Whether you’re doing a Dry January, cutting back a bit, long sober, or just looking for something new, tasty non-alcoholic beers are a welcome (and long-overdue) sight. They’re also making their way into a few theatres’ offerings.
Despite its obnoxious name, Athletic Brewing Company makes the best stuff, and with a huge variety. Here are four of their newest limited-run flavors to try (plus one to skip).
Want to start off with a free six-pack (while scoring one for NWT, too)? Order with this link.
No Grits, No Glory 🍻
What the Company Says: No Grits No Glory is an ode to the south. Made with flaked maize, this straw-colored brew is made for pilsner and cream ale lovers alike. This hybrid of styles heavily features a lime aroma, with hints of white wine, gooseberry, and lemon. You’ll enjoy this brew anytime, anywhere.
What It Tastes Like: Grit-beer? Sounds weird. And yet, somehow it’s creamy and delicious, with a little bit of a sharp finish. Like most of Athletic’s beers, this retains its flavor best straight out of the can.
Color: Pear Cider
The Ocean Under the Moon ☕️
Described As: The Ocean Under the Moon extra dark brew is inspired by barrel-aged beers. In addition to presenting woody characteristics from being aged on french vanilla oak chips, it reveals roasted and chocolate notes. It’s the epitome of a great winter brew.
Tastes Like: A seriously dark winter beer, with a strong and smooth coffee finish and a hit of something nutty and sweet. The can adds a metallic taste — this one’s best in a wide-mouth glass.
Color: Black Coffee
Round of Cheers 🥂🍾
Described As: This is Round of Cheers, a Brut IPA with a celebration of flavors that make it the ideal brew for, well, celebrating. With fruity and woody aromas and a dry, crisp finish, it’s full of flavor and ready to party. Pairing well with friends, clinking glasses, and generally good times, it’s normally first on our guestlist.
Tastes Like: Sweet, dry, and nice, though probably a little heavy to be dubbed the champagne of N/A beers. Loses its fizz fast, so drink from the can if you want the bubbles.
Color: Copper Cream Soda
Athletic ESB 🍺
Described As: Back by popular demand, Athletic ESB (extra special bitter) is a classic English-style brew. Though presented in its name, this brew is not very bitter. The English malts & hops provide notes of caramel and biscuit with a touch of herbaceousness. The excellent balance between hop, bitterness and malt gives you a brew you’ll enjoy all winter long.
Tastes Like: “Basic” has a bad rap, but … if you’re looking for a basic, bitter finish, and a decidedly malty beer, this one fits the bill. Like most of their others, this one goes flat quickly in a glass but keeps its effervescence and flavor well straight out of the can.
Color: Copper Sheen
Lodge Life 🚫
Described As: Inspired by days at the cabin and nights ’round the fire, Lodge Life is a fireside brew crafted with cinnamon, vanilla and cacao nibs. With a smoked malt undertone and a light hint of s’mores, it’s rich in flavor and a real treat to try. Warm your spirits, escape the everyday, and enjoy the Lodge Life wherever you are.
Tastes Like: Remember that hard-to-find Pepto-pink bottle of Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale that Rogue put out 10 or so years ago? Hopefully not — it was awful. And this reminds me of it: somehow both salty and syrupy, with a heavy smoked finish. Like the terrible Maple Brown that Athletic was shoveling earlier in the month, this got dumped down the sink. I’d suggest avoiding this one.
Color: Opaque Root Beer
Where to Find Them
The limited-run flavors (including all of these) are available only when ordering directly from the company online.
Looking to try a single can or find them out in the wild? You can find Free Wave (a tasty hazy IPA, and my favorite of the year-round flavors) plus one seasonal pick at Saint John’s, an artist-centric bar on Capitol Hill; and a few other bars are starting to stock some, too. For venues, so far it’s just the big ones: the Paramount and the Neptune theatres often have some stashed somewhere, albeit in short supply, and some of the stadiums carry Run Wild (a pretty mild, tasty, everyday IPA).
Chase D. Anderson is Editor & Producer of NWTheatre.org.