I am a big fan of IPAs – bold flavours, hoppy goodness from the first aroma through to the final mouthful. So stumbling across this Non-Alcoholic IPA today at the supermarket was exciting – could we add a decent non-alcoholic IPA to the mix?
Rinkuškiai is a Lithuianian brewery, and currently New World in particular appear to be bringing some of their non-alcoholic range in to sell. (Although evidently not this one.)
There’s a lot of froth when you pour it, but not a strong aroma – more malty than hoppy.
This is quite a sweet, malty brew. The flavour reminded me of a homebrew wort reconstituted from one of those cans (anyone who has homebrewed has surely tried the wort, and then thought better of it.) I assume the brewer here has used a malt high in unfermentable sugars, keeping alcohol level low but malty sweetness high, hence the flavour like an unfermented brew.
There is a bitter aftertaste from the hops, and unfortunately this is more metallic than a citrus/fruity kick.
In many ways, this tastes more like their non-alcoholic lager (review to come) than any IPA, and that was disappointing. The lack of alcohol doesn’t have to reduce the fresh flavours you should expect, however in this case it has.
That said, this option still has a lot more going for it than some of the popular beers in New Zealand (including one that calls itself an East India Pale Ale), but if you’re a craft IPA enthusiast this will likely disappoint.
Style: IPA (but tasted more like a lager)
A disappointing representation of an IPA, sweet with a lingering – almost metallic – bitterness
Where to Find
I found this in New World – it appears to crop up in a number of their stores
Distributed in New Zealand by Argostar, who can help direct you to local stockists