🗣 This is a NA thread.

2020 was quite the wild ride but one thing I’m celebrating today is a successful year embracing the non-alcoholic / low-alcohol beverages trend to get through this year’s lows.
What started as a curiosity in January (yes the Dry January, bring the 🙄 and perhaps even 😒 from those that embraced this earlier than me) become extremely useful when COVID19 changed things that used to be routine (and taken for granted).
I’m very fortunate that the NA industry really took off this year which made things easier (It’s impossible to keep up with everything now) and I hope that this trend is here to stay.

🚨 Posts will mostly be 0.5-2%. Those that are 0.0% will be noted.
@AthleticBrewing Kept me excited this year. I started off the year with Upside Dawn and Run Wild which kept selling out at Total Wine. Both are great and now easily accessible since Athletic increased production in San Diego (prior Ballast Point facility). I favor Upside Dawn
I learned very quickly that I actually REALLY like the taste of hops (I do notice the added flavor of ethanol). There were multiple occasions at ~1PM when an email would go out and I scrambled to get in an order before the release sold out (minutes!!)
I tried 14 different Athletic beers in 2020 and as an IPA lover, I was very happy to have several IPA options. The Single Hop IPA was my favorite and I hope it becomes a regular! See pic for my rankings (tough - hopefully a proper tasting and ranking at the SD taproom can happen)
Speaking of drinking good hops, another notable favorite this year was @lagunitasbeer Hoppy Refresher. I found the NA take on one of my favs - Lagunitas IPA - at a local corner store a couple of days ago and it’s also quite refreshing (the lack of EtOH is very noticeable though)
For those that want a true 0.0% option and love hops, I recommend giving the Hoppy Refresher a try
@MikkellerBeer has some great NA options available. I LOVE the Limbo Raspberry and will be picking up some shortly from BevMo before it runs out. Weird Weather (IPA) and Drink’in the Sun (Wheat) were also decent but I had favorites for those styles from other brewers
The beers will keep coming for a bit, have lots of notes on that - then I’ll switch over to wine and spirits (less experience in that area so I’ll dedicate more of this thread to the beers)
@BrooklynBrewery Special Effects hoppy Amber (left, purple) was up there as one of my top 5 NA beers of the year. If I can find the IPA version (right, green), I’ll definitely be giving it a try in 2021.
Of the @BrewDog AF series that I tried, Nanny State was my favorite of the set for a light crisp beer but if I wanted something bolder in hop flavor, I went for an IPA in the Athletic line or Brooklyn’s. Attn: @Etche_homo - maybe try Mikkeller’s if that’s available to you?
(Back at it!) of the @bravusbrewco beers, my favorite was the oatmeal stout.

Attn: @sethaxen . This oatmeal stout along with Athletic’s Dark & Gourdy were my favorite dark beers (although I’m not a dark beer connoisseur really)
Unfortunately I didn’t like the rest of the Bravus set (didn’t try the White Ale and Cervesa)
None of the Surreal Brewing Company set that I tried suited my taste which was a bit of a bummer. I had high hopes for the Red IPA
Others that I tried included options from Ceria, Partake and Wellbeing. Generally ok but I didn’t repurchase. A special shoutout to Total Wine San Mateo that allowed me to try these as single cans and kept things affordable (except for the Two Roots which is sold by BevMo)
The tour de NA beers would not be complete without the non-craft “mainstream” beers. I tried some (one to try in 2021 is Budweiser’s) and they generally fit the “it works” category. Heineken 0.0 stood out as the winner, tasting VERY close to its alcoholic counterpart
I expect these to be more common at large events (had an O’Douls at a Sacramento Kings game in February, RIP live sports) & if I were to pick one with my favorite flavor profile, it would be the Clausthaler Dry-Hopped. Walking out of BevMo with the 12-er Pabst NA was a moment 😂
(Moving from beer to the bubbly options) I have recently really REALLY enjoyed the @get_gruvi dry secco. The beers didn’t stand out amongst the rest of the competition but were ok options, with the pale ale as my favorite of the bunch.
The Grüvi dry secco took over what would’ve been my top for accessible and flavorful bubbly this year - the TÖST white tea sparkling beverage (far left, used to find it at World Market, need to look elsewhere now). St. Regis & Sutter Home Fre were also good but not as dynamic
I definitely will trying more products that are bubbly teas and comparing them to @TostBeverages in 2021. This was a totally new (and exciting) product area for me and prior to finding it, I was planning on going with La Croix
For fancy birthday bubbly (+1 try on a NA wine alternative, 4.0), I went with a few bottles by Jörg Geiger available through @DelmosaBeverage. My favorite was the Winter Pear on Vanilla. The complexity in these is incredible, nothing like I’ve tasted before. Highly recommend.
The NA wine scene in the US is not great. Europe is wayyy ahead. I ended up with a lot of sweet and added ice to pretty much everything. I hope 2021 is better because there needs to be better options. For me, the least bad was St. Regis Shiraz Rose.
In general, you are also mainly looking at 0.5% and above when it comes to NA wine. For those that want 0.0% I would go the tea beverage route (TÖST)
And for the truly *risky* part of the NA journey, the NA spirits. The amount of controversy in this product area alone is enough to scare you away
I started off as any NA n00b would, with Seedlip. Got the Seedlip Cocktails book off Amazon (figured I’d give it the best shot with tried approaches) and I’ve now tried Spice 94, Garden 104, and am almost done with Grove 42.
My favorite of the bunch is Spice 94 and my go to was the Spice Ginger Highball. Second would be the Garden 108 and Grove 42 last. Looking at the notes, I would’ve guessed that I would like Spice the most but I expected to like Grove more than Garden 🤷🏾‍♀️
The process of making the cocktail definitely helps make it seem more than just another drink but I couldn’t simply have Seedlip on ice, they needed something. Also the price is quite *a lot* and I can’t justify the price tag with my current NA cocktail skills
@LyresSpiritCo also made a mark this year and I tried the Amaretto, American Malt and Dark Cane Spirit. I would repurchase all 3 (price tag is a bit much tho). The Amaretto was the most convincing taste-wise but I get a lot from smell so the malt and cane weren’t far behind
Favorites with Lyre were affogatos, NA amaretto sour, NA old fashioned and NA dark and stormy. I was particularly happy that Lyre’s base is relatively low sugar (Amaretto is highest at 5g, cane and malt are 1g) so the drinks weren’t super sweet
The last NA spirit brand that I gave a shot was @ritualzeroproof. The tequila alternative was my favorite between the tequila and gin. It had a really nice spicy kick that definitely helped make the cocktail more exciting. The gin was ok but memorable.
for NA spirits, the add-ons were *critical*. bitters and cordials were often key. A special shoutout to @bittersbottles in SSF for helping me get some of these NA spirits and bitters while helping local business - Ms. Better’s Bitters Pineapple Star Anise was a great find!
Lastly, some reflections on embracing NA in 2020. For me, success was defined as being able to go through heavy anxiety without thinking of EtOH to help, and if I wanted something, using an NA option to take my mind off things.
Looking back at this year’s challenges, I’m glad that I achieved what worked *for me*. I developed good coping skills as a result and had a lot of fun doing so. A part of this journey involved participating in events that would’ve felt awkward in the past but I enjoyed the same.
I also wanted to realistically do this without guilt so as long as I didn’t feel urges to have EtOH, I let myself have a drink but I made a point to switch to NA and I limited the days in 2020 that I did have a drink to what I could count on my hands (didn’t expect to do less!)
I write this because I think it’s important to recognize that everyone will approach this type of challenge differently and there needs to be space for that. For some, that means 0.0%, for others, that means low, for others that means being intentional.
All options should be welcomed and I think social environments in science can do better to make reducing EtOH intake easier. Hopefully this thread helps. I’m excited to see how this movement takes shape in 2021 - which is hopeful but will still have its own challenges.
And with that, Happy NYE Everyone! So glad 2020 is done, I won’t miss (most things about) her!
But not memorable*
You can follow @Frutag33.
Tip: mention @twtextapp on a Twitter thread with the keyword “unroll” to get a link to it.

Latest Threads Unrolled:

By continuing to use the site, you are consenting to the use of cookies as explained in our Cookie Policy to improve your experience.