Low-alcohol beerisbeerwith little or noalcoholcontent and aims to reproduce the taste of beer without the inebriating effects of standard alcoholic brews. Most low-alcohol beers arelagers, but there are some low-alcoholales. Low-alcohol beer is also known aslight beer,non-alcoholic beer,small beer,small ale, ornear-beer.
In theUnited States, beverages containing less than 0.5%alcohol by volume(ABV) were legally called non-alcoholic, according to the now-defunctVolstead Act. Because of its very low alcohol content, non-alcoholic beer may be legally sold tominorsin many American states.
In theUnited Kingdom, the following definitions apply by law (correct as of May 2007):
No alcohol or alcohol-free: not more than 0.05%ABV
Dealcoholized: over 0.05% but less than 0.5% ABV
Low-alcohol: not more than 1.2% ABV
In some parts of theEuropean Union, beer must contain no more than 0.5%ABVif it is labelled "alcohol-free".
InAustralia, the term "light beer" refers to any beer with less than 3.5% alcohol.
Spain is the main consumer and producer of low-alcohol beer in theEuropean Union.[