New beers for September
It's that time again and we've got some great new beers in for September, we hope you like them! By far the most exciting for us is the arrival of Vandestreek brewery's Playground IPA. This is what started off the Sobersauce journey in non-alcoholic beers and remains one of the best we've tried. We are so excited to share it with you.
vandestreek Playground IPA
On the one hand it is a little punchier on the sugar and calories than some others but it uses it amazingly well. Amber in colour and slightly hazy, it carbonates really well, has excellent mouthfeel and retains a head well. On the nose it is really spicy on the and on the taste are slightly burned caramel notes and hoppy bitterness. It is a really well balanced beer and just leaves you wanting more and more. In terms of comparison with others, it has slightly more malt than a COAST but less so than the St Peters Without Gold.
This new UK brand has an amazing “blackout” bottle and label. It is really low in calories and pours light in colour, but slightly hazy. On the nose it has a fresh, light smell with grass and pine dominating. This continues in the taste which makes it extremely refreshing and crisp. Quite a unique lager and a great addition to the range.
Drop Bear Tropical IPA
Whilst we select all of our beers for great taste, sometimes there is a small trade-off with the really low sugar and low calorie beers. Not so with Drop Bear's Tropical IPA which we had to check the label 3 times to make sure we were reading it correctly!
The Tropical IPA pours a dark amber colour with a decent head and good carbonation of small bubbles. The smell is caramel with a hint of fruit and very enticing. The taste brings a huge hit of hops and malt at the start and although a slightly fruitiness exists, the bitterness wins the day. Overall this beer has big taste despite being extremely healthy.
Golden in colour and clear with good carbonation for a head that remains long into the drink. As with all of the Løwlander range, this is brewed with 'added extras', which they call botanicals. In this case, mango, cardamom and orange peel, the last of which really comes through on the nose and remains into the start of the drink. There is also an immediate but short hit of mango, which disappears to leave a hoppy finish, which combines with the cardamom, although we got hints of basil instead.
Sometimes when such ingredients go into a beer it feels unbalanced, but no so with this. It presents a really fresh, light orange taste which the cardamom balances out nicely. It is a just a superbly well-balanced, refreshing beer and tastes much less sweet than the ingredients might suggest.
For those that love the original Wit, this is a great follow-up. For those that didn’t, this is a more traditional beer.
Nirvana Hoppy Pale Ale
This is an excellent beer from one of the only UK alcohol-free beer brands with their own brewery. This pale ale is a light golden colour, as you'd expect, with a little carbonation and keeps its head for a decent amount of time. It is quite thin on palate but has really nice light grassy tones on the nose and refreshing, lightly hopped taste. Very drinkable, especially on a summer’s day.
Our first beer from Austria is from the legendary Stiegel brewery and one of my favourite lagers. It pours fairly clear and light in colour with a really good carbonation. On the nose are biscuity aromas and on the taste is a really smooth lager with a hint of citrus and less bitterness than many lagers. This is one of our favourite lagers and a real guzzler.
Mikkeller Limbo (Raspberry)
This is our first sour beer to hit our range and where better to start than this amazing beer from Mikkeller's Limbo series. The Limbo series beers remind us of the fantastic Belgian Kriek beers that combined fruit and sour tastes in perfect balance, and this is no different.
First off, it does pack a lot of sugar in there at 5.1g / 100ml but this is still way less than orange juice and many soft drinks. It pours a dark pink with a large head that remains - as everything that comes out of this brewery does. On the nose are strawberry and raspberry scents but is not overpowering due to its tartness; it’s also not as sweet as you’d expect. On the taste you get the immediate sourness that you expect with this style of beer with the sweetness following after, before settling into a smooth finish and just a little lingering sweetness or sourness lingers depending on how much you've held it in the mouth (longer = more sour!).
Mikkeller make great beers and this is no exception. For those that love sours / Belgian lambics / krieks then you’ll love this non-alcoholic version. For those that mostly prefer “normal” beer, give this a go. It’s very much a beer - its basis is Mikkeller’s Henry and His Science - and it might surprise you as a replacement for a soft drink, if not a beer.
First Chop Yes!
This Alcohol free beer from U.K. craft brewer is light in colour and very clear. Lots of carbonation but which disappears quite quickly. On the nose you get a bit of citrus, some musky resin, and is at its best after leaving it a while after pouring. On the taste it is very bitter and hoppy, with a very bitter aftertaste which some will love. This will particularly suit that don't like their beers too sweet.