(View previous instalments here)
This month’s selection box from AFBeerClub contains six new alcohol-free beers for me to review, and two I’ve had before. Here’s the last three reviews before the next box arrives.
Mikkeller “Henry and His Science”
There’s something about the artwork on Mikkeller beers that I find deeply disturbing. They put me in mind of childrens books from some tiny European country where they eat the kind of food that would make any sane person retch. But I should not let that affect my judgement of the beer, and indeed I will not. This beer is pale and slightly cloudy, with a very fruity, citrusy, tropical, ever-so-slightly-tangy aroma. The flavour has a little more edge to it than the smell would lead you to believe, and the end result is a very tropical drink that falls somewhere on the line between Lilt and Um Bongo, which is a drink that I’m surprised to see is still made today, considering how the entire marketing campaign was pretty much based around casual racism. So if you want a fizzy tropical drink, you’ll love this. If you want a beer, then perhaps not.
Northern Monk “Holy Faith”
Holy Faith is a hazy pale ale which comes in a nice big can. It pours with a lovely head which sadly dissipates quite quickly. The smell is fruity but with a hint of that idiosyncratic smell that you only find in a carpet shop – you know the one. It tastes okay, but all that sharpness and fizziness buries any more delicate qualities that may exist, and it ends up feeling a bit one-dimensional.
Lowtide “Who Let The Bees Stout”
As always, I save the stout for the end. This is a honeycomb and chocolate stout. The pour is very promising – a decent viscosity, black as night, with a creamy head. The smell has a strong whiff of honey, which is what we’re hoping for. The honeyness is there in the flavour too, along with a sweetness that reminds me ever so slightly of childrens cough syrup. All in all, these curious flavours are present at a relatively subtle level, which is good. Too much could be overwhelming, but in this case they just lend a little degree of curiosity which means that this is actually a beer that you could drink a few of in a row without getting bored or exhausted.
This monthly subscription box has been brilliant in terms of introducing me to new alcohol-free beers. I do also maintain a stockpile of “old favourites” for when I don’t fancy trying something new. It’s been a while since I’ve needed to replenish this stockpile, but I did have to do so recently. I bought six each of the following all-time favourites, from the usual Wise Bartender, of course: