Featured Review – Partake Stout

We are at the end of the five part series of reviews of Partake Brewing, and we close with the Stout.

This beer garners the silver medal even though it is more a porter or brown ale. It has good flavor and is less watery than the rest. There is a bit of coffee taste as well as a slight tinge of cola. A bit of minerality in the finish that could be toned down but overall decent.

Featured Review – Partake IPA

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.

Featured Review – Partake Red Ale

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.

Featured Review – Partake Pale Ale

Next up in the five part series of reviews of Partake Brewing is the Pale Ale. Check out the first review of the Blonde Ale which was an inauspicious start to the five beer reviews.

The Pale Ale is much better. Firstly, the aroma pops off with light grassy and pine notes. The body is a little watery but has none of the weird “underdone” notes that the Blonde had. There is a refreshing smack of bitterness here and it is quite nice. A bit one dimensional but that dimension is solid.

Featured Review – Partake Brewing Blonde

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. 

Interview with Ted Fleming of Partake Brewing

I follow the nascent N/A beer market with interest so I was glad to be able to ask a few questions of Ted Fleming, the CEO & Founder of Partake Brewing.

1. Why did Partake want to do an N/A beer?  What did they think was missing from the market?

 Over a decade ago I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease which has led to many changes in my life. One of the biggest changes was my decision to give up alcohol and with that one of my favourite things and social activities – craft beer. As I began to explore the world of non-alcoholic beer as an alternative I realized that there was a significant lack of variety and high-quality NA beer like I had come to love in the craft beer experience. Every non-alcoholic beer I tried made me feel like I was compromising on something, which is why I wanted to launch Partake to bring authentically great tasting craft beer to the NA beer drinker.

2. Is the calorie counting drinker market the same now as it was last year or have attitude shifted?

 Overall, we have seen a significant shift in the market over the past few years with consumers wanting to see lower-calorie beverages across all areas. This is likely reflective of the increase in wholistic diets, the keto diet, as well as a decrease in desire to consume sugary beverages. Due to this, and since our launch in 2018, we have seen an increase in low-calorie beer across the non-alcoholic beverage category as well as the alcoholic beer category. There has also been an increase in more sessional beers with a lower ABV from brewers across North America.

3. What is the best-seller of your range and why do you think that is?

 Our best-seller in stores is our Pale Ale, coming in at 10 calories a can with zero carbs and won the World Beer Award for Best Non-Alcoholic Beer (2018). Our customers love it for it’s citrusy aromas and crisp finish. It also has our biggest distribution across the USA and Canada. The Pale Ale is a very accessible flavour profile for a variety of beer drinkers and is a great beer to always keep stocked in your fridge for any occasion. However, a very close 2nd overall is our IPA which is our best-seller online (drinkpartake.com). 

4. What is the biggest challenge in crafting a non-alcoholic beer?

 The biggest challenge is the delicacy of our beer to create the right balance of aromas and flavors. In full-alcohol beer the alcohol provides a flavor buffer that can hide a lot more potential imperfections and gives the brewer a larger margin for error. We also have a lot more to prove, we aren’t just trying to prove we make a great beer but we are also proving that we make a great beer without having to compromise on calories or having to consume alcohol to enjoy a great beverage.

5. Are there special one-off beers in the pipeline?  N/A pastry stout or double dry hopped IPA?

We definitely have some exciting new beers in development right now. One of these is our new Radler that we are working on launching sometime this July as an online exclusive (drinkpartake.com). The best way to stay up to date on when our new beers are launching is to subscribe to our newsletter as we usually release these in a very limited run to gain feedback and insights from our community.

In the Tap Lines for June 2020

header_attractionsWe start off June with a five question interview with Partake Brewing who is in the N/A beer space and will quickly move on to….

~ e-visits to (3)  breweries who might need a re-introduction to fans
~ special featured reviews of (5) beers from Partake Brewing!
~ Heads-Up on Los Angeles Beer Events (Far in the future events)
~ Three suggested beers to buy this month. One light, one medium and one dark
~ A Book & A Beer reads The Great Influenza by John Barry
~ A Podcast & A Beer listens to Forgotten Stories of Football
~ Great Beer names and Best Beers of the Month
~ I will tap the Firkin and give my no holds barred opinion on the craft beer world.