Drynks Unlimited were founded in 2017 with the sole aim of producing 0% ABV non-alcoholic beverages and, following a stint on BBC’s Dragon’s Den in March 2020, now have several such products out on the market. One of their earliest offerings was their Smashed Citrus beer, introduced in November 2019, which we’ll be looking at here.
Citrus flavours have long been complementary to beer; with ales and especially IPAs boasting juicy grapefruit aromas, wheat beer recipes involving lemon or orange rind, Spanish and South American lagers having lime wedges stuffed down their bottle necks, and of course the old favourite of the light drinker – the lemonade shandy. So which of these approaches have Drynks Unlimited taken when it comes to crafting their Smashed Citrus beer?
Pouring the bottle into my trusty half-pinter, we see a golden amber liquid with a small, but rapidly dissipating head. I noticed Quillaia extract as an ingredient on the side of the bottle – this is derived from a tree bark, and is often used as a foaming agent in soft drinks. I’d say it hasn’t had that great of an impact here.
On the nose we immediately get citrus, especially lemon peel, with a slight whiff of hops and malt in the background. Lemon also dominates on the taste, with bitterness and sweetness both evident, though no real malt to speak of. It isn’t too watery and there is definitely a body there.
So yes, this is a non-alcoholic lager shandy, and as such it’s perfectly respectable, tasting like a standard mix of lager and lemonade. If you picked this up expecting a non-alcoholic beer though, you’ll be disappointed. Like Bavaria 0.0, this is a soft drink, and has a fair bit of sugar in it. Smashed Citrus does succeed in it’s aims though, as it will certainly refresh you on a warm afternoon.
Nutritional Information (per 100ml)
0.05% alcohol by volume
30 calories energy
(taken from the side of the bottle)
Alcohol Free Beer (contains Barley, Wheat), Sugar, Natural Flavourings, Citric Acid, Quillaia Extract
Drynks Unlimited Smashed Citrus Non-Alcoholic Beer Review
It appears that ‘Citrus Beer’ is the new name for a lager shandy, and as far as non-alcoholic drinks go, that’s not a bad thing.