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"This is one you could crack open and feel like you’re along for a wild night with your friends while remaining present mentally and no hangover the next morning."
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Wellbeing Brewing | “Hellraiser”
I was sober for 2 years before I ever had a non-alcoholic beer. This was for multiple reasons, one of which included all I knew about them was O’Douls and heard they were terrible. Why would you drink an NA beer anyway, right? Plenty of reasons come to find out!
Wellbeing Brewing was the first exclusively non-alcoholic brewery I’d ever heard of and Hellraiser was the first NA beer from them I had tried. It holds a special place in my heart. I had an eye-opening experience when I had it because it actually tasted good!
Do you remember your first (NA) beer?
If you’re like me you probably had a similar experience with your first…. it may not have been Hellraiser. Maybe it was New West from Two Roots Brewing. Maybe it was Run Wild from Athletic Brewing. Maybe Nanny State from BrewDog. Or maybe it was one of the many other tasty NA beers out there. We have all had or will have the experience I’m talking about.
Wellbeing is intentional with what they do and that’s one thing I love about them. When I initially heard the name before reading it was a dark amber I thought it was going to be SUPER hoppy and that’s what they meant by Hellraiser. After drinking it I realized I was wrong and I’m glad. While I don’t know the exact meaning for sure I feel it’s because you could drink these all night, no problem and not regret it one bit. This is one you could crack open and feel like you’re along for a wild night with your friends while remaining present mentally and no hangover the next morning.
Hellraiser - non-alcoholic dark amber ale
Hellraiser is a dark amber ale. It is a perfect way to introduce someone to hops as they’re there, but not anywhere near an IPA. I feel by the time you taste the hops they're gone and another flavor takes over. There’s no huge linger afterwards. No “hop breath”. While this feels like a fairly straightforward beer there’s really a lot going on. I feel like some of the best NA’s I’ve had seemed simple, but really I find new things to them each time. Since there’s no alcohol to hide behind, these have to be carefully crafted to come off simple, but still remain flavorful.
NA beer review
When you crack the can and pour it into a glass there are plenty of aromas. It’s bright, citrusy-pine with a brown sugar sweetness and caramel undertones.
When you pour it into a glass there’s a nice head to this beer with a dark amber color to the body.
On the taste. I feel like there’s a big burst of flavor across the palate. It’s bright, notes of caramel, slight hops upfront to mid-mouth/tongue. Easy, malty backend with no hops. It’s a very round beer with a light to medium body.
As I said previously, I feel this is a great beer for someone who’s never had hops before. This is an easy drinker. This is a good beer to start someone with because it’s the fork in the road. Based on what someone likes about this beer you can send them down a number of different routes. Overall, this remains one of my personal favorites and I'm glad this was the first NA beer I had back in mid-2019.
What was your first NA craft beer? Do you remember it?
Want to try Hellraiser for yourself? Order on Amazon
Looking for more Awesome NA Beers from 2020? Read the roundup here.
Good food pairing: Pizza, burgers, BBQ
Good music pairing: “Collapse” by After the Burial, “Man in the Box” by Alice in Chains, “Sabotage” by The Beastie Boys, “All Babes are Wolves” by Spinnerette, “Sedona” by JunkBunny
My Hellraiser Rating: 8.1/10
My current highest-rated NA beer is: 8.4/10
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