Impossibrew Limited is the brainchild of entrepreneur (isn’t everyone one of these nowadays?) Mark Wong, who started the business in November 2020, with initial limited edition bottles of beer going on sale in January 2021. The idea behind the company is a personal one, with Hong Kong-born and Durham-based Mr Wong starting off his working life as a scholar of alcohol, earning one of the highest scores in the French Wine Scholars (FWS) examinations. However, soon after this success his health took a blow, and Mark was advised to stop drinking alcohol at all costs. Facing the problem that many in the same situation before 2019/2020 encountered – that of most alcohol alternatives being severely lacking in quality – he searched out other healthy and relaxing beverages. This led him to the 12th Century Japanese publication ‘Kissa Yōjōki’. Written by a Buddhist priest, the book helped to popularise the drinking of Green Tea in Japan, as well as detailing numerous herbs used to improve the health of both the body and mind. The idea to fuse craft alcohol-free beer and these functional herbs and plants was born in Mark’s mind, with the company following on after developing recipes with likeminded scientists, and going through and winning numerous start-up competitions.
Throughout 2021 Impossibrew had an initial beer, a bottled lager, available in limited quantities, which is obviously not an ideal situation. In order to appeal more to the mass market, the range was expanded and in December 2021 the first batch of their improved lager and new hazy pale ale in bigger 440ml cans was launched. We’re looking at their hazy pale in this review.
The beer is hopped with El Dorado and Citra hops, so we can expect topical pineapple and mango, and grapefruit and lime citrus to be making an appearance. But what about the company’s trademarked ‘Social Blend™’ – the formulation of herbs and plants that the brewer uses to ‘enhance’ their beer? We’ve got Griffonia seed providing 5-HTP, which is a precursor to serotonin, a neurotransmitter handling overall mood and happiness. We also have L-theanine which can be derived from many sources, including tea, which is meant to help boost dopamine and serotonin. And to top it off we have vitamin B1 and ginseng extracts, both also helping to enhance mood chemicals in the brain. Will all these positive ingredients have a positive effect on the taste and quality of the beer as well as our brains?
Pouring the beer from the can (hooray for 440ml!) we get a hazy straw coloured liquid which is pretty much opaque. A huge, dense stable foamy head is produced, and will be our companion for most of the drink. On the nose we get aromas of tropical pineapple and mango, along with sweet malt, stone fruit and a finish of lemon citrus.
On tasting, we get an initial bitterness which is then overtaken by tropical flavours, with juicy pineapple coming through the most. There’s a touch of stone fruit sweetness in there, with a peachy flavour, but more bitterness ramps up with some lemon citrus joining the party. A touch of grassy herbal hop rounds it off well. The beer has a lovely thick mouthfeel, with tingly carbonation and quite a juicy body. We get a bitter citrus finish to the drink.
Impossibrew Hazy Pale is an expertly crafted alcohol-free pale ale – seriously, it’s as good as any I’ve had. I can’t comment on the functional plant and nootropic ingredients as I was mainly recording the tastes and aromas of the beers whilst sampling, but I have previously used 5-HTP as a supplement during a particularly bad patch in the mid 2000s, with a positive outcome from it’s usage. ‘Social Blend™’ aside, Hazy Pale is simply a great beer, with aromas, flavours and drinking experience being everything you could ask for in a pale ale. Certainly a brewer to keep an eye on!
Buy Impossibrew Hazy Pale
Impossibrew’s beers are mainly available direct from the brewer, though you might see some available in some of the better AF-friendly bottle shops. You can also buy Hazy Pale online here:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the can)
|Water, Barley, Hops, Wheat, Yeast, Oats, Social Blend (L-Theanine, Ginseng Extract, Griffonia Seed Extract, Lemon Balm Extract, Vitamin B1)
|Country of Production
|Impossibrew – https://impossibrew.co.uk/
Impossibrew Alcohol-Free Hazy Pale Review
Top quality AF brewing on show here, with bags of flavour and aroma, and quite possibly additional mental health benefits from drinking.