The New Year is here, and with it, our annual chagrined appraisal of our lives resulting in more impossible goals that are sure to set us up for failure. Again. I’m going easy on myself this year. My New Year’s resolution is to not create any unrealistic expectations of myself. And to eat more cheese. Because cheese is delicious and I deserve delicious things.
But for many people, the New Year means pressing pause on their drinking. Whether it’s Dry January, a newfound commitment to sobriety and health, or a bank account ravaged by holiday merriment, there’s plenty of reasons people are drinking less or not at all this month. With that in mind, this week I’d thought I’d take a look at one of the many new non-alcoholic craft beers that are popping up these days.
Making passable beer without alcohol is actually super hard and technical, and, as we discovered in our taste test last year, a lot of breweries get it really, really wrong.
Partake IPA is one of the more widely available non-alcoholic craft beers available, and definitely among the least offensive I’ve tried. Brewed in Vancouver at Craft Collective, the Toronto-based brand offers a wide variety of styles, including a stout, a pale ale, and a blonde ale.
The IPA pours a brilliant copper colour with a persistent off-white head—so far, very beer-like—and offers up a very traditional West Coast-style hop-forward flavour profile, with bold notes of grapefruit, citrus and pine. The malt character is very apparent with a noticeable cereal-like graininess in flavour. Definitely not your dad’s O’Doul’s.
The only real knock against this beer I have is the body—it comes across as quite thin and watery, but that’s obviously to be expected since there’s no alcohol in it. Partake IPA is no doubt a godsend for people who want to give up alcohol but don’t want to give up all that craft beer deliciousness.
IPA by Partake Brewing
India Pale Ale • 0.3% ABV • 355 mL cans
Appearance: Brilliant copper colour with a sturdy off-white head.
Aroma: Grapefruit, citrus, pine, grain.
Flavour: Cereal, grapefruit, citrus, grain, pine, earthy, moderate hop bitterness.
Body/Finish: Very thin and light-bodied, with a dry finish and some lingering hop bitterness.
Pairs with: Barbecued pork ribs, pad thai, greasy cheeseburgers and waking up at a reasonable hour without a splitting headache for a change.