First Chop began life as a restaurant located in Ramsbottom, set up by restauranteur Rik Garner, who along with having interest in the culinary arts, also harboured a fascination with the secrets of brewing. After much experimentation with home brews and borrowing the use of a local micro brewery, Rik opened up the brewing arm of First Chop in 2013, nestled under the railway arches in Victoria Row, Salford. After a few years of operating, during which Rik decided to concentrate solely on brewing and walked away from his restaurant business, disaster struck and the brewery went up in flames in 2016. The brewery bounced back however, reopening in mid-2017 at the Barton Hall Industrial Estate in Eccles, and celebrated their millionth pint brewed at the tail end of 2018.
First Chop’s beers are all vegan-friendly, and the majority of them also qualify as gluten-free also (a gluten content of less than 10 ppm). In recent years they have started exporting their beers to Italy, and are seeing demand surge over there. Who would have thought the Italians would have a taste for Northern ale? ‘Yes Anytime IPA’ is the brewery’s first and only alcohol-free beer, and is an IPA, but with many American hops used in it’s production. Will this NA IPA be more of an AF APA? We’ll let you know ASAP.
Pouring out from the can we get a pale straw coloured liquid with a fair amount of haze, and also some visible carbonation bubbles. A frothy white head fluffs up and does stick around for a while. On the nose we get citrus aromas, almost mandarin and grapefruit but not quite. Indeed it’s more like the aroma of pomelo. Tropical mango is also there in the background, with some malty sweetness.
On tasting we get citrus flavours, mandarin and pomelo, with some more muted tropical notes, and some more earthy hop flavours. A growing bitterness is present as we drink, with little to no malt sweetness to be found. The carbonation level is on the high end, and although the initial few sips are a bit watery, the drink does level out into a decent body and mouthfeel. We get a short bitter finish to the drink.
First Chop Yes is a nicely balanced IPA, maybe veering towards the more bitter end of the spectrum, but still full of fruity flavours. The actual taste of the beer may not entirely live up to the quality of it’s aroma, but it’s a satisfying drink and for once is an alcohol-free IPA that is not dominated by grapefruit citrus.
Buy First Chop Yes Anytime IPA
You can find First Chop beers in some Booths and Co-Op stores, independent bars and bottle shops, along with many online suppliers such as:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the can)
|Further nutritional information not supplied by brewer. Boo, hiss!
|Water, Barley, Wheat, Oats, Rye, Maltodextrin, Hops, Yeast
|Country of Production
|First Chop Brewing Arm Ltd – http://www.firstchop.co.uk/
|Yes, the company is Coeliac owned and run
First Chop Yes Anytime Non-Alcoholic IPA Review
A tasty beer that manages to stand out somewhat in the crowd of alcohol-free IPAs with some nice, if slightly muted flavours.