T-cket Ltd were set up in early 2021 and is the idea of British-Iranian duo Ali Porooshani Nia and Faegheh Soleimani. Iran has seen a large market for alcohol-free beers since 1979, with sales more than doubling over the period of 2008 and 2013, and growth continuing to be healthy. Ali and Faegheh’s family business involves the brewing of such non-alcoholic beers, and Tcket is an offshoot of this; though the company is taking a slightly different approach to their brewing style, and a slightly different direction from any other brewer I’ve seen so far.
Tcket produce nolo beers infused with exotic (and costly) saffron, with a view to imbue their brews (try saying that three times in a row!) with additional health benefits. Saffron is a spice thought to have originated in Iran, and comes from the dried stigma of a crocus flower. It is an antioxidant, and has been linked to a range of health benefits, including mood improvement, increasing libido, reduced appetite and more. However, these have all been studied at levels of 30mg of saffron – whether or not this level of the stuff can appear in a beer I’m unsure.
Coming back to the beer and it’s ingredients, saffron is not the only aromatic herb infusing T-cket’s alcohol-free lager – we also have lemongrass used as an adjunct. Lemongrass is an aromatic tropical plant that as well as producing citronella oil, is widely used in cooking, especially in Asia. My wife is from Malaysia, and so I’m very used to consuming food containing lemongrass’ aromatic flavour profile. I’ve seen it being used in various infusions and teas, which is meant to give a calming effect to the drinker, but never in a beer. It can certainly be strong flavour, contrasting somewhat I think to saffron’s more delicate profile, so it will be interesting to see what the balance is like in Tcket’s lager. Let’s crack this bottle over and prepare for a possible flavour bomb!
The beer pours a vivid bright golden yellow colour (this must be the saffron at work), with good clarity, lots of visible carbonation, but almost zero head production as the liquid fills the glass. Any frothy bubbles that are produced are gone within seconds. Inhaling, the aroma is overwhelmingly that of lemongrass – earthy, lemon citrus rind with a hint of sweetness. But I think I can discern the saffron coming through in the background, a floral and medicinal aroma. There wasn’t much malt to be found, if any.
Tasting the beer, and it’s the lemongrass that again dominates proceedings. It’s citrus and earthy flavour has hints of both lemon sharpness and ginger tang, along with floral notes. There’s a slight touch of sweetness but the balance is more to the bitter side. The beer is highly carbonated but has quite a watery mouthfeel, more like a soft drink than a lager. We get a bitter earthy finish to the drink.
Tcket Alcohol-Free Lemongrass Lager will split opinions because, as referenced by it’s name, the flavour on show is overwhelmingly of lemongrass. I personally like the flavour of the herb, and it’s interesting to encounter it in a beer, but I feel it would be much better had the flavour been dialled down to allow the saffron and malt to come through, because at the moment the beer is pretty one dimensional in the taste department. It would be a decent drink to have with a curry or some rendang, but I don’t think I could have more than one on it’s own.
Buy Tcket Alcohol-Free Lemongrass Lager
I was gifted my bottles of T-cket’s lemongrass lager, but for those of you that are not amateur non-alcoholic beer reviewers, you can buy yours online:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the bottle)|
|Water, Malted Barley, Hops, Yeast, Saffron, Lemongrass|
|Country of Production||United Kingdom|
|Brewer||T-cket Ltd – https://t-cket.co.uk/|
Tcket Alcohol-Free Lemongrass Lager Review
Unless the flavour is toned down somewhat, this will only really appeal to fans of lemongrass’ distinct aromas and tastes.