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Brooklyn Special Effects Alcohol Free Hoppy Lager

Our Review

I could've been a contender

OK - first of all, this is going to appeal to ale acolytes rather than lager lovers. An opaque brown with hardly any head and a tiny fizz, I got very excited when pouring - 'could this be my hoppy equivalent to my beloved malty St Peter's Without?' It is certainly hoppy, not on the same level as Nanny State, but hoppmeisters may be satisfied. Overall, it tastes like a fairly average ale pulled at your local pub - you'd drink a couple over a discussion of Brexit perhaps. It has one significant downside though - cat pee. The aroma reminded me of cat pee and once I had noticed it, that was all I could smell. This is presumably down to the citra hops and I know it doesn't everyone, but it really bothered me. Now the bottle stares at me saying 'I could've been a contender, I could've been somebody'. Brooklyn, this just wasn't your night kid. However, I recognise I'm in a minority here as most people love it!

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Brooklyn Made Me Happy With Their Hoppy Lager

A rare night out with friends. Miles from home and with the prospect of a long drive at the end of the night I scoured the menu in Byron. Surely they'll have a non-alcoholic beer, I thought. Yes! There it is. And one I've yet to try. This night is getting of to a good start!

It wasn't clearly labelled as a NAB on the menu and in retrospect I think this is a good thing. We want non-alcoholic beers to become mainstream, right? So highlighting the fact that you're about to order something with only 0.4% alcohol content is perhaps not a great plan. Instead, in amongst their other beers (which is a pretty good selection, it has to be said), Brooklyn Special Effects sits quietly, hoping to be picked. And for the sake of the NAB market, I hope a fair few regular beer drinkers order it by mistake - they won't be disappointed.

Yes, it's a bit murky in the glass - a kind of dark straw colour and not particularly appealing. But looks can be deceiving. I think this beer has been designed purposefully as a bit of a 'catch-all'. It's hoppy so the modern IPA fans will be pleased, it's called 'lager' so those looking for something familiar will know it's a safe bet, and yet I'd say it was definitely more of an ale than a lager - so your dad probably won't mind giving it a go either.

I should say, I was enjoying mine along with a decent burger and good company - so perhaps my appraisal is a little clouded. This is a review based on my experience and perhaps if I tried it at home I maybe wouldn't score it the same. But I'm confident it wouldn't be wildly different. This is a great beer. I'd have happily gone for another, if time allowed, and wasn't at all disappointed that I'd 'had' to choose a NAB over a normal beer given the driving. I'd heard good things about this, but had yet to find it stocked locally to me - but I'll definitely be seeking some out in the future. There was nothing obvious to me that this was NAB, no weird aftertaste, and I have to say I didn't notice the aroma the official drinkNAB review mentions above.

For me, this was an easy drinking beer. Whether it's a lager, an IPA, a more traditional ale, make of it what you will - forget the labels for a few minutes and just enjoy!


Reviewed: 08/02/2020 • Permalink

Lovely, tastes more red ale than lager

Hoppy, full flavour and generally delicious. Well worth seeking out in Waitrose and some other small outlets. Pairs beautifully with smoked meats.


Reviewed: 06/01/2020 • Permalink

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