One of the most enjoyable things I’ve found since starting this blog in the first quarter of 2020 and reviewing nearly 50 non-alcoholic beers at time of writing, is that I’ve had the chance to try styles of beer that I have had little exposure to. Drop Bear’s New World Lager is not only the company’s first foray into the lager style, it’s also my first time trying an India Pale Lager (IPL). IPLs are bottom fermented at cooler temperatures in a similar way to normal lagers but then a huge load of hops are chucked at them in the traditional IPA style. Whereas a standard lager will have a cleaner taste and be judged on it’s ‘drinkability’, an IPL will have much deeper flavour profile thanks to the increased hop usage.
IPLs have been brewed for at least a couple of decades but have always been on the fringe of the craft beer scene. They have grown in popularity over the last few years, and anything with hoppy flavours tends to be a good style for alcohol free beers, so it makes sense for Drop Bear to go with an IPL for their initial venture into lager territory. Not ones to be subtle or subdued with their brewing recipes, the Drop Bear gals have opted to flavour their nolo lager with a trio of hops from New Zealand – Motueka, Rakau and Wai-iti. I have no real knowledge of any of these varieties, and so have no idea what to expect flavour-wise. Let’s get stuck in there and find out!
Pouring from the can we get a pale golden liquid with much effervescence. A good frothy head makes an appearance and becomes our companion for at least the first few sips. Aromas on the nose are predominantly citrus, mandarin orange and lemon flesh, but also a slight honey sweetness which balances out nicely.
On tasting we get the lager malt providing a malty biscuit backbone on which various fruit aromas attach themselves. We get the mandarin back, with some peach and another citrus bitterness which reminds me of Drop Bear’s Yuzu Pale Ale. Theres a decent amount of carbonation on your tongue and we get a crisp bitter finish to the drink.
On the whole a decent refreshing drink, certainly a great twist on the lager norm. Some of the flavours remind me of Drop Bear’s previous output, which isn’t a bad thing, but I do feel that this may not have really improved on them. Another quality nolo beer from the Welsh team, but not necessarily their best.
Nutritional Information (per 100ml)
0.5% alcohol by volume
7.5 calories energy
(taken from the side of the bottle)
Water, Malted Barley, Wheat, Oats, Hops, Yeast
Drop Bear Nolo New World Lager Review
Without doubt a quality alcohol-free lager from the Drop Bears, but lacks the wow factors of their previous offerings in my opinion.