Athletic Brewing Company were founded in Connecticut in the United States of America in 2017, and have grown to become North America’s largest non-alcoholic craft beer brewer, covering over 60% of the market over on that side of the pond. Founded by Bill Shufelt and John Walker, who similarly to the founders of many UK-based AF companies found available options for non-drinkers to be lacking, they’ve been credited with fuelling the reawakening of the States’ appetite for alcohol-free beers. And they’re certainly popular – in mid-2019 they put a limited edition double hopped IPA up for sale on their website. It sold out in a mere 32 seconds.
Athletic Brewing’s Run Wild is the company’s flagship IPA. Keeping to their ‘exercise in the great outdoors’ company branding style with the name and the can design, Run Wild is indeed apparently a popular post-run beverage for many runners in the US. This tells me it should be easy to drink, refreshing, and probably quite sessionable. The brewer uses a mixture of 5 hops in the brew, all from the Pacific Northwest region of the USA, and include favourites such as Citra and Mosaic.
Athletic Brewing’s offerings have certainly been heavily promoted on social media since I started with this blog, and this the first time I’ve been able to sample any, thanks to their recent UK expansion. Will twelve plus months of Instagram-hype translate to something amazing on the old tastebuds?
From the slightly larger can (US beers seem to come in 355ml measures rather than 330ml) the beer pours a dark amber colour, with some slight visible haze. A nice dense off-white head is produced, sticking around enough to give a fair amount of lacing as we drink. On the nose we get orange and grapefruit citrus, a touch of pine, some tropical mango, a slight vanilla sweetness and some background bready malt. Certainly less aroma than many other NA IPAs.
As we taste the beer we initially get light malt sweetness on which the hops build upon, offering the grapefruit citrus and pine notes from the aroma. We get a slight caramel flavour which is reminiscent of toasted grains, and a mild bitterness which grows as we drink but certainly doesn’t ramp up. The body is rather light and the carbonation low to medium, with the mouthfeel bordering on watery. We get a long bitter finish to the drink.
A sessionable IPA is what Run Wild is, but it certainly didn’t blow me away. Easy to drink, but easily forgettable, and not offering much in the way of character. There are many better homegrown alcohol-free IPAs available, so maybe don’t bow to the American non-alcoholic invasion just yet.
Buy Athletic Brewing Run Wild
Athletic Brewing have recently opened their UK arm of the business, so their beers are becoming easier to buy over here. Check out these suppliers:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the can)|
|Water, Malted Barley, Oats, Wheat, Hops, Yeast|
|Country of Production||United States of America|
|Brewer||Athletic Brewing Co – https://uk.athleticbrewing.com/|
Athletic Brewing Run Wild NA IPA Review
A slight let-down I feel, this American IPA is rather on the mild side but would work well as a post-exercise refresher.