Tag Archives: non-alcoholic beer

Lagunitas IPNA

I’m doing a dry February. Lots of people do a dry January, but February is a shorter month so it’s easier. This is my third consecutive February without alcohol and it’s nice to take a break from the booze for a bit. I usually supplement my drinking habit with non-alcoholic beer. The problem is that most non-alcoholic beer is pretty terrible.

I drink a lot of craft beer, especially IPAs. Most non-alcoholic beers are based on lighter beers like lagers or pilsners, so they lack the hop heavy and complex flavors that I’m used to. Today I found a six pack of Lagunitas IPNA and I might have discovered my favorite non-alcoholic beer.

Lagunitas IPNA is a non-alcoholic IPA. They brew it like a real beer. They use hops, malt, yeast, and and water. It’s crafted with quality malts like Munich malt, English crystal malt, and Canadian 2-row barley then dry hopped with Citra, Mosaic, Columbus, Tomahawk and Zeus hops. They just don’t allow it to get stronger than .5% ABV.

I poured it into a beer glass for the full effect. It pours nice, although the head is rather thin. Seems less carbonated than their flagship IPA. It has a beautiful dark amber color. It’s smells like a real IPA. Citrus and pine hops upfront, some biscuit, resin maybe.

The taste is a little thin. I was slightly disappointed because the aroma was so promising. I get pine, resin, citrus, orange peel, but it feels a little watered down. It starts to coat the tongue the more you sip it which adds to the flavor as you go along. It’s reminiscent of a session ale, but less filling which total makes sense due to the lack of alcohol.

It’s pretty close to the real deal. I think it would fool a non IPA drinker. It’s the most satisfying non-alcoholic beer I’ve had to date. I definitely recommend it. It makes those sober times easier to transition into.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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I’ve been drinking a lot lately and my girlfriend was kind enough to point it out, so I told her I would put down the bottle for a few days. Yesterday was the first day of my temporary sobriety. All I could think about was how nice it would be to go to the bar and watch the baseball game after work, but then I remembered I wasn’t drinking. But then I remembered that non-alcoholic beer is a thing. So I went to the bar and ordered an O’Doul’s with a chilled glass.

The bartender came back with an O’Doul’s Amber. I didn’t even know they had an amber, I’ve only seen the one in the green bottles. I poured the beer into my glass and admired its reddish hue and slightly hoppy aroma. It looked like beer. I took a sip. It tasted like an amber, a little rich and sweet with a slight hoppy finish. It had good mouthfeel. I sat there watching the game and making small talk with the other barflies and it felt like any other day at the bar. I just wasn’t getting drunk.

I had one more O’Doul’s Amber before I left the bar. The evening was still young so I got a six pack of the original O’Doul’s on the way home. The regular O’Doul’s is more like a lager. It’s mild with a slightly dry finish. I normally drink IPAs so it tastes very bland to me, but I still felt like I was drinking beer.

O’Doul’s is not fully free from alcohol. It’s less than .5% alcohol by volume. Kombucha is anywhere from .5% to 2% for comparison. They brew O’Doul’s like a regular beer and then they distill the alcohol out without heating or cooking the beer. That helps to retain the flavor profile. It’s not perfect. It’s like eating meatless chicken. It’s almost like the real deal but something is missing. It’s still a good way to wean yourself off alcohol. I say that as I’m currently enjoying my second six pack in two days. It definitely helps keep me distracted from real beer and my typical morning hangover.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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