Central City Brewing – Red Racer Street Legal IPA

Overview

Central City Brewing – Red Racer Street Legal IPA Review

For many people, the New Year is a time of winding down the excesses of the holiday season and focussing on new resolutions. For that reason, ‘Dry January’ has become a popular tradition in our culture, and cutting back on alcohol for a few weeks is not uncommon this time of year.

It turns out that non-alcoholic beverages are trending upwards in popularity in recent years, irrespective of the season. Scotland’s BrewDog claims to have opened the world’s first alcohol-free brewery tap this week, BrewDog AF. As we’ll be discussing at greater length in an upcoming blog post: there are a lot of reasons the trend continues to ramp up. You can function and be productive after consuming one of these, not to mention drive a car. Even though the BeerSeekers are not completely off alcohol this month, we’re definitely interested in consuming less, so we’ve been looking forward to reviewing Central City Brewing‘s newish Street Legal series of dealcoholized beers.

Although we have also tried the Street Legal Pilsner, for this review we will focus on the IPA. As you’d expect, given the style, this is way more flavourful than any ‘near beer’ you may have bought at the grocery store in the past. For that reason, one of our beer friends who is currently off alcohol but likes her hops has been drinking it regularly.

After pouring the amber liquid and seeing a decent head, the first impression was a fairly pungent hop aroma, with a smelly, fruity funk. On the palate, it of course had less body than a regular craft ale in this style, but it wasn’t nearly as thin as the supermarket variety non-alcoholic lagers. It was actually fairly satisfying, giving the initial sensation of drinking a ‘real’ beer.

 

The flavour can’t compete with a full-on, well-made West Coast IPA, but we can candidly say that we’ve ocasionally had less impressive-tasting IPAs from craft breweries making them the normal way. If you want to know more about Central City’s dealcoholization process, you can read about it in What’s Brewing here (no, this review is not sponsored).

Overall, we rated this with an average score of close to 3.5, which is amazing for this category; consider that we would give something like an O’Douls somewhere between one to two points.

Even a jaded craft beer enthusiast will have to admit that this brew is not bad for a non-alcoholic beer! Until we find something with even more hop aroma and flavour, this will be our booze-free beverage of choice.

  • (3.5)
    Appearance
  • (3.6)
    Aroma
  • (3.25)
    Palate
  • (3.25)
    Flavour
  • (3.5)
    Overall Enjoyment
3.5

About This Beverage

  • Colour: Amber
  • Head Size & Retention: Normal head + retention
  • Carbonation: Mild Carbonation
  • Clarity: Clear
  • Balance: More Hoppy
  • Drinkability: Easy Drinking
  • Enjoyment: I would recommend this beer to a friend
  • Malt Characteristics: Light, Juicy Malt
  • Hop Characteristics: Fruity, Citrusy
  • Palate: Thin, Crisp/Dry/Clean, Mildly Astringent, Not as thin as other 'near beers'

Summary

Even a jaded craft beer enthusiast will have to admit that this brew is not bad for a non-alcoholic beer!

Pros

This is obvious. It’s not alcoholic. That means you can function and be productive after consuming, not to mention drive a car.

Cons

Good as it is, it still can’t compare to a well-made ‘real’ IPA. Its flavour will still suggest ‘near beer’ to some.

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