i have a habit of compulsively checking the total wine app for non-alcoholic beer at my local metairie store, to see if they have added anything new, and yesterday i saw surreal brewingâ€™s 17 mile porter and a few other new things pop up so i decided it was time to trek out to the burbs again to check it out. (i hadnâ€™t been out there in many weeks.)
and sure enough, they did have the 17 mile porter in stock. the other things iâ€™d seen on their app with â€œlimited quantitiesâ€ – ceria grainwave and wellbeing victory wheat, both beers i like a lot and would have bought – were not there and there wasnâ€™t even a shelf tag for either of them so i realized those were probably just errors on the website. but i was able to snag a single of the 17 mile porter to test it out and picked up a 6 pack of wellbeingâ€™s hellraiser amber, one of my favorites that i was out of at home, so it wasnâ€™t a wasted trip at all.
(pic below is from last night after theyâ€™d gotten cold enough to enjoy. i think i realized it is probably my most â€œperfectâ€ NA beer iâ€™ve tried so far, the one that most closely mimics the experience of drinking an alcoholic beer and like those i enjoy drinking, as ambers are usually my favorite. i really wish i could go out to a bar and drink this somewhere in new orleans. so good!)
i also finally met the assistant manager of that total wine store who happens to be the NA beer buyer and was able to ask her to order ceriaâ€™s beers as well as a few other things. she gave me her card so i later emailed her a much longer list of craft NA brews i really want to try and that iâ€™ve seen being carried at other total wine stores around the country. weâ€™ll see if she can get any of them, as distribution down here really sucks for craft NA beer. but she seemed happy to look them up and try so iâ€™m hopeful.
i am at my pet sit for the weekend and am just now cracking the 17 mile porter open while i enjoy some netflix with the pets. i didnâ€™t really have high hopes for this one as i recognize (and from prior experience with their beers) that surreal is one of the â€œdietâ€ NA beer companies, like partake and grÃ¼vi – their beers tend to be lighter, thinner and have much lower calorie and carb content than many of the other NA breweries. not that that is necessarily a bad thing, and i have liked some of those breweriesâ€™ beers, but iâ€™m finding for my own palate, i prefer a fuller body and flavor experience than what iâ€™ve tasted from them so far. but lots of folks in my NA beer facebook groups have raved about the 17 mile porter and i donâ€™t have a lot of darker beers in my regular rotation so i was interested to try it.
it pours a very dark brown with a pretty good tan-colored head, though that dissipates fairly quickly. the first aroma i get is dark chocolate and a roasty nuttiness and a little coffee. it is as i suspected fairly thin but has a good mouthfeel nonetheless, due to tight uniform carbination. sadly i donâ€™t taste as much of the chocolate and roastiness that i smelled. flavor is fairly subtle but it does go down easily with a dry finish. for 50 calories and 10g carbs, iâ€™d say itâ€™s pretty good. i like it a little better than grÃ¼viâ€˜s stout though i canâ€™t quite put my finger on why. but they are definitely in the same general ballpark. i like this fine but probably wonâ€™t buy it again.
i think my search for my go-to dark beer continues. so far athleticâ€™s all out stout is probably the one i like the most, in terms of non-coffee darks. there are several more on my wishlist to try though, so iâ€™m holding out hope that the perfect NA dark beer for me exists.