Appearance: Clear, light amber color. Fluffy, white head with good retention. Very fast carbonation.
Aroma: Citrus – Oranges & Grapefruit; Resinous – Pine
Flavor & Aftertaste: Oranges and pine flavors. Moderate bitterness. Medium sweetness.
Palate: Low carbonation. Medium, semi-dry finish cut with moderate bitterness that lingers a bit.
Balance: Well balanced and desirable.
Do I Recommend It? – Yes
- Brewery: Athletic Brewing Co. – Stratford, CT – https://www.athleticbrewing.com/
- Style: IPA
- ABV: 0.5%
- Packaging: 12 oz. can
- Calories: 70
- Carbs: 14g
- Hops: Blended Northwest hops including Citra & Mosaic
- Malt: US and German (Typically Two Row Pale. May have some Munich)
Similar to a lot of you out there, the first non-alcoholic (NA) beer I ever tried was O’Doul’s. Frankly, it was pretty awful and I never went back to NA beers until recently. That was back in the mid 90’s; but fortunately things have changed. As much as I enjoy “regular” beer, there are plenty of times when I would like to have a beer, but do not want the alcohol. I had not given NA beer much thought until Beer Guys Radio interviewed Bill Shufelt and John Walker, co-founders of Athletic Brewing Company out of Stratford, CT. After hearing their explanation of the various techniques for removing alcohol from beer and how they have improved, I decided to give a few a try. My biggest hurdle was obtaining some of Athletic Brewing’s beers, as they do not have local distribution in my area. Fortunately, one of the managers at my local Total Wine & More was kind enough to accommodated me and ordered Run Wild IPA and Upside Dawn Golden Ale. Because my order was a direct purchase and ship from the brewery, I had to wait three weeks for it to arrive. It as been worth the wait as I have been very pleasantly surprised. My first review is of Run Wild IPA and I’ll be following up with reviews of Upside Dawn and a few other NA beers.
Run Wild IPA pours out a clear, light amber color and develops a fluffy, white head with very good retention. Among the hops varieties Athletic Brewing uses, they chose two excellent dual use hops – Citra and Mosaic – for bittering and aroma. This gives the beer some complex yet pleasant citrus-like aromas, of which oranges and grapefruit being most prominent. You also pick up some pine notes as the beer aerates.
The flavor profile follows aroma closely, as a medium sweet malt backbone provides a nice background for citrus and pine-like flavors. It is all well balanced by a moderate bitterness. The finish is semi-dry with a moderate bitterness that lingers a bit into the aftertaste, but is not offensive. Overall, start to finish, a well balanced and desirable IPA.
As of this review, I have tried several NA beers and most have fallen well short of my expectations; after all, I want a beer that tastes like a beer not seltzer water. The exceptions have been Bitburger Drive and Athletic Brewing Run Wild IPA. Athletic Brewing did an excellent job with this beer and it tastes like an IPA is supposed to taste like, but without the alcohol. If you are looking for a NA beer that is tastes like a beer, I highly recommend Athletic Brewing’s Run Wild IPA. Hopefully, you will have it available; but if you do not it is well worth a special order. Also, more craft breweries are springing up making NA beers, as this segment of the market appears to be ready to take off. So there may be other craft breweries in your area with similar quality offerings. If you have some thoughts or comments on NA beers, I would love to hear them.
Thanks for reading and until next time…Let Us Drink Beer!