Brooklyn Breweries – Special Effects Hoppy Lager Review

  • Name: Special Effects Hoppy Lager
  • Brewery: Brooklyn Brewery
  • Style: Non Alcoholic Hoppy Lager
  • ABV: 0.4%
  • IBU: 40
  • Packaging: Bottle
  • Released: December 2018
  • Rating: 36/50

It really hits you directly when you pour it – and the smell is beautiful. It looks like an amber ale and drinks like an IPA

The Special Effects Hoppy Lager is from Brooklyn Brewery, a craft beer brewery from New York. Founded in 1987, they are one of the most famous craft beer breweries in the world. I have literally seen their beers everywhere from Bangkok to Shanghai, and Helsinki to Belgrade. It’s ubiquitous but they have definitely made craft beer more available throughout the years.

For the ones interested, Heineken bought the distribution rights for Brooklyn beers in 2021.

The Beer

I just needed to pour this Swedish non-alcoholic craft beer and I could feel the aroma even if my nose was half a meter away. It really hits you directly when you pour it – and the smell is beautiful.

It pours way darker than I had expected. Not a bad thing at all.

The Head looks a bit weak but it lingers until I take my first sip after which it disappears directly. I take my first sip and I get really excited. It’s a bit anticlimactic though because while I’m really enjoying the taste I missed a little punch. It is probably because of the lack of alcohol.

I continue drinking the beer and it really has a great taste. There is definitely quite a bit of sweetness to it and that would be the only thing that would stop me from drinking a case of this beer. A few of them work perfectly though.

If you smell the beer from really close you can definitely smell the a bit overpowering malt sweetness. It’s not what I would prefer but I’m also just getting adjusted to non alcoholic craft beers having been drinking the alcoholic versions for years.

It wasn’t until I finished the beer that I realized this was a hoppy lager not a non alcoholic IPA. It kind of blew my mind. It looks like an amber ale and drinks like an IPA. It’s a bit confusing or am I totally wrong here for thinking it was an IPA?

Special Effects Hoppy Lager Nutritional Facts

The Special Effects Lager has 29 calories per 100 ml which is almost 96 kcal per bottle. That is almost 50% more than most low calorie non alcoholic beers. It’s still much less than it would be if it actually had alcohol in it. There is no yeast listed in the ingredients but we guess they’ve just left it out from the writing. Sugars are 2.9 per 100 ml which is more than double of the Virmalised 0 IPA I recently reviewed.

The ABV is 0.4% and the IBU is 40.

Special Effects Hoppy Lager Rating

I was really confused with the style of this beer. I was sure I was drinking an IPA but then I realized it is a lager. There is nothing lagery about this beer, apart from the brewing method then, I guess. There is actually a Special Effects IPA which I also have reviewed.

The initial aroma was great and the first sips were good too. The sweetness really gets to you in the end and the more I drank the beer the less I felt I would drink a 6-pack of it. It also lost much of its tastiness when the beer got a bit warmer. 

It’s still a very good beer I would be happy to get in a non alcoholic craft beer bar. 

Our Alcohol Free Craft Beer Rating – 36/50

“As an affiliate, I may earn a commission from purchases made through links in this post. This does not affect the price of the product for you, the consumer. I only recommend products and services that I trust and believe in. Thank you for supporting my business by using my affiliate links.”


Where can I buy Special Effects Hoppy Lager online?

At Proofnomore you can find it under the name Hoppy Amber. Even though the name is different, it is still the same beer.

What is the ABV of Special Effects Hoppy Lager?

It has an ABV of 0.4 percent.

How many calories in Special Effects Hoppy Lager?

There are 29 kcal per 100 ml which is quite a lot more than in other non-alcoholic craft beers.

Is this beer vegan?

Yes, it is perfectly vegan-safe.

Is this beer gluten-free?

This beer is not gluten-free.

When was the Special Effects Hoppy Lager released?

It was released on the 1st of December 2018 and is brewed in Sweden.

Leave a Comment