The nolo drinks marketplace is completely different place at time of writing than it was when Nirvana Brewery first started their brewing journey back in 2017. Back then if you tried to sell your non-alcoholic beers to the average pub, restaurant or retail purchasing managers, you’d get a response similar to ‘No thanks, nobody drinks that stuff!’. Fast forward to today and the alcohol free drinks market is the fastest growing drinks trend according to Nielsen data, with most of the big players such as Heineken and AB InBev having some skin in the game. Such competition must be good for the industry, helping to grow the category and stoke a healthy demand for quality products. But it also means that the smaller brewers may find themselves muscled out of the market, and the cost of entry may be a lot higher than it used to be. Ultimately, success will come down to the quality of your AF beer.
Nirvana Brewery’s Traditional Pale Ale was initially called ‘Tantra’, the broad term for Buddhist and Hindu techniques and practices. In other words, their traditions. A traditional pale ale for me would be an English style bitter, and so my mind and tastebuds reach straight for a hoppy ale with less of the citrus and tropical aromas of an IPA or APA, and a good bitter taste. Am I going to get what I want?
The ale pours a deep amber colour with not much noticeable carbonation. A decent side head fluffs up, with good retention throughout the session. On the nose we mainly get sweet malt aromas, though there is a touch of citrus in the form of dark marmalade.
Sweet malt remains as we taste, a touch on the caramel side, along with slight apricot flavour. The mouthfeel is quite watery, and the whole thing is rather flat. Bitterness is really lacking here, and even the aftertaste is sweet.
A disappointing effort from Nirvana Brewery here, with no real complexity or depth of flavour. And considering that their other NA beers are not really packing a punch in the flavour department, this is quite damning. I’ll personally stick to their more hoppy offerings, and leave tradition in the past.
Nutritional Information (per 100ml)
0.0% alcohol by volume
15 calories energy
(taken from the side of the bottle)
Water, Barley Malt, Hops, Malt Extract, Natural Flavourings
Nirvana Brewery Alcohol Free Traditional Pale Ale Review
Disappointing and lacking in anything to recommend it. Will quench a thirst but not much else.