Beer ReviewCoopersCoopers Birell Ultra Light

December 29, 2021by Jonathan Lambrianidis

If you have ever shopped in a supermarket, you’d have seen the Coopers Birell Ultra Light non-alcoholic beer down the drinks aisle. I can also bet that you have skipped right past it literally forever! I have a feeling all of that is about to change.

The Coopers Birell Ultra Light scores 9/10 due to its full-bodied flavour profile, classic warm and complex lager notes and mid-level of finishing bitterness. Crafted with Barley Malt and Pride of Ringwood Hops, it has a well-weighted body and a great level of carbonation that adds vibrance to each glass.

Key Takeaways

ABV: <0.5%
Style Lager
Calories: 81 calories per bottle
Colour: Amber Golden
Main Notes: Full-bodied malt
Cost: $8 – $10 / 6-pack
Rating: 9 / 10


Is Coopers Ultra Light Non Alcoholic?

The Coopers Ulra Light beer is considered, in the eyes of food and alcohol regulators to be non-alcoholic. Each bottle of the Ultra Light by the Coopers team contains less than 0.5% alcohol by volume which means it meets the requirements of a non-aloholic beverage under food standards codes throughout the Globe. Having worked in an industry heavily regulated by Food Standards Australia & New Zealand, you can bet your bottom dollar if they’re classifying something as a ‘brewed soft drink’ it’s going to have no alcohol in it.

While some people may classify the inclusion of any alcohol (up to 0.5%) ‘low alcohol’ this is personal preference and aligns to a similar level of alcohol in fruit juices and some sourdough breads.


Coopers Ultra Light Taste

When passing by the Coopers Ultra Light in store, I fell into the trap of “surely such a cheap non-alcoholic beer can’t taste any good”. Let me just tell you – I can’t have been any more wrong!

The taste profile of the Coopers Ultra Light alcohol-free beer is clean and crisp which, to me after having brewed a few lagers in my time, is a sign of excellent low-temperature fermentation. This is ultra-important as it means the Coopers is one of the most beer like non-alcoholic beers that I have ever tasted.

The Coopers Birell Ultra Light is brewed with Australian grown Barley Wheat and Pride of Ringwood hops which give each glass a profile that is similar to that of a mid-strength / 3% brew. Notably, it has:

  • a full profiled malty base that is full-flavoured, complex, and warm.
  • an opening level of malty sweetness (drink this super cold and it diminishes considerably).
  • a body that is dry, crisp and clean and transitions into a medium level of bitterness to finish.
  • vibrant and active carbonation.
  • one of the best-weighted mouthfeels exceeding both the James Squire and Weihenstephaner.

In the glass, the Coopers Ultra Light has a great medium amber colour, loose foamy head that dissipates within a minute or two and a malty nose

Front of alcohol free Coopers Birell 6-pack retail packaging

Coopers Ultra Light Pros & Cons

What I Like Things to Consider
All aspects of the flavour profile. The full-bodied malt profile, crisp & dry body and balancing bitterness to finish make it really enjoyable. Drink this super cold, as if it warms, it does become sweet. Dropping it in the freezer for 10 minutes works a treat.
The price is rather extraordinary for what this beer is. It is by far the cheapest non-alcoholic beer I’ve seen. If you do not enjoy a ‘beery’ beer, the full malty base and lager profile is likely not going to suit your tastebuds. See other options below.

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Where to Buy Coopers Ultra Light.

The Coopers Ultra Light alcohol-free option is available to buy from major supermarket outlets (Woolworths & Coles), traditional liquor retailers (Dan Murphy’s) and online retailers such as Amazon and Craft Zero.

I haven’t seen it available internationally for my US and UK friends. But do stay tuned, I’m chatting to retailers in both countries and will have an update for you shortly! But for now, if you’re lucky enough to be in Australia and are looking to get your hands on a 6-pack check out the locations below:

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Smiling man holding Coopers Birell Ultra Light bottle in one hand and full glass of alcohol free beer in the other

Who Would Enjoy the Coopers Ultra Light?

The person that is going to enjoy the Coopers Birell alcohol free option is going to be the person who loves a full-flavoured malty beer. Put another way, anyone who loves a ‘beer tasting beer’ is going to enjoy what the Coopers Ultra Light has to offer.

In my opinion, it exceeds the weighted mouthfeel of both the Weihenstephaner and James Squire lager options and provides a higher level of malt than both of those alternatives.

If you are looking to compare this to other non-alcoholic lager options, or maybe you’re looking to do a bit of a side-by-side taste comparison, take a look at the options below:

If you are not overly keen on the flavour profile we’ve chatted about above, take a look through the posts I’ve put together below to find yourself a Lager or Pale Ale, IPA or XPA you will enjoy.

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Coopers Birell Ultra Light Calories

Each bottle of Coopers Birell Ultra Light has only 81 Calories per can and less than 1 gram of sugar per bottle. This equals out to 21 calories and less than 1 gram of sugar per 100ml. Comparing the sugar content in the Coopers to a whole range of other non-alcoholic beer options, it is one of the lowest I have come across.

You can find out more about the research I did into calories and sugar content in non-alcoholic beer in the post I wrote here. Look out for the handy table wrapping everything up from lowest to highest sugar content.

For full-calorie and nutrition information take a look at the table below.

Avg Quantity
Per Serving (375ml)
Avg Quantity
Per 100ml
Energy 341 kJ
81 Cal
91 kJ
21 Cal
Protein < 1 g < 1 g
Fat, total < 0.2 g < 0.2 g
— saturated < 0.1 g < 0.1 g
Carbohydrate 18.8 g 5 g
— sugars < 1 g < 1 g
Sodium 14.3 mg 3.8 mg

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Coopers Birell Ultra Light non alcoholic beer nutritional label

When To Drink The Coopers Non-Alcoholic Beer

Seeing how people use non-alcoholic drinks is really interesting to me and the Coopers Birell has been used by people when they’re looking to cut back from alcohol for health reasons, when they’ve got to drive or when they’re looking to moderate their alcohol intake.

Practically, I’ve seen more and more people using the Coopers as a barbeque beer or as that weeknight option.

Coopers recommend this beer is enjoyed with Asian dishes or pasta that will stand up to and compliment the finishing bitterness that the Birell contains. So get your ragu on and reach for a Birell and let me know what you think of the pairing in the comments down below.

Does Alcohol Free Beer Need A Glass?

I started writing this review after drinking a 6-pack and by the time I’ve reached this point I’ve worked my way through a second which means I’ve had plenty of opportunities to drink it in a range of different settings.

I’ve enjoyed the Coopers:

While it was okay out of the bottle, it didn’t quite have the aromatic malty base when compared to the times I drank it out of a glass. When poured, the beer had an opportunity to breathe and really let the deep malty profile open up.

I use the Spiegelau Craft Tasting Kit glasses given you get 4 brilliant quality beer glasses for a really reasonable price of typically between $10 – $15 a glass.

I’m piecing together an article and video about the kit however for the moment, dial your non-alcoholic beers to max and check the price of the kit over on Amazon AU (Amazon UK and Amazon USA here).

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Coopers Birell Ultra Light non alcoholic beer in hand

The Round-Up: Final Thoughts

The thing I’m most disappointed about the Coopers Birell Ultra Light is that I avoided it for so long as I fell victim to the “Melbourne” approach to things of craft, boutique and unknown is the only way to go.

Having made up for lost time downing 2 x 6-packs in a short time I can say it is a truly enjoyable beer that puts beers twice its price under the table in both the taste and mouthfeel stakes. For me, this is a great all-around beer and due to it being easy to access as part of your weekly shop in major supermarkets makes it one I’ll be drinking more and more often.

Want to try it for yourself? Links from the review above, are just down below to help you track it down!

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by Jonathan Lambrianidis

Non-alcoholic drinks writer and podcaster, beer brewing and winemaking side-kick, lawyer and cyclist. Owner of and the Non-Alcoholic Drinks Podcast.