26/05/2009 05:41 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Is There Any Substitute For Beer When You're Pregnant?

What's the worst thing about being pregnant? There's the morning sickness, the swollen feet, the hormonal mood swings... and then there's not being able to drink alcohol.

Most of the symptoms disappear when you have the baby, but you still can't drink booze in any meaningful quantities if you're breastfeeding.

Now, I don't want to come across as a raging alcoholic here, but I really miss lager. And wine. And cocktails. And even G&Ts, and I don't really like them.

The Juice Brewery has invented something called Hopper, which it is marketing towards pregnant and breastfeeding women, and other non-drinkers.

Apparently it's low in calories and "high in mood-enhancing ingredients". It would have to be, to tackle the mood swings of the pregnant and the sleep deprived grouchiness of the new parent.

It's got hops and malt plus a tang of fruit. It comes in three flavours, apple, citrus and blackcurrant. It sounds a bit like one of those yummy Belgian fruit beers that I used to be so fond of.

Creator Neville Portelli says: "Like beer, Hopper is best drunk ice cold. Most soft drinks on the market are unpleasantly sweet and goody two shoes.

"We invented what we call a 'soft-brew', a refreshing soft drink with enough attitude to be at home in the pub – or with a picnic."

So it's almost like real beer. But here's the point. It isn't real beer.

Now, call me old fashioned, but if I'm going to drink beer, I want it to BE beer. I'm one of those annoying vegetarians who can't see the point of Quorn and other revolting meat substitutes. If I wanted to eat something that tasted like meat, I would eat meat. The same goes for decaffeinated coffee. What's the point?

I'm sure this Hopper stuff is very nice – and God knows I could do with some mood-enhancing – and I might even try it if I ever visit a pub again. But I know I won't enjoy it nearly as much as I would enjoy a nice, cold pint of lager. Mmmmmm....

For more information on Hoppers go to