Only With Love Brewery are a wing of Blackbird Brewing Ltd, and refer to themselves as ‘the wellbeing brewery’. No, not the American WellBeing, but referring to the choices they make in the beers they produce and the ingredients they use in their brewing. They aim to use fresh and local ingredients where possible, use sustainable brewing techniques to help protect the environment, and support local business such as Lewes Football Club. As well as a number of alcohol-free beers, Only With Love also produce a range of kombuchas and hop sodas, along with a collection of ‘regular’ beers.
Juicy AF was released in December 2021 and is based on the brewer’s popular Reboot pale ale, a best-seller for the brewery. Pale ale is one of the most popular style for non-alcoholic beers, at least if we go by the number of reviews on this site. Hops used in it’s production are Citra, Columbus, El Dorado and Mosaic. These are always popular choices, and cover the whole spectrum of citrus and tropical flavours and aromas. However, as we’ve seen before in our reviews, just using a slew of hops in your brew does not guarantee a decent beer – it’s how you use them that counts. As well as the tropical flavours that should come from their chosen hops, Only With Love also add mango puree to Juicy AF, which should help the beer live up to it’s name. It won a Gold medal in the ‘Alcohol Free Beer (Top Fermentation)’ section of 2022’s European Beer Challenge (their Happy AF stout won Silver), so hopes are high for this one.
The beer proves lively on opening (though this is not surprising, as unfortunately my cans were bulging when they arrived in the post), and pours a hazy orange colour, pretty much opaque and looking like fresh orange juice. A large frothy head is produced, but doesn’t last long. On the nose we get a whole tropical fruit market – mango (of course), lychee and pineapple dominating, with a background of grapefruit citrus. There might be a whiff of pine there too but the fruits quickly come back to subdue it. The juice is certainly loose in this hoose.
Tropical fruits are up-front when we taste, with the juicy mango dominating. But the hops are there to back it up with bitterness in the form of zesty orange and grapefruit. There’s a slight earthiness in the background and again the note of pine. The body is great, a combination of the oats and puree perhaps, but the carbonation is a touch on the high side for me and is quite aggressive on your tongue. We get a bitter finish to the drink.
Juicy AF Pale Ale does indeed live up to it’s name, with full-on juicy tropical blasts of flavour, but is well tempered by sometimes sharp bitterness. If you’re a fan of juicy, thicc, flavourful American-style pale ales you should be all over this. It’s even available on draught at a select few venues.
Buy Juicy AF Pale Ale
Only With Love’s are available on tap at a number of pubs but their beers might be hard to find in your local off-license. The best place to buy your Juicy AF Pale Ale goodness would be either direct from the brewer, or from one of these shops:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the can)|
|Further nutritional information not supplied by brewer. Boo, hiss!|
|Water, Yeast, Hops, Oats, Wheat, Barley, Mango|
|Country of Production||United Kingdom|
|Brewer||Only With Love – https://onlywithlove.co/|
Juicy AF Pale Ale Review
Juicy by name, juicy by nature, full of flavour, just a bit too aggressive on the tongue.