Good Karma Beer Co market themselves as part of the ‘Mindful Movement’. Mindfulness is about having awareness of what actions you are doing at the time you are doing them, and what these actions can mean to yourself and people around you. Being mentally present ‘in the moment’ and knowing your reasons for doing or feeling something. Mindfulness is also something my mother-in-law is always banging on about, so I have to say it’s not something I personally ascribe to. But it’s popular with the younger generations of today, and ‘mindful drinking’ is certainly one of the reasons that people are opting more and more for alcohol-free beers.
I’m surprised at how low-key Good Karma are as a brewer. The main man behind the scenes, Steve Dass, is a stalwart of the industry, and when I first heard of the company I was expecting them to be reaching the levels of say Big Drop in the non-alcoholic beer world by now. But their product launches have been slightly restrained in my opinion, as have their beers so far. I reviewed their hefeweizen a while back, which had it’s own quirks and high points, but which I ultimately feel was a bit lost among the other offerings in the same style. And so we come to their lager, Good Karma Happy Pils. A pilsner lager is the first port of call for many brewers wishing to create an alcohol-free beer. But we’ve seen many fall by the wayside, being too worty or sweet, which shows that the style still takes a lot of work to perfect. Will Happy Pils live up to it’s name or will I be swallowing my lugubrious lozenges?
Pouring out the beer we get a pale straw coloured liquid with good clarity and a few streams of bubbles visible. A bone-white head fluffs up in the glass but pretty much vanishes within half a minute. On the nose we get the aromas of sweet raisin and honey, but these are quite light and we aren’t overpowered by sweetness. Pleasant, but not pilsner-like.
Raisin again makes an appearance as we taste, along with lager malt, giving a light sweetness to the drink. The body and mouthfeel of the beer is similar to soda water – low carbonation and watery. We get a touch of hop spice and flavour at the very end of the drink, but that’s too late in proceedings for me.
Good Karma Happy Pils is refreshing enough, but it has some of the problems that plagued the first few generations of non-alcoholic beers – simply resembling watered-down beer instead of being an actual beer without the alcohol. If you want a simple lager on a hot day but don’t want the booze, sure this will sort you out. But I wouldn’t say it would make me happy.
Buy Good Karma Happy Pils
Good Karma Beer’s offerings are mainly available from specialist bottle shops or the brewer direct. You can also buy your Happy Pils from your local pharmacy – sorry, I mean the following online stores:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the can)
|Additional nutritional information not given. Boo, hiss!
|Water, Malted Wheat, Malted Barley, Hops, Yeast, Natural Flavourings
|Country of Production
|Good Karma Beer Co – https://goodkarma.beer/
|Yes, according to brewer
Good Karma Happy Pils NA Lager Review
An average alcohol-free lager, without much of the character you’d expect from a pils.