Category: Food
Fatwa#: 19680
Asked Country: Bangladesh

Answered Date: Jan 02,2012

Title: Is whisky or beer without alcohol Halāl?

Question

I want to know is there any halal whisky or beer that could be taken by the Muslims? if any beer or whisky has zero percent alcohol ,is it then halal? please give a good answer ,i mean straight answer. 

Answer

Kindly provide us with your understanding of “Halāl whisky or beer” i.e. making process and the meaning of Halāl whisky and beer.

 

Never the less, hereunder are some articles on non alcoholic beer. In essence it is still an intoxicant as understood from the articles.

 

Facts about non-alcoholic beer

History of Non-Alcoholic Beer

Non-alcoholic beer had its beginning in America during the Prohibition in 1919.  At this time brewing companies, such as Anheuser-Busch, Miller, and Schlitz, began producing “near beer” to get around the law of that time.  These drinks were malted beverages that had very low alcohol content (less than .5% alcohol by volume).  In order to remove the alcohol, it was either boiled or filtered from the beer.  It was argued by many that the process of removing the alcohol left the beer tasteless.  Over time, however, people found a way to sneak alcohol back into the bottle or keg of beer, an illegal process that resulted in “spiked beer”.

Today near beer is still made and sold, and in many states it is legal for even minors to purchase and drink it, though some states do require a person to be 21 to drink “non-alcoholic beer”.  This is because even non-alcoholic beer has some alcohol in it. http://www.treatmentsolutionsnetwork.com/blog/index.php/2009/01/23/184/

Low-alcohol beer

Low-alcohol beer (also called non-alcoholic or NA beer, small beer, small ale, or near-beer) is beer with very low or no alcohol content. Most low-alcohol beers are lagers, but there are some low-alcohol ales.

In the United States, beverages containing less than 0.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) were legally called non-alcoholic, according to the now-defunct Volstead Act. Because of its very low alcohol content, non-alcoholic beer may be legally sold to minors in many American states.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low-alcohol_beer

Non-alcoholic beverage

A non-alcoholic beverage is a beverage that contains less than 0.5% alcohol by volume.[1] Non-alcoholic versions of some alcoholic beverages, such as non-alcoholic beer ("near beer") and cocktails ("mocktails") are widely available where alcoholic beverages are sold.

Sodas, juices, and sparkling cider contain no alcohol, but non-alcoholic beer and non-alcoholic wine undergo an alcohol-removal process that may leave a small amount of alcohol. Because of this, some states have legal restrictions on non-alcoholic beer and wine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-alcoholic_beverage

 

Beer 101: How is Non-Alcoholic Beer Made?

Have you ever wondered how non-alcoholic beer is made? Even more importantly, have you ever wondered why non-alcoholic beer even exists?

Non-alcoholic beer, or "near beer," goes back the days of Prohibition. President Wilson first tried to compromise with the Temperance Society by proposing that beer alcohol content be reduced to 2.5%. However, even this ABV was not low enough for the Society. Thus, the “noble experiment” went forward with only 0.5% ABV beer being legal for many years. In a strange ironic twist, near beer was often secretly spiked with grain alcohol and sold illegally. 

Luckily for Wisconsin, prohibition was softened when voters amended the Violated Act in 1926 to allow for the manufacture and sale of beer with an ABV of up to 2.75%. Still, prohibition was not repealed until 1933 with the passage of the 21st amendment.

In the meantime, breweries like today’s Minhas Brewery, located in Monroe, Wisconsin, survived the dry times by making “near-beer” such as Golden Glow (with 2% ABV), ice cream, and soft drinks. The Blatz Brewery, located in Milwaukee, also tried its hand at making near beer, juices, and chewing gum.

Due to the American populace subsisting on near beer for 13 years (1920-1933), many were inured to lighter beer by the time Prohibition was repealed. Going back to strong English ales or German Pilsners was unthinkable. Likewise, due to many private and illegal beer making operations, which often consisted of amateur brewers making what accounted to swill in their bathtubs, many folks were downright uneasy about imbibing in full-taste brews and microbrews. Thus, breweries like Miller, Schlitz, and Pabst were set for making mass-produced light beer, and even non-alcoholic beer.

Non-alcoholic beer starts out as regular alcoholic beer, which is then cooked in order to evaporate the alcohol. This is possible because alcohol has a lower boiling point than water, making it easier to boil off. As opposed to water, which boils at 100 °C (212 °F), alcohol will boil at 78.6 °C (173.5 °F). Most modern breweries also utilize vacuum evaporation to speed up the boiling process. In essence, the beer is placed under a light vacuum to facilitate the alcohol molecules going into gaseous phase. If a sufficient vacuum is applied, it may not even be necessary to cook the beer.

Of course, no amount of boiling or vacuum will ever completely remove all the alcohol, which is why even non-alcoholic beer will typically contain about 0.5% alcohol. One could attempt to remove the alcohol through distillation, but this would be a long and expensive process.

Amazingly, it is still possible for some people to get drunk from non-alcoholic beer. At least 15 states in the U.S. do not allow the sale of non-alcoholic beer to minors under the age of 21, while other states set the sale restriction for minors under the age of 18. It's not surprising, given what happens when minors get a hold of non-alcoholic beer.

http://www.examiner.com/craft-beer-in-madison/beer-101-how-is-non-alcoholic-beer-made

How Are Nonalcoholic Beer and Wine Made?

Put simply, you make alcoholic beer or wine, and then remove the alcohol. You do this by distilling the beverage, as if you were going to make liquor. But rather than save the booze and throw out the rest, you throw out the booze.

When you make alcohol, you typically heat up whatever it is you’re distilling to boil off the alcohol (which you collect in vapor form, then cool back into liquid). It doesn’t matter all that much if the water, syrups, herbs, and whatever else that’s in your base get a little cooked in the process, because you’re tossing out most of that in the end anyway. When making nonalcoholic beverages, though, maintaining the flavor of the base is important, because you’ll save that part, and you want it to taste as much like real beer or wine as possible. So you don’t want to cook it.

There are two ways to get the booze out that does not require high heat. The first is a process called vacuum distillation. The beer or wine is put under a vacuum. The change in atmospheric pressure allows the producer to boil the liquids at a lower temperature or in some cases with no heat at all, and distill off the alcohol.

The second process is called reverse osmosis, and is the same method often used to purify drinking water. It doesn’t require any heating. The wine or beer is passed through a filter with pores so small that only alcohol and water (and a few volatile acids) can pass through. The alcohol is distilled out of the alcohol-water mix using conventional distillation methods, and the water and remaining acids are added back into the syrupy mixture of sugars and flavor compounds left on the other side of the filter. Bingo a nonalcoholic (or dealcoholized, as winemakers call it) brew.

But do nonalcoholic beers and wines taste the same as alcoholic ones? Almost. Most of the flavor of real beer and wine comes from the grain or grapes, plus flavor compounds from the fermentation and aging process. Nonalcoholic beers and wines still have all that. Alcohol in the real stuff contributes mouth feel and a small amount of flavor. It actually makes wine taste sweeter, says Jeff Meier, vice president of winemaking for J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines, which makes Ariel nonalcoholic wines. This means that a dealcoholized wine needs about 2.5 percent residual sugar content to best match a completely dry (no residual sugar) alcoholic wine.

“Nonalcoholic” beverages still contain some alcohol, because it’s difficult and prohibitively expensive to get every single bit of it out. In order to be called nonalcoholic under federal laws, a beverage can contain up to half a percent of alcohol by volume. (Something with no alcohol at all is called alcohol-free.) So people who are forbidden to drink alcohol, like devout Muslims, can’t partake in so-called nonalcoholic beer and wine. Nor can people under the age of 21, according to the law. It takes about 10 nonalcoholic malt beverages to equal the alcohol in one American-style lager, says George Reisch, a veteran brewer with Anheuser-Busch and the former brew master of O’Doul’s.

One last point, about carbonation: When making nonalcoholic sparkling wine, producers do a secondary fermentation just like they do with regular sparkling wine. But the alcohol it produces is less than .5 percent, so the wine is still considered nonalcoholic. As for the carbonation in beer, like in most alcoholic beer, it’s “forced” with a charge of carbon dioxide at the brewery.

http://www.chow.com/food-news/53912/how-are-nonalcoholic-beer-and-wine-made/

Non-alcoholic beer

Non-alcoholic beer is a poorly named beverage, because it does contain some alcohol. Most brands of non-alcoholic beer are about 0.5 percent alcohol. This is significantly less alcohol than what is contained in alcoholic beer, which has an average alcohol percentage of 5%. Essentially, one would have to drink 10 non-alcoholic beers in order to obtain the same alcohol as that of a regular beer.

The reason non-alcoholic beer contains alcohol is because it starts its life as regular beer in most cases. The alcohol is removed after the brewing process has ended. This is accomplished through evaporation, which basically means cooking the beer until most of the alcohol is gone, then bottling the results.

For those who enjoy making beer at home, there are a number of recipes for non-alcoholic beer. These recipes usually start by combining the regular ingredients used to make a favorite homemade beer. Some suggest reducing the sugar content and type for the non-alcoholic beer, since some sugars like corn sugars naturally ferment more easily.

Once the brewing is complete, the beer needs to be brought to alcohol’s boiling point, which is about 173.5 degrees Fahrenheit (78.61 degrees Celsius). The beer should continue to boil at this temperature for half an hour to reduce as much alcohol as possible. Some veteran beer makers suggest that the best way to accomplish this boiling is an oven, which provides more even heat, and seems to have little affect the beer’s final taste.

http://www.wisegeek.com/how-is-non-alcoholic-beer-made.htm

Non-alcoholic beer contains alcohol

Non-alcoholic beer is a low alcohol beer with alcohol content of less than .5% of its volume. It is important to note that non-alcoholic beer contains alcohol, and that none of the beers currently on the market are completely alcohol free.

Although so called non-alcoholic beers are actually alcoholic despite of their names, non-alcoholic beer contains alcohol up to 0.5% because of the production methods, and not because of the brewer’s desire.  A person drinking enough of this non-alcoholic beer could actually get drunk.  For example if the non-alcoholic beer you're drinking has 0.1% alcohol, you can, theoretically drink 5 times more than if you would be  drinking beer with 0.5% alcohol, and reach the legal alcohol limit.

http://alcohol-statistics-in-europe.own69.com/non_alcoholic_beer_contains_alcohol/

Facts about non-alcoholic wine or beer

1.  Alcohol free wine or beer is made from real wine or beer. Wines from grape, date, honey, wheat is Khamr and Khamr is Haram according to several ahadith.

2.  The composition of wine is:
Water 80-85%, Alcohol 10-20%, Acids 0.4 - 1%, Sugar 0.1%(because all sugar in grape is used to produce alcohol), Mineral Salts 0.2 to 0.4%, Coloring substances 0.01 to 0.5%,
Aromatic substances 0.01 to 0.1%, Sulphites 10 to 200 Part Millions

3. Manufacturing processes used in manufacture of alcohol free wine or beer:

a. Alcohol free wine beverages is produced by using US patented process(4775538) where table wine is combined with demineralized water and poured into a centrifugal evaporator where alcohol is spin off to produce a alcohol free wine base. Then grape juice concentrate is added to alcohol free wine base to make alcohol free wine.
b. Vacuum Distillation where real wine or real beer is exposed to vacuum. Where due to change in atmospheric pressure with low heat or no heat the alcohol is distilled off.
c. Reverse Osmosis, a procedure used to clean impurities from drinking water. Most American homes has this unit under their kitchen sinks. The reverse Osmosis has filters with very minutes pores Through these pores filters only alcohol and water with volatile acids in wine or in beer is filtered out of wine or beer without heat. Then those volatile acid and water is put back to a mixture of syrupy mixture of sugar, flavor compounds on the other side of filter after distilling out the alcohol from alcohol and water acid mixture. This is also called dealcoholized wine or beer.
d. Non alcoholic sparkling wine or beer is made with a secondary fermentation to produce a non alcoholic sparkling wine or beer with less than 0.5% alcohol. Then carbon dioxide is forced to make a carbonated non alcoholic beer.

4. Another fact is that all the experts in this industry said that it is very difficult and very expensive to eliminate all alcohol from wine or beer. This is the reason Non Alcoholic beverages still contain some original alcohol from wine or beer. This leads to a US Federal Law about Non Alcoholic wine or beer which states that Non Alcoholic wine or beer can contain up to 0.5% "original alcohol of wine or beer by volume."
If you consider above breakdown of grape wine, the non alcoholic grape wine contains 5% to 10% original amount of wine in the Non Alcoholic grape wine based on 10% to 20% alcohol content in grape wine and if the Non Alcoholic grape wine contains maximum 0.5% original alcohol of wine or beer by volume according to US federal law.

So based on this calculation who decides to consume Non Alcoholic grape wine is consuming 5% to 10% of original grape wine in Non Alcoholic grape wine.

5. Another fact is that many producers of Non Alcoholic wine and beer want to keep the same original flavors compounds in Non Alcoholic wine or beer because to match original flavor and taste of wine or beer. Sometimes they add 2-2.5% residual sugar content to match a completely dry alcoholic wine. Some companies advertized that their Non Alcoholic wine or beer contains same original abundant flavors of original wine and beer.

It was reported in research that it takes about 10 nonalcoholic malt beverages to equal the alcohol in one American-style lager. 

And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best

Mufti Zaid Mohammed Shelia,
Student Darul Iftaa

USA

 

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.
www.daruliftaa.net

DISCLAIMER - AskImam.org questions
AskImam.org answers issues pertaining to Shar'ah. Thereafter, these questions and answers are placed for public view on www.askimam.org for educational purposes. However, many of these answers are unique to a particular scenario and cannot be taken as a basis to establish a ruling in another situation or another environment. Askimam.org bears no responsibility with regards to these questions being used out of their intended context.
  • The Shar's ruling herein given is based specifically on the question posed and should be read in conjunction with the question.
  • AskImam.org bears no responsibility to any party who may or may not act on this answer and is being hereby exempted from loss or damage howsoever caused.
  • This answer may not be used as evidence in any Court of Law without prior written consent of AskImam.org.
  • Any or all links provided in our emails, answers and articles are restricted to the specific material being cited. Such referencing should not be taken as an endorsement of other contents of that website.