Straight Drank from Two Roots Brewing is another of the brewer’s award-winning alcohol-free beers. In 2020 it scooped up the Bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival in the Non-Alcoholic Beer category, which is a feat considering the range of competition in the States these days. It’s a West Coast IPA, a style that is all about the hops. Relying pretty much on locally grown Pacific Northwest hops, brewers of such bevvies also heavily use the dry-hopping technique to add yet more oomph to their brews, and tend to use fewer malts than usual. The hops used in these IPAs, Eureka and Comet in the case of Straight Drank, tend to be on the ‘dank’ side of the flavour spectrum.
Dank is not a word that we’d traditionally use in the UK to describe anything good, but in modern beer terms it describes a taste between the resinous pine and citrus ends of a beer’s flavour profile. Very ‘green’, earthy and plant-like, it can certainly be very similar to cannabis aromas. This is not surprising, as hops and cannabis have a similar oil makeup, as well as similar aroma compounds. Much of the flavour and aroma from hops comes from the myrcene in it, which is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon chain, or ‘terpene’. And we can see from the ingredients list for Straight Drank that the brewer, not content with the aromas from straight dry-hopping, has added a bunch of these into the beer on top of what we already have. This could be an effort to pack more hoppy punch into the brew, or it could be a side effect of the vacuum distillation that Two Roots uses to remove the alcohol from their beers. Terpenes are very water insoluble and so they may be getting stripped during this process. Let’s crack open our can and see if all this effort has had the desired effect on this IPA.
Pouring from the can we get a cloudy, thick-looking amber liquid, similar to Two Roots’ other beers. A huge, creamy, off-white head is produced, requiring a careful pour unless you’d prefer to eat it like an ice cream. The aromas of the beer are full-on; tropical mango and passion fruit, orange citrus, and of course the dank resinous pine, and a whiff of spicy black pepper. There is a malty sweetness in the aroma, but the fruits reign supreme.
The taste of the beer is similarly ‘big’ – tropical mango, lychee and passion fruit, orange pith and grapefruit zest, and of course resinous pine. Malt sweetness is certainly there, but is tempered well by a moderate bitterness. The mouthfeel is fantastic, thick and creamy and luxurious as it slips down to lubricate your neck. We get a short bitter finish to the drink.
Like Enough Said before it, this beer from Two Roots has me gushing a bit, and I’ve probably waffled on far too much about terpenes and whatnot. Straight Drank is a fantastic, juicy, thick IPA and a joy to drink. This beauty does have one flaw however – one can has 120 calories. That’s almost the same as a can of Coca Cola. One to indulge yourself with, not for a session.
Two Roots Straight Drank
You’ll find it hard to buy any of Two Roots beers from anywhere except these online shops:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the can)|
|Filtered Water, Malt, Hops, Yeast, Natural Terpenes|
|Country of Production||United States of America|
|Brewer||Two Roots Brewing Co – https://www.tworootsbrewingco.com/|
Two Roots Straight Drank Nolo IPA review
Juicy and thick and all the things you were dreaming of, though packed with calories, it probably counts as one of your five-a-day!