At time of writing, Loah Beer will probably have celebrated their 3rd year of trading. They’re one of the many alcohol-free beer brewers that set up shop during 2020 in that slight ‘pause’ that the majority of us were forced into taking. The brainchild of Hugo Tapp, their first offering was a lime-infused lager called Hola, which didn’t really wow us when we tried it last year. However, since then the business has had both an image rebranding, with all beers being named after their respective adjunct and style (such as Peach Lager), and more investment made in the skills required by a proper brewery – or to use a quote from Loah’s website, “It turns out I’m not actually a brewer. So we needed the help of a real one. And we found a very real, and seriously talented one.”
Also at time of writing the company has undergone a crowdfunding initiative on Seedrs, with over 100% of their target achieved from the input of over 200 investors. That’s a healthy injection of capital that should hopefully see the brewer’s output and coverage grow. But it seems that the company has already seen a decent period of growth since we last checked in on them. Their products are now stocked by Whole Foods stores, they’ve had over 300% more sales in 2023 than in the previous year, and they now have 3 different beers on the market. All 3 drinks were originally lagers, using the flavours of lime, peach, and blood orange respectively, but in June of 2023 the brewer decided to make some tweaks to the latter, namely they “doubled the hops, increased the body, and added a sneaky touch of tangerine…” and renamed it as an IPA. This is the beer we’ll be reviewing today.
I have to say I’m a big fan of blood orange. I find the taste to be pleasingly fragrant, with enough restrained bitterness to give a kick to your taste buds without having to wince with every segment eaten. It also looks very striking in a glass when juiced. The fruit has been used in brewing many times before, but this will be the first time I’ve seen it used in a non-alcoholic beer. I’m picturing a hazy reddish-orange pour with lots of citrus on the nose and in the taste, with a nice bitter edge. Let’s hope I get all this and more.
Pouring the beer out from the can we get a pale straw coloured liquid with good clarity and vigorous-looking carbonation, judging by the rapidly rising streams of bubbles. A big, bubbly, bone-white head is produced but fizzles away quickly, and soon enough the beer is bare on top. On the nose we get a fair amount of citrus, but I’d say more grapefruit than orange, plus a whiff of juicy tropical pineapple, and a background of pale malts.
A crisp bitterness greets us as we taste which quickly takes on more citrus qualities, but still not what I would discern as blood orange, or any other type of orange in particular. There’s also some earthy grassiness going on, with a background of pale malted grains. The body is very light, bordering on watery, with high carbonation that manages to not feel too aggressive on the tongue. We get a dry finish to the drink.
Loah Beer Blood Orange IPA is a quite pleasant light thirst quencher, but completely different from what I was expecting. The use of ‘blood orange’ in the product name is probably being a bit disingenuous, as the paleness of the beer and the lack of any real orange flavour and aroma at all makes me think it should be re-christened to ‘citrus IPA’. It’s also very thin for an IPA, I think the brewer should have kept to the drink’s previous lager branding – I’d certainly not be able to tell any difference!
Buy Loah Beer Blood Orange IPA
Loah Beer offerings are available from Whole Food stores and a number of other off-licences and bottle shops. For online retailers of Blood Orange IPA you can try these guys:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the can)|
|Oats, Wheat, Barley, Hops, Water, Yeast, Natural Orange and Tangerine Flavourings|
|Country of Production||United Kingdom|
|Brewer||Loah Drinks Ltd – https://loah.beer/|
|Gluten Free?||Yes, gluten below 10 ppm|
Loah Beer Blood Orange IPA Review
I highly doubt that this beer has seen any blood orange in it’s production, but is nevertheless a pleasant citrus-y light beer, but nothing like the drink it’s moniker conjures up in the mind’s eye.