The Big Drop Brewing Company‘s low alcohol beer offerings hit the headlines recently as their four hop Citra pale was awarded a Gold at the 2019 International Beer Awards (non and low alcohol category). They very kindly sent me their range of low and no alcohol beers so that I could give them a try for myself.
Bring on the low alcohol beer
I have discussed this before, but it’s very much an issue for me to find a decent drink which has no alcohol, but is also not sweet. Throughout my pregnancy this is mainly what I have wanted, as one very quickly gets tired of juice and soda when it comes to soft drinks. It has taken me a little while to get through the beers that they sent me as they are all labelled as “under 0.5%” alcohol. Even though I know that orange juice could technically contain up to 0.5% alcohol and not be labelled as such, I still wanted to exercise caution in case these beers were closer to 0.5% than to 0%. Better safe than sorry!
Big Drop Stout
This had a lovely deep treacle colour, and a malty nose with a hint of coffee. It was quite an enticing start. I would say it was a little thin in body for my tastes – but as a committed stout and porter drinker, this is what I probably miss the most. This the opposite issue to the Braxzz Porter, which had the mouthfeel, but not the flavour. I also found this Big Drop to be perhaps fractionally too sweet. But I enjoyed the notes of treacle and coffee, the dash of bitterness. SO yes a little watery, but still very good and I would happily drink more. These beers do seem to be making their way into supermarkets, so relatively accessible.
Citra Four Hop Special Edition Pale Ale
What was a special edition has now become a core part of the Big Drop range. And you can see why. I liked the aroma and the flavour much better than the regular pale ale. The four hop had a light carbonation which made everything really light and refreshing. The floral and fruit nose gave away light grapefruit and green hop aromas. The flavour delivered lemon, blossom and a delicate fragrant punch followed up by a lightly bitter finish. It was relatively light in body, but very well balanced – it had more layers of flavour than the alcohol free beers I’m used to. It doesn’t quite have the hop hit of Adnam’s Ghost Ship alcohol free, but it is complex and enjoyable.
Big Drop Lager
This was definitely one of the better alcohol free lagers I have tried. I liked the crisp barley nose, and the lively carbonation (watch it when you open it!). It had a bit of a Germanic flavour in my opinion, quite strong on flavour. Perhaps more passable as an alcohol free product than the ales to be honest. And I finally got to sit out in the sun to enjoy it. Lovely.
Thanks to Big Drop Brewery for sending these for me to try. I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out in the supermarket to pick a few more of these up. They are infinitely preferable to the ubiquitous Becks Blue – as I’m sure you can appreciate!