The Auxilium Group have laid down a challenge to get people interested in non-alcoholic wine and/or beer.  Write a review in the style of one of the great wine buffs of our time.  They have sent me the rules.


“The challenge is simple. In no more than 50 words a clear review of said beverage is needed. It needs to be in the style of the many great wine buffs and able to convince the most ardent of person who still thinks that the only non-alcholic beer is Kaliber would be convinced to buy the same.”


“There will be a donation of £50 to the Billable Hour and a box of Hotel Chocolate chocolates to the writer of the winning entry.”


“All entries will be judged by Gordon Exall – Counsel who is always objective”

[I didn’t ask for this, but it is clear that I am now duty to bound to do so”.


“Entries must be accompanied by a picture of bottle opened and some evidence of tasting, a glass half full will do.

“There can be no entries from any of the various suppliers or brewers of the chosen drinks.”

“Entries must be supplied to Gordon by 31st May 2019 by 23.59.”

[Use Twitter  and the hashtag #NAwriteup. Alternatively use  the comments section of this blog below.  I will put entries up as and when they are sent in. ]



Ishan Kolhatkar
It was Homer (Simpson, not the Greek fella) who said ‘Here’s to alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems’. He was right, for it’s the harbinger of my greatest enemy. Not goats cheese but a raging hangover. As an NFL fan, I enjoy a beer on a Sunday night with the game. Equally, I enjoy not being fired for lack of competence. Well not beer related in any event. I therefore commend to you Estrella Free Damm. First drunk by me in 2016 at the Camp Nou where unless you sit in the prawn sandwich seats, all beer is non-alcoholic.  It. Tastes. Like. Beer. That may sound obvious but if you’ve tried Becks Blue (induces bloating quicker than a Freakshake), Kaliber (water that looks like beer but tastes like water) or Brewdog Nanny State (liquid disappointment) my statement is the antithesis of trite.  Long on the palate with a lager nose, pleasing amber hue and the right noise as it settles in the glass, this could fool the most ardent beer drinker into thinking it was the real deal. Indeed, it has. “I can’t have another one Ish, I’m driving”. Did I have news for him…
Review of Becks Blue  It tastes just like the real thing and unlike most of its competitors it has no unpleasant aftertaste. I could drink this and be none the wiser why I wasn’t tiddly. It’s hoppy with a distinctive bitterness, however overall very refreshing. I sometimes have a cheeky one at lunch time…

A completely new find due to this challenge is Clausthaler Unfiltered reviewed for It is rich, bitter and refreshing it even produces a nice head when poured. It is an interesting beer with quite a lot of clout behind i

Upon initial drinking it starts as a bitter but refreshing lager with quite some boldness behind it. However, this is then replaced with a fruity sweetness.

Oh and Bavaria Tastes soapy like no beer (or anything) should feel in your mouth. I’d liken it to washing-up soapsuds sat for hours after processing a large volume of extra dirty dishes and then someone helping themselves to a glass.  No amount of chocolates would make me try it again…… Hence there is no glass.

I’ve tried this a few times from local supermarket. Does not taste at all like a nonalcoholic beer. In fact, I would say it tastes very similar to some popular draught lagers. Very nice, crisp flavour. Not overly hoppy. Good amount of fizz, but not too lively. I score 9/10!

Erdinger Alkoholfrei has the cloudy appearance associated with a Hefeweissbier. Its nose is more muted than usual, but it compensates for the lack of aroma with a surprisingly full-bodied taste,

yeasty and malty like a weissbier should be, with a hint of fruity sweetness. And it’s isotonic.


Fritz Müller is a lightly sparkling NA wine. We’ve used it in Aperol Spritz, it works. We’ve used it at day time parties, it works. If you’re looking for a very drinkable sparkling Prosecco/champagne substitute Fritz is your only man! A DUI is just not worth it





The winning entry will be announced on Twitter within 48 hours of the contest ending.

The donation will be then made and the winning box of chocolates will be delivered by the Auxilium Group to office or chambers.

(The judge’s decision is final. No correspondence will be entered into. Feel free to comment on social media – it is  almost mandatory to then complain about being “robbed” on Twitter).