Online Tasting: Non-Alcoholic Beers (Jan 14-17)

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by elNopalero, Jan 14, 2022.

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  1. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (4,368) Oct 14, 2009 California
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    Saludos, fellow Advocates!

    By the time I post this it will be close to midnight here on the west coast, and some of our international friends have already begun their day, so let's get this tasting started!

    Online NA Beer TASTING Thread--Friday, January 14 to Sunday, January 16, 2022

    This weekend we are focusing on NA (ABV < 0.5%) beers, in the spirit of dry January.
    Most, if not all of these beers should fall into the BA Specialty category of
    although NA beers can be any style. Keep this in mind as you review your NA beers, and compare them to other examples of the style. But if you find something that is indistinguishable from the full-ABV analogue by all means make a note of that as well!

    Post a photo, share your thoughts, write a review or just some notes, and above all HAVE FUN!

    What else to know?

    No, you do not need to participate in Dry January to join the tasting. In fact, I believe there's going to be a few folks doing some side-by-side tastings, between NA and 'regular' options, for comparison and for Science!

    Per @PapaGoose03, please share how much (or little) exposure you've had to NA craft beers when you first post. First time? Say so! Or if you're a subscriber to everything Athletic has put out, let us know as well. This will be helpful in knowing where you're coming from in your comments.

    For more NA fun:
    The NA Planning Thread has a few recommendations to get you started, and the ongoing NA Beer (2022) thread will keep this conversation going long after the tasting weekend has ended.

    Gracias/thanks to @Harrison8 and @FBarber for helping out here behind the scenes. With any luck, at some point down the road we'll get a rep from one of better NA beer companies to participate in something here!
  2. ChicagoJ

    ChicagoJ Poo-Bah (1,800) Feb 2, 2015 Illinois

    First want to give much thanks the the great planning and execution of this weekend's host, @elNopalero . His idea for this tasting was well timed, as many are taking advantage of a Dry January.

    I have had one NA beer ever, a free O'doul's, and while I recall liking it more than beers I wouldn't drink again, also recall that I would prefer a beer over an NA beer.

    Heading out of town, not sure when I'm coming back Sunday, so wanted to get at least one in before the road trip. Not an attorney, but per my internet search, while these beers are considered NA, it appears that they would also be considered an "open container" if you are drinking this, so doing this one now.

    Athletic Brewing Co. Run Wild


    Can Notes: Purchased refrigerated from Beer on the Wall, $1.75 for a single 12 oz, canned 10/20/21 @ 12:46 Non Alcoholic Brew, Contains less than 0.5% ALC/VOL. 70 calories, 16g Carbohydrates. Ingredients Water, Organic Vienna Malt, Malted Barley, Oats, Hops, Yeast.

    Clear golden tan base, light carbonation. Took two separate pours into a shaker pint glass, as the first aggressive pour produced a full rich creamy head that took up 40% of the glass. Generous creamy lacing throughout, wish all IPAs looked like this. 4.5

    Brewed wort, smells just like a brewery in action. One note, but enticing for me, as it's a smell I really like. 4.0

    Taste: Brewed malt mash, some lemon backing, caramel sweetness. Flavor stronger and more pleasant than expected as a non NA beer drinker. Tastes just like the corn mash I've had at Jack Daniels prior to fermentation, and tastes just like the aroma / wort smell encountered at a brewery. Works well for me. 4.25

    Mouthfeel: Dry, slightly bitter, light and easy, clean finish. Light carbonation dies out early into the pour. 3.5

    Overall: I'm new to NAs, so don't have a baseline to compare, but this exceeded my limited expectations going in. Smelled and tasted like the mash brewing smells I was attracted to since being a kid at Busch Gardens Tampa with the brewery in full gear. Really glad I picked this one today! 4.25

    Well, that was a surprise, so looking forward to the second one, either today or tomorrow, also recommended by THE WBAYDN NA Resident Guru @eppCOS !
  3. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,742) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader

    @elNopalero - With Monday being a national holiday in the US, perhaps you'd like to extend this to the 17th.
    Tagging @FBarber if he wants to modify the title and post.
    2beerdogs, TCgenny, eppCOS and 9 others like this.
  4. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (5,270) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Society Trader

    The fun part of this tasting, is I can chime in with a different NA beer whenever. Opting to hit a review early. Thanks to @elNopalero for getting us going. I have quite a bit of Athletic in my fridge right now, so if I seem brand specific, it's simply because I made a large order from them in December. Perhaps I can swing by Whole Foods sometime this weekend to see if they have any singles of WellBeing on their shelves. Anyway, review time:


    Athletic's Single Hop: Comet.

    Pours a foggy pale straw color with two fingers of white foam. Aroma is mild herbal, grassy, and tropical fruit hops. There is a worty sweetness just beyond that elevates the sweetness on the nose. Bready malts add some further depth, and push it just a touch more sweet. Flavor profile follows a lot of the same cues, but carries more balance. Tropical fruits, tangerine, and grassy hops all meld together to form the bulk of the flavor profile. Mild earthy, and heavy bready malts elevate it slightly, and help establish balance. The worty aroma on the nose is more obscured in the flavor profile, but it's still present, particularly at the end as the hops fade out. Mouth feel is a soft crispness, thinking something tempura fried vs deep fried, with a dry finish. Thickness is medium-thin. Overall, clean and easy to drink, it's hop forward without being an absolute onslaught of notes.

    Score: 4 | 3.75 | 4 | 4 | 4 | BA Score: 3.94 | rDev: +3.1%

    This isn't my favorite single hop to-date, but it's still good. Of the five 6ers I ordered, this is the one disappearing from my fridge the mostly quickly.

    Side note, and not intending this to be an Athletic Brewing thread, but I just got on their website and they have a limited schwarzbier, dunkelweizen, and a black IPA. I may be making another order soon. Focusing on not drinking during the work weeks while I'm in training right now, so having some different NA options around is always pleasant. Likewise, I've never had a NA black IPA. It's one of my favorite styles, so curious how well Athletic was able to execute it.
  5. tigg924

    tigg924 Poo-Bah (6,881) Apr 30, 2008 Massachusetts

    Morning All. Starting with a beer from one of my favorite breweries for NA beers, One for the Road. Still Struggling Espresso Stout has great coffee taste and is low carb--so bonus. I am not a coffee drinker but with NA coffee beers, I wonder how different they are from actual coffee. I know these actually have caffeine which I really need this morning.

    As for me, I have had about 225 different NA beers, most of which have come over the past two years. I really enjoy how far they have come and plan on tasting beers from my favorite breweries over the course of this weekend long tasting. Thanks for organizing this @elNopalero
  6. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (4,368) Oct 14, 2009 California
    Society Trader


    @zid, @fhbarber, I'm cool with extending this through Monday. It's 'a day on, not a day off'!

    ...and now that I have the official business out of the way, here's my lineup for the weekend. I started working on this last night, but I didn't finish it up. I'm glad to see so much activity on this thread already!

    I've tried NA beers in the past, and just didn't care for any of them. At the start of 2021, however, I got turned onto Athletics's line of NA beers, which I found decent to enjoyable, even.

    I don't find the 'hop water'/thin body of session IPAs to be a deal-breaker, and the Athletic IPA reminded me of a well-done session IPA. I tried most of their core staples--the ones I could find--and their Run Wild IPA remains a repeat purchase.

    Lagunitas rolled out their NAIPA around then as well. I was initially fond of it, but found it lacking by the time I finished the pack. I have not revisited it since then.

    For this month's tasting I've picked up 8 different NA beers. They are all new to me, with the exception of Athletics's Free Wave, which I've yet to review. The Clausthaler was a Trader Joe's single; all the rest were in 4- or 6- packs, which is quite the commitment.

    If I had to place my bets going in, I'm most curious/have the greatest expectations about the Barrel Brothers and Atmos IPA-style selections. On the other end, I don't think this Clausthaler will be any better than the one I had a few years ago. I'm looking forward to seeing how all of these shake out.
  7. tigg924

    tigg924 Poo-Bah (6,881) Apr 30, 2008 Massachusetts

    Excellent choices. I will be curious to see what you make of Wayfairer. If you like that, you will want to try Kora--also by Atmos. It is one of my favorite NA ipas.

    ChicagoJ, elNopalero, TCgenny and 7 others like this.
  8. BrewsOverHoes

    BrewsOverHoes Poo-Bah (1,516) Nov 17, 2013 Georgia
    Society Trader

    Thanks @elNopalero for hosting!

    Cross-post from WBAYDN!

    For what it is, definitely a solid NA IPA. Reminded me of a Session IPA in mouthfeel, you know, that hop water feel. Thin body, pretty carbonated. Citrus and grapefruit does come through. I’ll keep these in rotation for when I need a liver break!

    Cheers, hope to see some uptick in the thread this weekend.
  9. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (4,368) Oct 14, 2009 California
    Society Trader

    I saw the Kora, but it was six months old. Were you the one who recommended those back in the 2021 NA thread? (I didn't do a search--but I remember someone recommending them way back when.)
  10. laketang

    laketang Poo-Bah (1,526) Mar 22, 2015 Arizona


    Weihenstephaner original notes:
    Light straw with great head retention.
    Light dough and floral hop notes.
    Nice bread hop taste with some Carmel aspect.
    Crisp and light.nice carbonation.

    Weihenstephaner original n-a notes:
    Bright straw with an initial lively head.
    Some dough and some cracker notes.
    Very Light floral with slight green apple note.
    Light and most notable a bit flat. Little carbonation.

    I don't drink na beer but thought I would do a comparison.
    The na doesn't come close to the regular, but if you need an
    Na beer I would guess there are better ones than this.
  11. BrewsOverHoes

    BrewsOverHoes Poo-Bah (1,516) Nov 17, 2013 Georgia
    Society Trader

  12. tigg924

    tigg924 Poo-Bah (6,881) Apr 30, 2008 Massachusetts

    It was probably me. I have liked Kora for quite some time now. Easily their best beer.

    ChicagoJ, elNopalero, TCgenny and 3 others like this.
  13. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (5,270) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Society Trader

    Run for the day is complete. Figured I'd chase that down with another Athletic beer. This is my first go with any of their more sour beers, as I've always stuck to their IPA or stout counterparts. An alcoholic radler is perhaps as close as you can get to an NA beer, while still having alcohol. With that in mind, I'm curious how this holds up.


    Athletic's Raspberry Lime Radler.

    Pours a cloudy pale raspberry-orange with two fingers of off-white foam. Aroma is raspberry right off the cusp. It's right in line with the actual taste of raspberry, that is to say, semi-sweet with a tart undertone. The tartness in the nose is compounded by lime, together it creates a potent aroma, falling just shy of sour. Some underlying lemon zest, and grass hops round it out. Flavor profile is that same tartness from the nose, but in a more yin-yang union. Raspberry and lime swirl about, neither taking the bulk of the flavor profile. Together, it forms a tart start, that has a little more sweetness on the backend. That sweetness is enhanced by a mild wort, grainy note at the finish. Mouth feel is medium in thickness with a soft crispness. If it were a touch more crisp, it would be an utterly refreshing brew. Overall, the utilization of raspberry and lime accentuate each other well, and help create a refreshing soda-like NA beer option.

    Score: 4 | 3.75 | 4.25 | 3.75 | 4 | BA Score: 4.02 | rDev: N/A

    This is one I'd gladly reach for in the hotter months, especially after mowing the lawn or going for a hot, sweaty run. In the colder months it feels a little out of its element.
  14. BrewsOverHoes

    BrewsOverHoes Poo-Bah (1,516) Nov 17, 2013 Georgia
    Society Trader

    Joining @Harrison8 with some Athletic. That sour looks pretty good!

    Athletic Brewing — All Out


    I have kept a sixer of this one in the fridge ever since I tried it for the first time.

    Pours a dark deep brown, almost black. Decent frothy mocha head that leaves as quickly as it assembled. Aromas of wort, faint bakers chocolate, coffee, roasted malt. Taste follows, a thin bodied one for sure, reminiscent of Guinness if you ask me, which is why I like this one. A little nitro in this would be interesting. Top notch in the NA department.

  15. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,416) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    @MNAle Thoughts? Looks to me like a comparison of Original Helles to NA Weizen.

    Laketang, no banana or clove notes in the NA? Any readable dating?
  16. MrSandman101

    MrSandman101 Initiate (28) Dec 11, 2021

    Maaaan. I’m gonna be at work for the next 4 and a half hours. But this thread is making me crave that all out stout. It’s good stuff for what it is!
  17. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,363) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    I'll be doing a side-by-side of their hefe and the na later today. I look forward to comparing notes. :beers:
  18. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (2,363) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Nice pic.

    How was the beer? :slight_smile::beers:
  19. laketang

    laketang Poo-Bah (1,526) Mar 22, 2015 Arizona

    Closer look at the bottle reveals it is a na heffe, but I did not detect clove and should have paid more attention to the label. The flat taste could be due in part from age. Will see if @MNAle detects clove in his.i don't enjoy Heffe and don't buy it because of clove but you caught my mistake :wink:
  20. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,416) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Weihenstephan brews an NA Helles, but I don't think it's exported. I was honestly hoping you may have proved that wrong!
  21. digitalflood

    digitalflood Champion (860) Feb 4, 2011 New York

    FINALLY A BEER TASTING I CAN DO... a year sober has been rough, but NA has come along way so it really helped get me there. These are old pictures from November, but Two Roots New West IPA is still my favorite NA IPA (and my favorite IPA in general). It's awesome IMHO.


    From my Review on 11/22/21 (

    At $13 for a six pack the question out the gate is-- Was it worth it? And the short answer is yes but the longer answer is more intriguing.

    Poured from a can into a standard pint glass. As soon as I cracked open the can top there was an immediate and massive aroma of pine, mango, orange juice, and lemon grass. The aroma really opens up even bigger once poured out and you get subtle hints of fresh baked diner biscuits and sugar cookies on top of the aforementioned aromatics.

    The body is thick opaque golden yellow with hints of amber, orange, and white. Milkshake like and very active in small bubble carbonation. The head builds to a large frothy crown with uneven open and closed bubbling. Reduces to excellent lacing around the rim and across the face of the top. Seriously one of the most beautiful IPAs I've ever poured.

    On the nose-- lots of mango, passion fruit, kiwi, guava, and pine needles. Mid-palette you get a very intense bitterness from the pine notes. Almost an acrid acid sting of super powered grapefruit and grapefruit rind that overwhelms all flavor. Depending on who you are and what your palette likes this is either incredibly displeasing or for the select few-- absolute nirvana of old school IPA bittering. This far outreaches an ESB or standard IPA. It takes me back to classic West coast IPAs of years gone by when wrecking a tongue to the point of numbness was the goal. It's dare I say wonderful and out of a NA beer is completely unexpected. How they achieved this level of hopping and bitter with a NA is something of magic honestly because all those beautiful hops notes like this are usually sacrificed to the NA gods during the alcohol removal process. And here somehow they have figured out how to make that not happen and how not to use some after hopping that while would add notes could never do anything like this. Truly next level and revolutionary-- brilliant! Back palette things reduce to malty biscuits, caramel, and strong pine tree needles. There is an under current of star fruit, stone fruit, candied cranberries, and grapefruit rinds with a hint of lemon zest. It all comes clean on the after taste with lingering grape fruit, lemon and a bit of Tang like OJ flavoring. Honestly just an incredible IPA period, much less a NA IPA.

    The mouth feel is very full and this is also brilliant. Usually there is a thinness that is made up with oats and wheat added to mix, but that also lessens the IPA flavoring of the hop notes. Here that does not happen. There is simply malt barley, water, yeast and hops. Somehow though this has the full New England IPA milkshake mouthfeel with all that thickness, foam, and syrup feel with no alcohol. Again normally the very process to remove the alcohol degrades the mouth feel and somehow they figured that out too. It feels like a NE IPA.

    Honestly if you told me this beer had less than 4% ABV I'd be shocked. Tell me it has less than .5% ABV and I'm blown away. It looks, smells, tastes and feels like a 6%-8% ABV NE IPA. And a very excellent one at that. Really just an absolute wonderful job. 4.5 out of 5. Excellent. Highly recommended.
    AlcahueteJ, Electros, Leafer and 21 others like this.
  22. laketang

    laketang Poo-Bah (1,526) Mar 22, 2015 Arizona

    Nope but funny thing is I should have picked up some banana but didn't, only some faint tartness. Was interesting to try nonetheless, thanks.
  23. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (4,368) Oct 14, 2009 California
    Society Trader


    My first for this tasting:

    Barrel Brothers’ State Sponsored Juicing, non-alcoholic NEIPA.

    This is my first time having anything from Barrel Brothers, even after all the times I’ve been to Windsor!

    Canned on 11/12/21, so just about a month old at the time of tasting.

    For a hazy beer it looks the part, perhaps a touch lighter and clouded than I’d expect, even. Hops on the aroma are overshadowed by what I consider a more “worty” note that's slightly vegetal, mostly inoffensive. The vegetal green pepper and parsley character comes out more on the sip, with a prolonged finish. Some bicarbonate minerality, which I find in hazy beer generally, and a low bitterness.

    I guess the bottom line is, do I like it? As an IPA, and as a NA beer? I still have a few more of these to help me make up my mind.
  24. BillAfromSoCal

    BillAfromSoCal Devotee (484) Aug 24, 2020 California

    My contributions this weekend will be from the Athletic Brewing line-up since I have at least 4 varieties in the fridge. I have been drinking NA as a supplement to and occasional substitute for full ABV beers for nearly a year. I have decided I strongly prefer the Wellbeing and some of the Athletics to others I have tried, some of which are awful. I'm looking forward to comparing notes with others here who have already posted comments about some Athletic beers.
    First up is Athletic's Superfood Swell IPA, brewed in collaboration with Laird Superfood, this one clocks in at 80 cal and 19 gm carbs. Listed contents include organic Vienna malt, malted barley, mango puree pineapple puree, hops, yeast, and wheat.
    Canned 10/04/21, this one pours a rich pineapple yellow/gold (more yellow in reality than suggested by the amber appearance in the photo) with a nice white 1.5 finger head in a modified perfect pint glass (provided to club members by Athletic). Some, but not a lot of lacing. The head recedes to a thin film and some soapy islands after a few minutes. It is not what I call overly "hazy" but it is not clear. It is translucent rather then opaque. There is zero evidence of visible suspended solids, i.e., no visible evidence of the puree remains.
    Smell and taste are the same: initial wave of apricot (unexpected) followed by mango and pineapple. Not bitter. Not sweet. Not much carbonation. Medium body in the mouth. Verrrrry smooth and highly drinkable. Probably one of my favorite NA beers.
    Apologies for what turned out to be a cr*p picture.
  25. MBurgat

    MBurgat Initiate (32) May 3, 2018 New York

    I’ll be following this thread closely. I’ve tried several NA brews (Athletic, Lagunitas, BrewDog, and the old ones Clausthauler and O’Douls) but have never found anything with a decent mouthfeel and without that nasty sweet taste and occasionally odd aftertaste. I will admit I am a picky NEIPA and Belgian drinker so that may have tainted my views. So far nothing has come around that I would ever buy again. I do like hopwater for what it is but it doesn’t take the place of beer. Just my 2¢
  26. BillAfromSoCal

    BillAfromSoCal Devotee (484) Aug 24, 2020 California

    Nice review. Your experience is very similar to mine. This was one f my early experiences with craft NA and I was pleasantly surprised. I found some of the other Athletic IPAs to be even better, though. I reviewed one above (Superfood Swell) and I will try to do their standard hazy IPA later this weekend. I prefer both to the Run Wild, even though I found RunWild to be better than I expected for a NAIPA.
  27. Harrison8

    Harrison8 Poo-Bah (5,270) Dec 6, 2015 Missouri
    Society Trader

    I was wondering why that one was named "Superfood", and never realized it was a collaboration with Laird Superfood.

    That is under 100 calories, which is pretty nice for those complaining about NA's caloric content. Of course, that's probably offset by the 19g of carbs. Interesting....

    Based on your review, I'll make a note to pick this up if I see it.
  28. GlenFarclas

    GlenFarclas Initiate (99) Oct 1, 2021 Connecticut

    I'll be joining with some Athletic, the Hefe to start. I've been drinking NA for the past 2 years or so I would say. I like to mix it in here and there or just as a replacement if I'm only have one or two or cutting back generally.

    I'll preface this by saying that I haven't had many bad NA beers. It could be a palate thing, it could be down to how I approach it or maybe I have a predisposition which leaves my brain really susceptible to enjoying these. I always find a kind of dopamine rush just the same as have a leaded beer.


    Looks the part, for a start. It's hazy and a deep straw color. The head is fluffy, pillowy white and hangs about, still there as I type. Nose is typical hefe: some malt, a hint of that typical wheat character, maybe some remote elements of banana, bubblegum, some rounded caramel too. Taste follows. Really the texture stands out more, it's soft and pillowy and the there's a mild fizz right on the top of the tongue. This is a little cold so I'll let it warm, I expect it'll bring it some more rounded notes, maybe pull out more of the dry character.

    look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4
    4.24/5 rDev +9.3%

    Last thought. I think a lot of people tend to go into NA with the wrong approach. It's like folks who go into horror films intending to be contrarian and either speak throughout or laugh to quell any potential tension. I think if you go into it positively and think about what you're consuming mindfully, you'll see there's some great product out there.

    Anyway, have a great evening, I plan to be back with plenty other offerings! Cheers!
  29. zid

    zid Poo-Bah (1,742) Feb 15, 2010 New York
    Society Trader


    In the planning thread, @AlcahueteJ had the idea of a comparison between Heineken 0.0, Heineken Light, and the standard Heineken flagship. Comparing similar beers is where my head is at these days, and the above comes close to AlcahueteJ's idea. In the past, I've done a blind comparison between Heineken 0.0 and Bitburger Drive. (More on that comparison later.) I also once did a blind comparison with Heineken 0.0 and the standard Heineken. At the time, Heineken 0.0 was one of the only times I've ever enjoyed a NA beer, but it was still a very different drinking experience compared to a regular Heineken. No offense intended to anyone who either enjoys NA beers or finds some of them to be interchangeable with alcoholic beer... but I essentially do not fall into either camp. Everyone has different tastes, and that's what makes a beer forum far more interesting.

    It's worth noting that the two NA beers above are 0.0% ABV. Before this comparison tasting, the only 3 easily obtainable NA beers that I've gotten any enjoyment from were the above two 0.0 beers and Lagunitas IPNA - with Drive being my favorite and Lagunitas probably being my least favorite. (I always wondered if Lagunitas IPNA uses the same alcohol removal methods as Heineken 0.0). I tend to dislike NA beers... including what I've had from Athletic... and when I dislike a NA beer, I sometimes reaaallly dislike it. This preference means that I've had relatively little experience with NA beers though... and I might feel very differently about certain brands if I had more experiences with them.

    Here was my reaction to the above 3 in a blind comparison:

    Heineken Light (which is 3.3% ABV) was lightstruck, had a light malt presence, a light body, some hop bite and was crisp. It was easily identifiable as the alcoholic beer... or the most standard beer if you will. Next to the alcohol free beers, it was decadent... even if that's a word that has never been used to describe Heineken Light on BeerAdvocate before today. Despite being lightstruck, this was the most enjoyable beer of the group.

    Heineken 0.0 was easily my least favorite of the group. It had the flabbiness that I dislike in NA beers. It was relatively sweet, fruity, and had a touch of acidity. I got no lightstruck character. This beer gave the impression of having the fullest body. In the context of the group, this beer was not enjoyable, but if I had it on it's own, I believe I would have been more adaptable to it and enjoyed it more.

    Bitburger Drive (which I assume is a duplicate listing on BA with the "Alkoholfrei" beer) was the most impressive of the group when taking ABV into account. While Heineken Light came across as "the real thing" and Bitburger Drive had some character that made it identifiable as a NA beer, Drive was also much closer to Heineken Light than Heineken 0.0 was. Drive was crisper, had more hop bite, less malt presence, and less body than Heineken 0.0.

    The results of this comparison were the same as the results of my first comparison between Heineken 0.0 and Drive. At this point, I'm convinced that I should try Drive more since I've only ever had it in these comparison tastings (because I don't ordinarily drink NA beer). I really need to have it on its own and see if I still like it as much in that context. (A blind comparison is very revealing, but it's also a compromised way of drinking that will never give you the full impression of a beer). I also need to compare it to the regular Bitburger (a beer I enjoy quite a bit... pun intended). Drive is a brilliant name for a NA beer BTW.

    For anyone interested, here are stats for the Heineken brand beers. Note the carb jump of Heineken 0.0.

    5.0% ABV; Calories 142; Carbohydrates 11g; Fat 0g; Protein 2g

    3.3% ABV; Calories 99; Carbohydrates 7g; Fat 0g; Protein 1g

    HEINEKEN 0.0%
    0.0% ABV; Calories 69; Carbohydrates 16g; Fat 0g; Protein 0g
  30. steveh

    steveh Poo-Bah (3,416) Oct 8, 2003 Illinois

    Yeah, very curious and makes me wonder about the beer's age.
  31. cjgiant

    cjgiant Poo-Bah (5,901) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia

    Not surprised to se Athletic Brewing with a strong showing, given the good things I've heard of their beers. I definitely wanted to include them in my basket for this tasting, and it turns out I only added them (as of today). I had the first one last night, and it is one that @BrewsOverHoes had.

    He mentioned All Out was Guinness-like. I opened mine before the refrigerator had a chance to complete its job, but I got more of a Schwarzbier to me. Athletic simply calls it "dark" or "extra dark."

    My pour generated a fair amount of head initially, akin to that of @BrewsOverHoes. Similarly, the volume didn't last, but a decent ring did provide some lacing against the nucleated glass's sides. On the nose I get a slightly mix of of dark pretzel with a little bit of dry brownie mix (which I could twist to the baker's chocolate he mentioned).

    Last night, the warmer beer seemed thinner than it does today. It was thin enough to be a bit of a tell for the nature of the ABV, but this beer isn't near too thin or watery. The other similarity to other low-ABV beers I've had is the odd way the bitterness comes out. The dark malt flavors are indistinguishable to me from an alcoholic Schwarzbier. But in the transition to the end taste, there seems to be a void where something should balance against the bitter.

    For All Out, it's a minor detraction. I actually quite like this beer, and I think it could easily find a spot in my fridge on the regular if it is available. Athletic's site seems to play up the winter brew in its marketing:
    Since I looked it up, I might question the "full-bodied" of the tasting notes, although for a low alcohol beer, maybe it is. Again, I get a little bit of pretzel in the taste, but otherwise I'm close to what they suggest.

    Now to actually pair this with that bourbon in the background.

    Wasn't going to give any notes, but a sip of the bourbon - a moderately sweet, smooth, not too complex whiskey - right before a sip of beer is actually quite nice. Sorta defeats the purpose of the reduced alcohol beer, I know, but who asked you? :wink:
  32. BrewsOverHoes

    BrewsOverHoes Poo-Bah (1,516) Nov 17, 2013 Georgia
    Society Trader

    Great write up!

    I need to try it with bourbon next time! :grin:

    Hell even a side by side with a Guinness and a Schwarzbier! Actually, does Guinness make a NA?
  33. elNopalero

    elNopalero Poo-Bah (4,368) Oct 14, 2009 California
    Society Trader

    I hear they do, although I've never seen it in the wild.

    Same with Deschutes' NA option.
  34. mikeinportc

    mikeinportc Poo-Bah (1,797) Nov 4, 2015 New York

    I'd just got home with this Monday night , when I found out I was exposed to Covid, Friday & Sunday. Started feeling a little something Wednesday. Still persisting today . Very minor symptoms, but I'm not going anywhere before the weekend is over. this was the only option there that didn't have a good coating of dust, & no NA beers were in the singles rack, this'll be it for me (x6) .

    Overall, it reminds me of Lags' Hop Refresher (i.e., hop seltzer) , with a hint of malt. It's OK, but I think I slightly prefer the HR.
    3.11/5 rDev +0.3%
    look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3
  35. cjgiant

    cjgiant Poo-Bah (5,901) Jul 13, 2013 District of Columbia

    I think I will have trouble finding a decent low or N/A IPA. I've had a few, and while drinkable, they weren't really enjoyable. I noted in my last post that there was a note I get in all the handful of such beers I have had. In this most recent beer, it was the least prominent. I wondered if a dark beer might not have it, and it seems like maybe it just did an okay job of hiding it.

    Then again, it might be better made. My other beer is an Athletic IPA, which I don't expect to like as much; however, maybe they are just making better product. We shall see.

    Barrel-aged non-alcoholic beer - we need a new style!! I am not sure on the Guinness N/A, but I'd kinda figure it exists or will soon.

    Also, we do have a side-by-side thread if you do any comparison outside of this weekend :slight_smile:
  36. eppCOS

    eppCOS Poo-Bah (1,977) Jun 27, 2015 Colorado

    Forgive my tardiness.... but I've been drinking these on the regular now, for... what, months?
    It started as a why not experiment and has morphed into trying to systematically replace one normal beer a day with an N/A option.
    In any case, for all the varieties and brands I have tasted that are out there on a national scale I like what Untitled Art is doing with N/A in general.

    While I do think all of these beers are a pale comparison to actual X% regular beers, the ones I enjoy the most are the ones that don't necessarily try to shoot for standard ale-IPA-lager profiles. That's why I've been enjoying the Florida Weisse and the Watermelon Gose N/A options from Untitled Art. They are slightly tangy fruit juice and don't fall far from the "tart mark" of regular weisse and Gose beers.

    This Untitled Art Juicy IPA is one of the better IPA-taste-alikes out there.
    Informal notes:

    It has that density of haze, palate impact, just enough carbonation prickles, and a fairly citric component to it that can fool me if I'm not really paying attention. It's my N/A Hamm's - an uncomplicated very light IPA taste that I don't have to over-think.

    The only downside to Untitled Art N/A beers is the price; they are not really beer, yet I'm paying beer-like prices. But hey, fool my liver once....

    Cheers and thanks to @elNopalero for getting us kicked off here. Been enjoyable to watch some of the UNavailable options scroll by today.

  37. GlenFarclas

    GlenFarclas Initiate (99) Oct 1, 2021 Connecticut

    Upside Dawn also by Athletic

    I didn't anticipate enjoying this as much as I do. It's readily available most places (I think). Kind of a sleeper but it's genuinely great.


    Nice hop profile. In fact, it's drinking quite bitter right now, somewhat piney. The body is all malt with a really long finish, reminds me of your classic English pub ale. Something you kind of want to drown in, a pint never seems tall enough. In many ways it drinks like a fest beer and given how ubiquitous those have become they've sort of tapered in quality too. I'd take this over half the fests I had last year.

    I intend to keep a 6er of this on hand going forward.

    I think if you're a fan of English ale, Euro lager, pale beers, session stuff, throwing this sort of NA in that mix is really easy to do.
  38. mendelld

    mendelld Initiate (96) May 20, 2009 Illinois

    The Black IPA is terrific. Super-hoppy and malty, both. Perhaps the most full-bodied, robust, flavorful beer I've had from Athletic. I promptly ordered a second 6-pack.
  39. BillAfromSoCal

    BillAfromSoCal Devotee (484) Aug 24, 2020 California

    I think you nailed it. As long as I have been drinking the All Out, I could never put my finger on what it remined me of. I totally agree it is more reminiscent of a Schwarzbier than a stout or even a porter. Thanks for ending that puzzle for me....finally.
  40. tigg924

    tigg924 Poo-Bah (6,881) Apr 30, 2008 Massachusetts

    As far as I have heard, right now Guinness NA is Europe only now but will be here soon.

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