Birmingham Brewing Company Limited are based in, you guessed it, Birmingham, and were formed in August 2016 by Paul and Charlotte Harwood. Founded with a simple aim to brew quality beer locally for local people, today they have 7 beers on the market, run their own taproom in Stirchley, and even have their own gin distilled from their beer, named ‘The Brummie’. Indeed, all of their range bear the Brummie moniker – from Pale Brummie, to Bitter Brummie, to Stout Brummie. But of course the subject of this review will be their only current alcohol-free beer, Sober Brummie.
The recipe for Sober Brummie was developed over the best part of three years. Not having the ability to use fancy kit needed for techniques such as reverse osmosis, Birmingham Brewing Company had to nail down a process using different yeasts and malt bills that enabled them to brew their beer the normal way, but producing minimal alcohol. A trio of hops is also used for imparting aroma and flavour into the brew, though I was unable to ascertain what hops the brewer is actually using.
Sober Brummie was launched in December 2020, just in time for Dry January, and the brewer also partnered with a local charity, Midlands Air Ambulance, committing to donate 5% of their first year’s profits to the cause. Lots of good going on here, let’s hope it all translates into a tasty pale ale experience.
The beer pours a golden colour with some slight visible haze to it. The head froths up nicely, and retention is pretty good, leaving some lacing for at least the first half of the drink. On the nose I’m getting quite a bit of fruit, mandarin and lime citrus, peach and apricot, along with some resinous pine notes. Also some malty caramel sweetness.
The taste of the beer follows on fairly closely to the aroma, though the citrus and resinous pine flavours are the most prominent. There’s a soft malty caramel backbone supporting it all, with mild hoppy bitterness providing the interest. The carbonation is quite soft, and whilst the body starts out being good by the end of the drink the mouthfeel is veering into soda water territory. We get a long, bitter, earthy finish to the beer.
Another fine alcohol-free pale ale to add to the collection, this is easy to drink and offers a nice balance of flavours, despite suffering from a touch of wateriness by the end of the drink. Like the rest of Birmingham Brewing Company’s range Sober Brummie is both gluten free and vegan friendly, and you’re also supporting a charity by chugging one of these down. Well done you!
Buy Sober Brummie
Birmingham Brewing Company’s beers are mainly available directly from their taproom or their webshop, or one of the online stores below:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the can)
|Additional nutritional information not given. Boo, hiss!
|Water, Deglutenised Malted Barley, Deglutenised Malted Wheat, Hops, Yeast
|Country of Production
|Birmingham Brewing Co – https://www.birminghambrewingcompany.co.uk/
Sober Brummie Non-Alcoholic Pale Ale Review
Great pale ale flavours and aromas slightly let down by a wateriness, this is a nice little tipple, even if you’re not a Brummie!