30 November 2019

Atlantic Pale Ale with low alcohol (Waitrose) By @SpectreUK

I know it's rare I pick beers with low alcohol levels, but this Pale Ale from the Big Drop Brewing Company, in Suffolk, intrigues me. I'm not sure I've seen many Pale Ales with 0.5% volume before, as low alcohol beers usually seem to be some other sort of ale or a lager, but not specifically Pale Ale. I like the fact that it tells me on the back of the bottle how many calories it has in it. This Pale Ale has 18.5 calories per 100ml, which is lower than average. Google tells me that "calories in beer come from two components, which are alcohol and carbohydrates - starches and sugar from unfermented grain." There are usually around 150 calories in a pint of beer, so all those health fanatics that tell you to dump beer all together if you want to be fit and lose weight aren't necessarily correct. Beer is good for you (well… ish!), just as long as it's in small amounts. Big Drop Brewing Company state "To drink. Not to be drunk." And their low alcohol Pale Ale alternative could be slightly healthier than the average full sugar beer or sugary fizzy drink! I'm not going to stretch and say it's healthier than a sugary fruit juice drink though.

So feeling rather smug after my fairly factual and quote heavy opening paragraph I opened the 330ml bottle. The bottle instantly went up like an angry volcano. I'm not kidding. I must have lost half the beer before I could dive to my waiting beer glass. I wasn't prepared for it at all and panicked to the point of forgetting to shove the open bottle end in my mouth. There was a wheaty smell to the beer that managed to get into the glass, and… all over the floor and also the cupboard I was next to at the time. This bright golden and particularly explosive low alcohol beer does taste like a sweet pale ale, with the pale and crystal(esque) malts in the initial flavour followed by a herbal bitterness from the hops into the aftertaste. It doesn't taste like it has a low alcohol level, but has a sort of strange mild woody taste throughout. However, the woodiness isn't too distracting, and I can see why this Pale Ale won the World Beer Awards for the UK. It was still a good flavoursome beer… whatever was left of it!

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