Beerstitution Volume 76: NON-ALCOHOLIC / NA / ALCOHOL FREE / 0.5% / NEARBEER

With being in the midst of a dry quarter to kick off this new year, I’ve been dabbling, nay, soaking, in all of the NA beer I can find around me. I must admit that there are way more than I had thought and there may even be upwards of 40 different NA IPA’s alone here in Montréal! To celebrate, and share, my new found fondness for NA craft beer, I decided to host an alcohol-free Beerstitution… much to the chagrin of just about everyone else.

As mentioned, I tried many many dozens NA Beers over the past few months and narrowed down my favourites to a healthy choice of six for this volume. I varied the type of beer so that everyone could run the gauntlet I’d been running for the previous couple of months. That being said, a rogue last minute addition to the game, who did not represent in the actual evening is the CLEAR winner so I will cheat a little here and declare a non-participatory beer as the winner… but before I declare… let’s have a look at the contending beers :

Beerstitution Volume 76 Contenders

Blonde Brew aka “The Unicorn” (President’s Choice)

This is by far the cheapest of the lot at ~$0.76/can and it stands its ground from a “Hey, this is almost like a beer” and the fact that it snuggles in quite well to a day on a boat! There were some haters however and one Beerstitutioneer mentioned that it tastes like “day after table Molson beer”
BRSTº Rating: 1.75/5

Pale Ale (Svaneke)

This is a big beer, and I quite like it. However some found it too metallic. It is certainly sweet and malty… but good as a sipper… imho.
BRSTº Rating: 2/5

Sleight Of Hand (Tempest)

Representing SourTown here, I quite like it! While she scored respectfully, some comments may make her blush: “like adding an extra can of water to those concentrated juice cans”, “it’s a 1990’s sip-sac!”, “this does not taste much like a beer”…
BRSTº Rating: 3/5

Nord Star Tropicale (Brasserie Grande Allée)

There are myriad NORD STAR beers from Grande Allée, but this was my favourite after trying all of them. Yes, all of them. One notable comment was that it “smells weird, tastes alright”. If that’s not a glaring endorsement, I dunno what is!
BRSTº Rating: 3/5

WOW NEIPA (Le Bazaar)

In my UNTAPPD rating I said “Wow. For real though! It’s juicy and jowly and slightly sweet sour. Almost like a wine gum. I really like this! No bitters” and gave it a solid 4.5! So I like it, that’s for sure!
BRSTº Rating: 3/5

Galactic Dark (Big Drop)

This one too I ranked 4.5 in UNTAPPD with the following review: “Definitely the best NA stout I’ve ever had. Nutty. Roasted and bitter. Amazing linger, it has tasty hops and cocoa nibs… and milk! Big full mouth too”
BRSTº Rating: 3.25/5


ROGUE ENTRY: Run Wild IPA (Athletic)

Shortly after hosting this volume, I discovered what I consider to be the best NA brewery out there – Athletic Brewing. They got their start in the US (San Diego I believe) but brew out of Ontario now so you can order online and have it shipped to Québec. Their Blonde, Stout and IPA are the best in the biz imo and I have turned many, MANY, others onto them in the months following my discovery.
BRSTº Rating: 5/5

WINNER WINNER

So while some of the original contenders performed well, I must give the winner to Athletic Run Wild IPA – it’s refreshing, hoppy and fresh! So So GREAT!

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