Unltd is a brand used by The Alcohol Free Brewing Company Ltd, who were founded in 2019 under the moniker of The Alcohol Free Beer Company Ltd. It was founded by the superhero alter-ego-esque named Johnny Johnson, who’s previous relationship with alcohol sounds similar to my own. Taken from the ‘from the founder’ section of the company’s website, Mr Johnson was regularly over-doing it on nights out and found the negative effects of alcohol consumption more pronounced as he got older. After quitting the beer he found it helped to improve his mental and physical health, but he still craved the taste of a good pint. So, like many others before him, he took the plunge into the world of alcohol-free beer brewing, and now has a company with a couple of non-alcoholic beers under their belt.
Their first beer was launched on the 1st June 2020 and unsurprisingly was a lager. It seems to have done well, winning awards at the World Beer Awards 2020 and the European Beer Challenge 2020 and 2021. However, whilst I have a few bottles of the lager in the fridge waiting for me, this review is for Unltd’s second offering, their IPA. This came to market at the end of April 2021, and at time of writing has sold out from the brewer’s website. It’s brewed using the limited fermentation technique, which restricts the amount of alcohol produced whilst retaining some of the flavours that develop during fermenting. An IPA tends to be my go-to nolo beer, and when properly hopped can easily stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their full ABV brethren. Will Unltd IPA have this stature?
Pouring from the sleek stylish bottle we get a dark amber liquid with crystal clarity. A decent light white head is produced and sticks around for a while before fizzling away. On the nose we get sweet malt with caramel and honeycomb notes, along with some lime citrus and pine aromas. Citra and Goldings hops maybe? Quite appetising.
The taste of the beer retains the sweet malt caramel flavours and builds on them with roasted grains, giving a slight toasted note to the drink. But make no mistakes, this is not a sweet beer, and has a pleasing bitterness to it, with earthy and pine flavours giving a well-balanced taste. Despite the look of the beer there’s actually a fair bit of carbonation, but it’s not fierce, and helps to give a good mouthfeel to the drink. The finish is long and pleasantly bitter.
I was quite impressed with Unltd’s take on the AF IPA. It’s a lighter drink than many similar ales, but still offers a lovely collection of well-balanced flavours without becoming watery. And look at that calorie count – about 13 calories per bottle! You could have around 15 of these for the equivalent of a full strength 4.5% ABV IPA. But don’t do that, stick to a couple and enjoy the taste.
Buy Unltd IPA
Unltd’s beers are mainly available online, and so head off to the brewer’s site and see if you can pick up a pack of their IPA while you can. Or try one of the following shops:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the bottle)
|Water, Malted Barley, Maltodextrin, Wheat, Hops, Yeast
|Country of Production
|The Alcohol Free Brewing Company Ltd – https://www.unltd.beer/
Unltd Alcohol-Free IPA Review
A light yet flavoursome IPA with an almost non-existent calorie count. Tasty stuff!