I’ve reviewed nearly a hundred alcohol-free beers now for this site, and one thing I’ve learned is that it isn’t easy to brew a decent non-alcoholic ale. Many have tried, with some faring better than others. The Fungtional Brew Company Ltd have not only taken on the challenge of producing a good nolo beer, but to do so using mushrooms as ingredients. However these aren’t the mushrooms you’d get on your pizza or fried on top of some sourdough toast, these are what are know as functional mushrooms. These mycoadaptogens are traditionally used to naturally aid our bodies to recover, boost immunity, and aid general physical and mental health. Not something you’d normally expect from a beer.
Fungtn Reishi Citra uses what is known as the ‘mushroom of immortality’ – Reishi. Also known as lingzh, this is a flat, fan-shaped mushroom that grows at the base of trees such as the Maple, and has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for over 2000 years. Supposedly high in antioxidants, Beta-glucans and triterpenes, it has been used for it’s immune system boosting qualities throughout the East. We could all do with a bit of that at the moment, but these features are secondary to whether Fungtn Reishi Citra is a decent beer. With Reishi mushroom reportedly being rather bitter in taste, it makes sense that it’s been paired with Idaho 7 and Simcoe hops. But have Fungtn managed to balance the bitterness, or will we be getting something overly-hoppy, akin to first generation Nanny State?
Pouring from the bottle we get a hazy golden coloured liquid, certainly less cloudy than Fungtn’s IPA. We get a good head, fluffy and white, which sticks around with a bit of lacing. We get earthy citrus and pine aromas on the nose, with a slight background of caramel. Carbonation looks pretty steady.
Citrus immediately hits us on tasting too, grapefruit, orange rind, and also tropical pineapple. The earthy quality remains in the background, with some slight caramel sweetness also lurking. The bitterness grows as we drink, but never seems overpowering. The body is good, helped by the carbonation, and it doesn’t really stray into watery territory. The finish is long and bitter and earthy.
If you like hoppy bitterness in your beer you should enjoy Fungtn Reishi Citra. Whilst there is a tad more sweetness than in their Lion’s Mane IPA, citrus bitterness reigns supreme here. I think of the two I prefer the IPA, though I’d be happy with either.
Buy Fungtn Reishi Citra
Fungtn’s beers are mainly available online, and at some specialist retailers. Get your Reishi Citra from one of the following drinks shops:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the bottle)
|Hops, Barley, Oats, Wheat, Yeast, Reishi, Water
|Country of Production
|The Fungtional Brew Company Limited – https://www.fungtn.com/
Fungtn Reishi Citra Non-Alcoholic Beer Review
Certainly a good one for the hop-heads and those that like their beers with a decent heft of bitterness.