WellBeing Brewing are a Missouri based brewer from that big ole United States of America place over yonder. You know, the place with a large growing non-alcoholic craft beer industry, that we in the UK only manage to sample through Athletic Brewing offerings, or the odd imported beer from Two Roots or Untitled Art. It’s unfortunate that the amount of red tape involved in importing foodstuffs from the US to the UK (especially after the dreaded ‘B’ word) is labyrinthine, as we are missing out on a great many quality breweries. WellBeing being one of them.
The brewery was founded in 2017 by husband and wife Jeff and Genevieve Stevens. After quitting drinking alcohol at the age of 24, Jeff was still interested in visiting bars to watch live bands and socialise with friends. Drinking non-alcoholic beer facilitated this, but he was restricted to the usual bland macro brands that were available at the time. The craft beer wave then crashed over the US, but the alcohol free beers available remained the same. This spurred Jeff on to creating WellBeing Brewing, with an aim to produce quality nolo beers using a craft mentality and quality ingredients.
Hellraiser Dark Amber was one of the brewer’s initial offerings, brewed to ‘Raise Hell, Responsibly’ according to the marketing bumph from the time. An ‘American Dark Amber’, this translates over here to something akin to a brown ale or a bitter – two styles the alcohol-free market in the UK is lacking. WellBeing’s method of brewing their NA beers is to brew and fully ferment, and then remove the alcohol via ‘the latest in brewing technology’. Whether this is a reference to vacuum distillation or reverse osmosis isn’t clear, but they are both widely accepted processes in the industry. Let’s crack open this can and see what hell we can raise.
The beer lives up to it’s name, pouring a dark amber colour, with a slight reddish hue, and some slight haze to it. A stable frothy head forms, sticks around, and gives some good lacing as we drink. On the nose the aroma is hoppy, with pine, citrus orange and tropical mango noticeable, along with some floral notes, toasty malt and sweet sherbet in the background.
The hops hit you up front as we taste, with an orange rind bitterness leading the charge, and a background of sweet malt and roasted grains taking up the rear. We get some fruity notes, dried apricot and tropical mango, with a touch of the floral from the aroma. The carbonation level may be a bit high and overly gassy, the body is light to medium, with a pretty thin mouthfeel. We get a clean bitter finish to the drink.
WellBeing Hellraiser Dark Amber is perhaps the nearest we’ve gotten so far to an alcohol-free English bitter, which should be a bit of a kick up the backside for Brit brewers – the Americans have beaten you to it! The fruity flavours may be a step or two away from traditional tastes, but this is where it may cross the line into brown ale territory. Nevertheless, if you’re hankering for a bitter ale you should give this a try, if you can get your hands on it over here!
Buy WellBeing Hellraiser Dark Amber
It’s doubtful you’ll see WellBeing’s beers in any store in the UK at the moment, but Hellraiser Dark Amber and some other of their offerings may be available from the following online shops:
|Nutritional Information (per 100ml, taken from the side of the can)
|Country of Production
|United States of America
|WellBeing Brewing – https://wellbeingbrewing.com/
|Yes, according to website
WellBeing Hellraiser Dark Amber Review
Close to an English bitter in both taste and aroma, and well worth trying if you’re a fan of the style, but not the alcohol that comes with it.