Athletic Brewing is my personal choice for N/A beers and now they are nodding towards their second home of California with a West Coast IPA using malt from Admiral and hops from Crosby.
Peanut butter beers are the rage right now, but what would an N/A one taste like? Let’s see what Athletic Brewing can do with Nature Nut a collaboration with Justin’s Nut Butters.
Double N pours a nearly black color. The aroma has a slight peanut butter aroma to it. Akin to the smell when you stir up a natural peanut butter when first opened. Again, Athletic has made a beer that does not taste thin like others in this category. There is a bit of a cherry note amidst the carbonation that hits upon first taste which quickly leaves and then a pleasant but light peanut tastes lingers.
The next round in the Non-Alcoholic beer game has begun with Boston Beer Co. adding a Hazy IPA to their roster but with no-low alcohol. The question remains, will this boost the category? Either because of limited distribution or bad taste, the niche hasn’t burst hard like seltzer’s. Personally the lows of N/A are bad while seltzer seems uniformly m’eh. Maybe tackling the style most popular will help. Just in case, they should do a non-alcohol pastry stout too.
I would recommend not getting a full sidereal until you have tried one.
The penultimate in the five part series of reviews of Partake Brewing is the IPA. Let’s see how hoppy this N/A beer is.
Initially, this did not taste great. Had a weird aftertaste. As it warmed, it improved. More grapefruit pith notes came out. It is still a pretty thin and watery beer. Practically indistinguishable from the Pale. But I expect something more from IPA because you can use the hops to create vibrant palates. If this was labeled as a Pale or Session, I would review it more favorably.
Next up in the five part series of reviews of Partake Brewing is the Red Ale. We currently sit at 1/2 on the non-alcoholic beers.
This one falls in between the Blonde and the Pale. Primarily due to its beautiful color. Deep red and brown. Like a tea / coffee mix. The taste is OK. The first thing that jumps out is a really watery character. Not much hoppiness here with the barest hint of malt struggling to land. There is a tiny kellerbier note in the back as well. The score is now 1 and a half out of three beers tasted.
We start the Partake Brewing roll call with their Blonde. Before I start though, you should read the interview posted earlier with Ted Fleming from Partake to get some backstory.
The Blonde Ale pours a dark orange color. Smells and tastes of wort. Very bitter but not fun hop bitterness. Just has an unfinished beer taste to it. Quite watery in the mouthfeel. It does not come close to a typical blonde ale. The malt isn’t there and neither is the silky smoothness of the style.
The low ABV craze seems to have given way to a current wave of Low Cal – Low ABV IPA’s (hence my featured reviews this month) but there are still pushes in the N/A arena. BrewDog, no stranger to experimenting on either end of the ABV spectrum have gone the collaboration route with Lamb of God (honestly don’t know who they are and fear what Google will do if I type that in). I like the label art though I don’t know that it screams N/A.
This N/A brew from Brooklyn Brewery pours a dark orange color. It has a big wort smell. Real big. Like what I would smell walking by the old Weinhard brewery in Portland. Called a non-alcoholic hoppy brew. More the former than the latter. Great name but the beer tastes green andunfinished to me. Not getting any hops at all. My non-drinking wife tasted and it brought back memories of Lucky grocery branded generic “beer”. That is not a compliment. I poured half of this out.
I have written about Non-Alcoholic and low alcoholic beers on my blog as well as Beer Paper LA because I think it is the next style category due for a breakout. Beers like Dogfish Head’s SeaQuench have made a mark that will lead to more and more may be coming from another brewing old-timer, Deschutes.
The Bend, Oregon brewery has joined up with Sustainable Beverage Technologies, the creators of what they call “BrewVo”, their method of making alcohol free beer. Deschutes will be tapping a hop-forward beer and an Irish stout in Bend and at their Portland pub and if the response is good, may get packaged as well.
Deschutes also has a low-alcohol sessionable IPA with the name of that will barely tip the ABV scales at under 3%.
I am starting to believe my own hype. I had a feeling that the N/A market was going to be a major one in 2019 and maybe beyond and now we might be able to taste how the Oldest Brewery does it when Weihenstaphan brings out their super low in alcohol offering.