificial anodes – those curious knobs of raw metal ...
In this time of boat show afterglow, many boaters are counting the days until launch. 
This one-day course consists of both theory and practical demonstration sessions, is designed to ...
 Since the initial article of this column we have identified a wide range of apps and ...

Ask Andrew – How to hire a boat repair contractor

hiring a contractorBy Andrew McDonald

A recent conversation with a fellow contractor got me thinking: With all of the information out there, including: Websites showing repairs, YouTube tutorials, Instagram pages and snapchat streams – let alone books, magazines, service manuals, and years of practical experience – how does a boat owner know which method(s) are ‘right’, who to trust, and who to hire to do the job? In short: How do you find and select a contractor?

Unfortunately, most people are forced to hire a contractor due to a circumstance where something has broken or failed, or the task...

Read more about hiring a contractor...

 

  

Marine Products

  • Prev
Sail shape is long gone. They have stained, feels thin and you see broken threads everywhere. Your ...
Stripping the antifouling paint from the bottom of a boat is physically demanding and is one of the ...
The 2019 Ultimate Sailing Calendar highlights the drama and excitement of blue-water sailing, as ...
Weather nerds and boaters of all stripes will be absorbed by Bruce Kemp’s account of the monstrous ...
Canada Rope promises that its new Night Saver Rope will illuminate at night and act as a reference ...
Take a look as a 68-foot yacht docks itself in between two Volvo Ocean 65 sailing yachts at the ...
Industry Firsts Include Direct Injection and Integrated Electric Steering System
Verviers, Belgium, 18 May 2018 — Mercury Marine, the world leader in marine propulsion technology, ...
Again, we return to the beginning. We started this column with a look at marine navigation for ...
Ga-Oh (spirit of the winds in Algonquin) creates bags and other items from re-purposed sails.