Rok Soba were initially a clothing brand aimed at inspiring a sober lifestyle and positive mental health, particularly amongst young men. Founded by brothers Lee and Shaun Fennings, the brand is full of beards, tattoos, motorbikes and cool punky/biker t-shirts and hoodies. The brand was formed after the brothers both quit the booze several months apart, after they both hit, in their own words, ‘…rock bottom in a really serious way’. Their journeys to sobriety inspired them to try and bring ‘cool’ into the sometimes ridiculed world of the teetotaller, and Rok Soba Ltd now encompasses the clothing brand, a mental health and sobriety support network, and as of this year an alcohol-free drinks production arm.
Rok Soba’s non-alcoholic beers were launched in May 2021, and consisted of 2 initial offerings, an IPA, the style which is arguably the most represented in the AF market, and a Tripel, a style that I have yet to see a nolo version of. A Tripel is a Belgian beer style that is pale to amber, with only light bitterness, and flavour driven mainly by malts and yeasts. They also tend to be high on ABV spectrum, due to brewing methods that mean they have technically been ‘triple’ fermented. Rok Soba haven chosen a brewery in Belgium to brew their Lucky 777 Tripel, though it is not named on the can or on the company’s website. Whether or not the brewery is De Proefbrouwerij will probably be evident on tasting, especially if we’re whacked in the face with half a grapefruit smothered in passion fruit.
Pouring the beer from the funkily-designed can we get a deep reddish-brown colour liquid with a slight haze. A lovely big frothy head is produced, settling nicely and being our companion through the drinking experience. The aroma is big, wheat and fruity banana, with a hint of spice working away in the background. Some similarities to say a hefeweizen, but it’s certainly ticking boxes here.
The wheat and banana continue into the taste, with the banana being just enough on the artificial side to be veering into bubblegum territory. There’s some spicy clove peeking out from behind this, along with some molasses sweetness, and dare I say even a touch of fruity apple offering a slight sour note. The carbonation is relatively high but gentle-feeling, giving a smooth mouthfeel and a decent enough body. The finish is creamy with a slight bitterness. I don’t think this is De Proef’s work, so would be interested in finding out who has brewed this beer for Rok Soba.
The flavours here in Rok Soba Lucky 777 Tripel are quite complex and certainly different from your usual alcohol-free ale. Perhaps a mix between a wheat beer and a pale ale, it nevertheless does have the characteristics I expect from a tripel but maintaining a 0.5% ABV. It’s great to see an initial offering from a company that isn’t just another safe lager, and it’s certainly the best non-alcoholic tripel I’ve ever had!
Buy Rok Soba Lucky 777 Tripel
I’ve seen Rok Soba’s beers available in a few restaurants as their nolo alternatives, but at the moment it’s probably easier to buy them online. Try either through the brewer’s website, or one of the shops below:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the can)|
|Additional nutritional information not given. Boo, hiss!|
|Water, Malted Barley, Hops, Yeast, Spices, Natural Aromas, Sweetener: Sucralose|
|Country of Production||Belgium|
|Brewer||Rok Soba Limited – https://roksoba.rocks/|
|Gluten Free?||Yes, uses deglutenised barley|
|Vegan Friendly?||Yes, according to brewer|
Rok Soba 777 Alcohol-Free Tripel Review
The tripel flavours are there, though once again as with many AF beers the taste does not quite live up to the aroma. Great debut from Rok Soba.