Tag Archives: ceria

current faves

yes this is my fridge!

i’ve been doing this NA beer thing since november so have drunk a LOT of it by now – 33 different kinds, to be exact! (good thing NAs tend to have a lot fewer calories/carbs than regular beer!)

i thought maybe a top 10 list was in order. i am finding that my opinion of some of these brews changes over time and upon repeated consumption, perhaps differing greatly from my first impression. i’m making this list for my own purposes, to refer to when restocking once i drink through all that i already have. and of course, there’s still so much i have NOT sampled – this is just a “faves so far” list.

i’m offering these in no particular order. i like different beers for different reasons at different times and though i might really LOVE a particular beer, it might not be the style that i want to drink a lot of or often. or conversely, the beer i grab most often might not be the one i think is the absolute best beer, it’s just the easiest to drink or the one that fits more moods/situations. for right now, from all i have tasted, this would be my top 10:

  • rightside – citrus wheat
  • athletic – trailblazer (hoppy lager)
  • bravus – oatmeal stout
  • wellbeing – hellraiser dark amber
  • ceria – grainwave (belgian white)
  • athletic – all out stout
  • partake – pale
  • athletic – irish red
  • athletic – upside dawn (golden ale)
  • bravus – peanut butter stout

we’ll see how these hold up over time. i mean, the trailblazer and irish red are not always available, so that might limit my ability to keep drinking them. and i might break down and order some samples from some of the breweries i’ve yet to try, so next list might be totally different.

here’s my top current wants that i haven’t tried yet:

  • big drop – galactic extra dark (stout)
  • barrel brothers – dark sarcasm (porter)
  • untitled art – stout
  • deschutes – irish dark (they only ship to OR and DC so i won’t get this anytime soon but i still want to try it.)
  • surreal – 17 mile porter/pastry porter

there are a few others on the want list as new NAs keep appearing in the wild, but i’m pretty happy with what i’ve been able to sample so far. i sure hope when things return to more “normal” times that i can find some of this deliciousness on local bar/restaurant menus so i can stop stockpiling them at home – i only feel compelled to do so since they are all so hard to find. or maybe one (or more) of my local craft breweries will jump into the NA game. a girl can dream!

ceria brewing – grainwave

i’ve been wanting to try this beer pretty much since i started this NA adventure. i kept wanting/expecting to find it at either whole foods or total wine because both chains carry the beer in other parts of the country. but so far i’ve been unsuccessful in getting either to order it here. or maybe it’s just that it’s not distributed in these parts yet, not sure.

so i finally broke down and ordered online via amazon, which is how they sell direct to consumers. $15 for a six pack seems pricey until you think about the shipping being included and then it doesn’t seem so bad. (no it’s not a prime item – i ordered it on saturday and it arrived on thursday via UPS.) the twelve-pack price of $29.99 is just a tad higher than what many NA craft breweries are doing with their two six-packs = free shipping offers, with most of them charging $12.99 per six-pack. but when you consider the higher costs of brewing non-alcoholic craft beer with quality ingredients, it’s still a decent price.

ceria (rhymes with area) was co-founded in 2018 by keith villa – best known as the creator and brewmaster behind the popular craft brew blue moon – and his wife jodi villa, who is the CEO of ceria. after retiring from a highly respected 32-year career at coors, villa decided to take on the challenge of making an equally compelling high quality non-alcoholic craft beer to serve as the basis of their new THC and CBD-infused brews. (the company is based in colorado where all things cannabis are legal.) so ceria sells their grainwave (the belgian-style white ale) and their indiewave IPA in both infused and non-infused, non-alcoholic versions. i obviously only have access to the non-alcoholic, non-infused varieties since i live in louisiana.

so how is it? i only ordered the grainwave because of my usual aversion to IPAs, though now that i’ve had one i’m kinda curious about what the IPA tastes like. but the grainwave is good! i’m a sucker for a blood orange beer. (one of my all-time alcoholic faves is my neighborhood brewery, second line brewing’s blood orange saison that is usually a staple of my summers.) grainwave’s nose and flavor heavily favor the blood orange peel and coriander combination, over an oaty belgian-style malted wheat and hops base. i’ve read a few other reviews that note it is under-carbonated and i kinda agree – it poured great with a large foamy head but felt flat by the time i got to the bottom of the glass. but it has a good medium body to it and i love the golden-orange color. it was quite refreshing.

i think i’ll have more to say as i make my way through this six pack. but it went well with my lunch of scrambled eggs and veggies and as a citrus wheat beer it definitely gives off summer vibes! (even though we are having an unseasonably chilly overcast day here in the low 50s.) i like it but not sure i like it enough to want to keep buying it to keep in regular rotation at home. i would definitely be happy to order this at a restaurant or bar, though. and we’ll see how i feel after a few more on different days.

also, i really appreciated the recyclable packaging and handwritten note that were included! very nice touch!

beer talk 3/6

no new NA beers to sample this weekend since the stump jump and cerveza atletica arrived, but i have plenty to keep me busy. (my kitchen floor is littered with NA beer stock cuz i can only fit so much in the fridge at one time!) i did end up buying a six pack of the partake pale at total wine as i liked it enough to want to drink more of it. they were out of a lot of things and didn’t have anything new, so that’s all i got.

my friend allison went out there and asked at customer service for them to order brew dog NAs, and they said they would. (i hope they get the wake up call and nanny state, though i’m sure she asked them for the ipas cuz that’s what she drinks.) so maybe that is the route i will take in the future, instead of trying to find the beer manager who never seems to be available when i go. i’m gonna make a list and ask them to order a bunch of stuff because it will be cheaper for me to buy from them than ordering it online. (they need to restock wellbeing amber and coffee cream stout, and add their victory wheat; i’d love it if they added bravus peanut butter stout and blonde to the other bravus beers they already carry; and it would be great to be able to sample NA offerings from untitled art (mostly interested in the chocolate stout), two roots (helles), sober carpenter (blonde, white, red), gruvi (peach pie ale, stout, lager, pale ale), big drop (pale and stout) and ceria (i’m interested in the belgian white but they also have an ipa that would probably do well). i know, it’s asking a lot. but if i don’t ask, they’ll probably never order it and i know all of those are carried at other total wines around the country so they shouldn’t have trouble getting them.

meanwhile, i always look at every new retail food/drink store i’m in to see what they have. this past week: target doesn’t carry ANY NA at all; neither does the random circle k by tulane, though they have a pretty extensive beer cooler; lakeview grocery had minimal macro offerings and the lagunitas IPNA was randomly stuck in the middle of the alcoholic section next to the other lagunitas stuff; and i went back in to rouses on carrollton just to see if i could find the beer buyer (wasn’t there). this pic below is of their sad NA section.

however, i do have several new brews on the way to me. i couldn’t resist ordering the athletic st. patrick’s day offering of an irish red, which is one of the pilot brews; i’m not a big red drinker but i’m looking for variety right now.

i also “discovered” rightside brewing, randomly, from a post in one of the NA fb groups i’m in. i’d heard the name before but hadn’t been curious until a link to an interview with the founder/owner was posted. turns out it’s a woman-owned brand and southern, out of atlanta, georgia. they have a great website with a blog that tells the story of the beer/company and offers inspirational and informational posts. how could i not support this business? so i immediately ordered a six pack of each of their citrust wheat and ipa, as they are smartly offering the two six packs = free shipping promotion that is quickly becoming the standard in the NA beer world. i’ll let ya know what I think when they get here.

the other thing that happened was that i reached out to bravus brewing‘s customer support after my experience revisiting their oatmeal stout left me confused as to whether my taste buds had just done an about face on their beer, or if it was a bad batch. they immediately wrote back, offering to give me a pre-paid return label if i’d send them back some of the beer in question. i’d bought two four packs so i tried some from both and both tasted off to me, so i sent back two of each. i mentioned how i was hoping to try some of their other beers (pb stout and blonde) and they offered to send me a free fresh mix pack of oatmeal, pb stout and blonde to try! now THAT’S customer service! so that is also on the way. i hope they don’t get the beers i sent back and tell me there is nothing wrong with them, cuz that would just mean a) my taste buds are wack, and b) i don’t like their beer. but i will remain hopeful until i try them.

ok, that’s all i got for this week. and yes, i am clearly obsessed at this point and this is becoming quite an expensive habit. but i’m also not spending nearly as much money as i used to on food and due to the pandemic i never go out and spend money in bars or restaurants or anywhere else, so i figure it’s ok for now. and at some point, when i’ve sampled all these beers, i will know which ones i like enough to want to keep on hand and it will be a much smaller number of beers. but for now it’s a fun adventure that takes my mind off this fucked up world we are living in and at least feels like a semi-healthy choice to be making in my recuperation.