So many non-alcoholic beers are lager based. Which is fine, it’s a popular style and seems easier to do on a alcohol-free basis. What about a stout? That seems like it could be more challenging…
New Ways Brewing Co. is a New Zealand innovator in beer. Driven by the idea that the flavour and enjoyment in beer doesn’t come from the alcohol, they have two offerings for the non-alcoholic beer market.
A lighter stout almost seems a contradiction. However this is a very welcome entry on the list of options – it’s refreshing to have a bolder option that isn’t a lager out there. For many years dark beers were my go-to, and I was definitely looking forward to revisiting old flavours in this drop.
The first thing you notice is the delicious smokiness. The roasted barley has come through with a good stout flavour. Flavourwise this is similar to a drop like Monteiths Black, except the Manuka Stout flavours are bit bolder and make for a more satisfying drink.
Working through a glass it sometimes seems there’s a little lack of flavour beneath the smokiness – this is more noticeable if the can is chilled too much – better to serve at 10-12 degrees, the slightly warmer temperature helping elevate the flavours that might normally only be encouraged through by a bit of alcohol content.
This stout is hopped with Motueka hops, and has been “gently distilled” to remove the alcohol. It makes for a respectable stout, and a remarkable non-alcoholic beer. At about $3-4 a can, I’m happy keeping a few cans on hand for those times I’d like a darker beer.
Origin: New Zealand
A warm, smoky stout – perhaps a little empty on the palate but satisfying nonetheless.