The market for alcohol-free beers is far bigger than it was when I started this blog back in 2020. Before that, if you’d have told me I would have reviewed over 200 non-alcoholic beers in three years, I’d have thought you were mad. I was worried I wouldn’t get past a dozen or so when I first started. Now, I’m pretty sure there are at least another 200 nolos out there for me to sample and try and articulate the responses that my nose and tongue give me when doing so. Even big supermarkets such as Waitrose are seeing demand for low and no-alcohol drinks growing so much that they’re replacing their existing wine shelf-space with alcohol-free sections. With so many nolo offerings out there, beer brewers are having to come up with more unique selling points (USPs) to make their brews stand out from the rest. With Lifted Lager, Lifted Drinks certainly have this covered in my opinion – the first 0.0% alcohol free beer enriched with 10g of plant-based protein per can.
Lifted Drinks Ltd were formed in June 2022 by Tony Robinson (no, not Baldrick, he’s a Sir now!) and Rebecca Shaw, with their lager coming out in November of the same year. The idea for the product and company apparently came about after a workout, when the consumption of a good ice cold beer was far more appealing than the thick, heavy protein shake that was available. A non-alcoholic beer with post-workout benefits is nothing new – nolo wheat beers have been marketed to runners and gym-goers for years, and most alcohol-free beers have levels sugar and salt that make them technically isotonic. But one with a high portion of protein, which can aid with recovery after a workout, is a new one on me.
Lifted Lager uses pea protein powder to supply this 10g of protein per can, and this has been used in vegetarian and vegan ‘meat alternative’ products for many years. It’s soluble, so shouldn’t affect the look of the beer, but I kind of remember a slight vegetal taste to the products I’ve had in the past that use pea protein. According to Lifted Drinks’ website, the beer goes through a process which does not create alcohol, so I’m not sure if this means fermentation using a very weak and lazy yeast, or that the beer is not technically fermented at all. As non-fermented beers tend to have a distinctive taste we’ll find out soon enough. I must admit though, the only real physical activity I’ve done today has been my morning stretches and a 30 minute walk down the Thames path, so any recovery effect will be wasted on me!
The beer pours a pale golden colour and produces a frothy bubbly head as it fills the glass. This shrinks back within a few seconds but stays with us in one form or another. There’s a slight haze to the liquid, and several steady streams of bubbles visible. On the nose we get bready malts and a good hit of stone fruits – apricot and plum, and maybe even a hint of juicy raisin. It does have some of those notes of unfermented wort but not overwhelmingly so.
We get a malty start when we taste, with hints of fragrant raisin. There are a few citrus notes, which translates into a bitter edge to the drink and helps to cut through any wortiness. The body of the beer is medium, unlike most lagers, and I suspect this is the work of the powdered protein. It’s providing a lovely smooth mouthfeel, and doesn’t affect the refreshment it’s providing. We get a slightly bitter finish to the drink.
Lifted Lager is a pretty decent alcohol-free lager. There are some hints of wortiness to the brew, which are present in many nolos that do not fully ferment, but the bitter edge of the beer helps to balance this out. Good mouthfeel and body makes this slip down easily, and if I was ever in a position in my life that I need a protein shake, I’d happily drink this instead.
Buy Lifted Lager
Lifted Lager is available to buy from the brewer’s website, and may be available in specialist off-licences, and maybe in gyms out there in the future. You can also buy from these stores:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the bottle)|
|Water, Malted Barley, Hops, Pea Protein, Potassium Sorbate|
|Country of Production||United Kingdom|
|Brewer||Lifted Drinks Ltd – https://liftedbrewing.com/|
Lifted Lager Review
Despite what some may see as a gimmick in the high protein content, Lifted Lager is a decent enough refreshing lager in it’s own right.