Tag Archives: wheat

mikkeller – drink’in the sun

i’ve wanted to try this one for a long time as it gets consistently good reviews from folks who like wheat beers, so thanks NAbrews for offering singles so i could check it out.

mikkeller was founded in cophenhagen and now has breweries and brewpubs in multiple locations around the world. in 2016 they opened a brewery in san diego, and they’ve since also opened a spot in new york city. they make several different NA beers – i got this one and the raspberry limbo series which i think is like a sour/gose style but i’ll let you know when i get to it. today felt like more of an “american style wheat ale” kind of day.

it pours a nice light golden yellow with a small fluffy head that dissipated quickly outside on the back porch. (it’s really humid today, maybe that affects it?) nice compact carbonation though.

my nose is pretty stuffed up (thanks allergies) so can’t really say much about the aroma except that it’s a little funkier smelling than most NA wheats i’ve had, and i don’t smell much in the way of hops. though most wheat beers aren’t very hoppy so i guess that tracks for the style. i’m just not getting much aroma at all. maybe a little citrus. a little bready.

the taste is pretty unique. it’s got a slightly sweet malty background that most of the other NA wheats i’ve tried don’t have, with a little funky bitterness on the backend as it goes down. it has almost a sort of wortiness but not really; and it’s not off-putting. (mikkeller developed their own yeast named “mikkellensis” in order to make their NA beers, one that basically does not produce alcohol in the fermentation process and is responsible for their signature flavor not attributed to hops or malts.) mouthfeel is pretty great, a little light but creamy smooth. definitely feels like a beer in my mouth.

i like it but i think honestly i’d have to drink a few more to know if it’s the kind of beer i’d want to have on hand all the time. i do think it’s interesting and if it was offered at a bar or restaurant i’d be inclined to order it. seems like it would pair well with food. it’s a little more mellow than some of the brighter citrusy wheats that i’ve had (like rightside), but i think mikkeller did a good job naming this one cuz i could see it being a great lazy summer beer.

apparently over the years different varieties of this beer have been brewed, with different low ABVs. the current incarnation says .3% – more specific than most NA beers in the US which usually just generically say “less than .5%.”

i also love the can artwork and the overall branding of their beer. here’s a great article about their art director, philly-based designer keith shore. the 80s retro color palette and goofy illustration on drink’in the sun would make me pick it up off a shelf even if i didn’t know anything about it. a lot of their other beers have similarly great artwork.

i look forward to trying more of their beers and i will definitely need to have a few more of this one.

national beer day + athletic winter whit

while it seems like every day of the year is national something day, today is actually national beer day in the US.

according to wikipedia, it commemorates the enactment of a law in 1933 which effectively was the beginning of the end of prohibition. (prohibition had been the law of the land since 1920.) the cullen-harrison act allowed for beer of up to 3.2% ABW (or 4.05% ABV) to be sold, and by december of that year the 18th amendment was repealed, ending prohibition.

needless to say, after reading about this earlier this morning, i’ve been dreaming about a beer all day. so i decided to accompany my late lunch/early dinner of some meat pies from my local middle eastern grocery and my first try at making hummus at home with a beer that’s been in the fridge for a while, athletic‘s pilot program winter whit, which was a limited release. i’m a little unclear if it’s the same as the wit’s peak witbier that is now for sale on their site; i got mine as part of a pilot program sample pack from NAbrews some months back. i had one when it first arrived and wasn’t very impressed so the others got shoved to the back of the fridge and i never ended up reviewing it. but this afternoon i had a hankering for something different, so here we are.

i’m enjoying it this time around with my meal. it poured a light golden yellow and had a bit of a foamy head which didn’t stick around long. the carbonation was weird, more soda-like than beer-like, so mouthfeel was a little off. it’s a bit malty and slightly sweet with some spiciness to it. maybe a little lemony? honestly, i drank it while eating and it went down so fast i forgot to really take a lot of notes! it has a fairly light body to it, went down smooth and paired well with my food.

though i liked it, i don’t know that i’d want to buy this again. i think i might have one more in the back of the fridge left over. this isn’t really a style i’m a huge fan of and wouldn’t normally buy, but i’m glad i got to try it.

i’ll be picking out a few different beers to take with me to the lakefront to gather with some friends to watch the sunset, as i continue to celebrate national beer day. i’m sure i’ll post a pic on instagram later. cheers!

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!

rightside brewing – citrus wheat

i am so excited to finally try this beer! shipping was pretty quick compared to a lot of the other breweries i’ve been ordering from online – probably because it came from atlanta, closer to me than most of the others. i ordered a six of each of the citrus wheat and the IPA – not because i like IPAs (though i do want to try it, just out of curiosity) but because i got it for a friend who likes IPAs and has started dipping her toes into the NA craft beer world since she just found out she’s pregnant. (emree woods, the founder of this brewery, started rightside cuz she was looking for a good NA beer to drink when she was pregnant with her first child, so it seemed appropriate!) i’ll be curious to hear what she thinks.

i really like their logo and colors and their overall bright, sunny branding. (if you haven’t checked out their blog on their website, you should cuz it’s full of empowering and inspirational posts, while also discussing their brewing process and the launch of the company. and look at that cute handwritten note! nice touch, really.

it pours a really gorgeous golden orange color with a pretty good head that gives off a slightly tropical aroma. nice body, not as thin as i expected it to be, but smooth and goes down easy with a crisp finish. i shoulda put a wedge of orange on there! (i even had oranges!) oh well, next time. i gotta say, this beer has a lot more going on than i expected from a wheat NA. i think this is gonna be a spring-summer favorite for me. definitely feels like i could drink a couple of these at a time, which i don’t always feel about many NA beers i’ve tried. (i think the beer dudes call that “crushable.” lol)

i think i only have one more new-to-me beer to test out, after the rightside IPA, that is en route to me via UPS. (athletic‘s trailblazer.) probably won’t be til next week sometime. then i need to not order any more beer for a while and just drink what i already have! it’s fun testing out all these new brews but my bank account can’t sustain this level of support for the NA craft beer industry. i really only drink one beer a night – two if i’m really adventuresome – so what i have in my kitchen should last me for a while.

but next i wanna get serious about trying to figure out how to get more local retail and maybe even some of my favorite bars to stock some of these. (yes, my organizer brain is kicking in.) cuz once things open back up more and more folks (including me) are fully vaccinated, i am really anxious to be back out at a bar for happy hour again! and while i might be tempted to have one alcoholic beer just to see how i do with it physically – i’ve really been CRAVING second line brewing‘s coffee blonde, one of my all-time favorites – i want to be able to moderate with some delicious tasting NAs too. to me, that would be the ideal situation, to have access to both at my favorite hangouts. right now, that is nonexistent – the only place i can drink these yummy NAs is at home – but hopefully with a little targeted prodding, that will change.

wellbeing brewing – victory citrus wheat + electrolytes

copied over from my instagram:

my NA beer tasting from the sample pack from wellbeing brewing continues with this delightful wheat that’s billed as a “sports brew” due to some added electrolytes. but it’s DELICIOUS! light, crisp with a hint of orange. this one doesn’t quite have the mouthfeel that i’m usually looking for in a beer – it’s a bit thin. it’s kind of like if beer was a soda. something about the carbonation i can’t quite put my finger on. i can tell it’s not a real beer, but i don’t care! it hit the spot and scratches the itch that i feel when i want a beer. and it went great with my pasta dinner. i can see how this would be a great choice after a workout or playing sports. might come in handy this summer! 

wellbeing brewing – heavenly body golden wheat

copied over from my instagram:

i had a second NA beer from my wellbeing brewing dry january sample packtheir golden wheat – and it was just as good as the first one! went down incredibly smooth and tasted like a real wheat beer! and this morning, no icky hangover feeling and my head isn’t throbbing! yay! 

(side note post script: i really love the can artwork from this brewery!)