Fermly Selects 5: Non-Alcohol for Alcohol Lovers
New Year’s resolutions are often a bust for that epic change (why does the locker room HAVE to smell like that???), but each year more and more people are getting sobercurious. Is it because of the hangover-free mornings? The lower calories? The buzz-free social experience? Less regrets and wondering where did that bruise come from? No, really-where? So we did some of the research for you this past month to find some excellent NA brews!
Let’s get groovy first with some, well, GRÜVI! The Golden is like opening a fresh bag of unmilled pilsner malt. Malt sweetness is the predominant flavor note without being cloying. It has a clean finish with a well-attenuated flavor. The hop character is balanced against the malt and actually finishes a bit more on the hoppy side with ideal carbonation and mouthfeel for the style.
Bootstrap Brewing Co. is one of the few breweries that has invested in making alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages which gives them a unique drive on flavor. The malt sweetness pops more than the hop aromas, but this is not the case at first sip which leans more towards hop bitterness. The carbonation balances out the slight tang that is common to many non-alcoholic brewed beverages.
Brewers love to experiment, which is part of what makes Tommyknocker’s Blood Orange IPA a bit more fascinating. In partnership with BrewVo, technology that brews at a higher flavor density which can be reinfused later with carbonation, water, and alcohol, this is the base product without the alcohol. Blood orange notes are pronounced and well-defined without a ton of hop aroma. The hoppy finish lends itself well to the blend of orange and malt flavors. Can’t help but be curious what other non-alcoholic possibilities are available with this new technology if the base is all this good!
“Do you have anything like Blue Moon?” Why YES! YES WE DO! Ceria Brewing’s Grainwave has a lot of commonalities, even coming down to the brewmaster Keith Villa. Starting off as the base for THC and CBD beers, draughting into the non-alcoholic scene was a natural move. Holding on to the emblematic orange and wit flavors of its older sibling, Grainwave is well-balanced and is probably one of the better non-alcoholic craft brews most aficionados will find on the market.
Let’s get dark. Not like the DC Universe, but Athletic Brewing’s All Out Extra Dark. Athletic is probably one of the best-known players on the non-alcoholic beer scene for a wide range of styles and flavors. There is dark malt aroma, ideal color, and balanced well with notes of chocolate and coffee. Definitely keeping this one around for a healthy day during Stout Month!
Many of these beers can be purchased online directly from the breweries or through liquor store websites and even Amazon. Are you a brewery that is curious about carrying a non-alcoholic brew to accommodate more of your customer base? Check with your state on what may be required, but most fall under the same kind of distribution agreements as selling gluten-free beers on site.