Non-Alcohol Beer Review: Rightside Brewing
September 5, 2021 at 11:11 pm
Once it’s known I’m willing to talk about non-alcoholic beer, I get more offered to me for review. And i am finding some that I can like. Let’s check out Rightside Brewing here.
I know, my titles look like I’m still playing with Microsoft WordArt.
Rightside was started in Atlanta, GA, in 2017 by Emree Woods. According to their PR, she was pregnant with her daughter, and wanted to find a non-alcoholic adult beverage “aside from water and soda.” The result was these two beers, brewed by contract brewer Big Kettle in the Atlanta suburb of Lawrenceville.
Rightside Citrus Wheat
Based on a wheat beer, with an expected note, of banana and tangerine. 49 calories per 12 oz. can.
I got a bit of a gusher when I popped the can. Kind of unexpected for an NA beer, since that’s usually a function of extra yeast. Perhaps I got it slightly shaken beforehand. So the pour has a big frothy head. The head does stick around, while most NA beers just fizz away immediately. Some citrus and a little malt on the nose. In tasting, I still get a metallic tang that sometimes comes up with light or NA beers. But a further taste brings up a bit of hop note, and some wheat malt notes. Lemon notes comes in as well. Settles in a little better than many NA beers.
Rightside American IPA
Some sources list this as “India Pale Ale,” others as “American Pale Ale.” The description suggests the West Coast IPA style: “…a moderate hop aroma with a tropical fruit-filled fusion of pineapple, orange, citrus and slight malt.”
There’s more of a head in the glass, like the Citrus Wheat, but it dwindles away much more quickly. A coppery American pale ale color. The foam has left a bit of a scrum along the top. The smell has malts toasted to match the color. And I do catch some American hop notes.
The watery mouthfeel of a non-alcoholic beer is a bit more pronounced than in the other one, perhaps because it does not have the citrus in the blend to help fill in. But there is a nice hoppy note. I catch the usual suspects of Citra hop and some more Pacific Northwest types, giving a slightly resiny and stone fruit hop note. Again, you will know that you are drinking a non-alcoholic beer. This one comes up a little gassy if you drink it too fast, but there is enough hop in it that you can call this a pale ale.
So, after trying several different non-alcohol beers, I’m finding a pattern: one would think a hoppy NA would be closest to the taste of a real beer, but it’s actually harder to keep the malt character that backs up to the bitterness. But a little fruit in a more balanced hops to malt ratio makes it quite. palatable.