I always opt to be on beer rather than near it, still others prefer only getting close. Doesn’t surprise me AB makes it to the top spot in this category either.
Originally, “near beer” was a term for malt beverages containing little or no alcohol (less than 0.5% ABV), which were mass-marketed during Prohibition in the United States. Near beer could not legally be labeled as “beer” and was officially classified as a “cereal beverage”. The public, however, almost universally called it “near beer”.
Today, the term “near beer” has been revived to refer to modern non-alcoholic beer.
The most popular “near beer” was Bevo, brewed by the Anheuser-Busch company. The Pabst company brewed “Pablo”, Miller brewed “Vivo”, and Schlitz brewed “Famo”. Many local and regional breweries stayed in business by marketing their own near-beers. By 1921 production of near beer had reached over 300 million US gallons (1 billion L) a year (36 L/s).