Part 1 – Non alcoholic edition – Playground IPA

Welcome to the 0% edition of our beer reviews.  A multiple part look into some random low or non alcoholic beers.

With the first apprehensive sip of No1 of the non-alcoholic beverages from the set I didn’t know what to expect, now don’t get me wrong we are youthful looking go getters here at the coop but I’m old enough that I recall the first few non-alcoholic beers  and ‘Man alive!’ they were NOT good!!.  Somewhere between dirty socks and your nannas garlic and custard trifle (although that may just be me). So when we had chance to grab a full set of different low or 0% beers to try we thought why not,  how bad can they be we thought….well this set of reviews will see if its still used smelly sandal or enjoyable palatable beverage. With myself being a stout/bitter type of guy this will be reviewed from my own preferences and thoughts but we would love hear what you think in the comments.

The first one is Vandestreek, a beer manufacturer out of Utrecht in the Netherlands (because for some reason we cant say Holland anymore…).  Playground is a less than 0.5% ABV India Pale Ale  that and it states “gives you full, smooth flavour from 3 types of American hops (Mosaic, Citra and Cascade). Enjoy all the citrus and tropical flavours you are looking for, as well as a nice bitterness, scoring 50 on the IBU scale”.

Opening this bottle was as with all bottle opening its liberation, its setting free from the tyranny of a metal cap of doom, and this first one had to be done by the Coop Cap Liberator (Obviously).

But back to the beer…

The first bottle was indeed my lesser favoured IPA taste (which ultimately is what most of the set may comprise of so that’s two items that I will see if my mind gets changed on (non alcoholic and IPAs).  With a strong zing and that typical Indian Pale Ale bite the first thoughts on this was “that tastes like IPA” which in the grand scheme of things is exactly what its should taste of rather than a more expected mimic style fake taste of a beer…you know the one that’s more cardboard than birthday card, that tinny aftertaste type of beer.

It is suggested that Playground is served in a tulip glass at 5°C and that Vandestreek Playground is delicious with white fish and chicken ( I went out the bottle as im classy like that and served with Walkers MAX strong Hot Chicken wings flavour crisps…its chicken right!!).

The colourful label is great and really gives a full exuberant modern feel to the beer and assume that’s been designed to be trendy and down with the kids (yes I know what sounds like!)

Throughout the enjoyable beer the biggest thing I will compliment is you have no idea it wasn’t alcoholic and it tasted clean, fresh and light…but most of all it tasted like a pleasant IPA direct from the bottle. A wholesome beer that would suit most occasions actually and with the bright design and standout graphics you could be fooled to thinking it was nothing more than a good looking alcoholic bottle of beer while out or in with friends or family but also an agreeable beer watching the footie or a movie but without the alcoholic outcomes.

But who is the brewer you ask, the VandeStreek brewing brothers is that answer

The information found on the big wide web say that brewing beer is just like being in a playground to brothers Sander and Ronald van de Streek. They began making beer in their Utrecht flat in 2010 and by 2013 (and after lots of experiments) had crowdfunded the launch of their brewery and brand.

Playground IPA alcohol free is the latest in a growing range of beers – some permanent fixtures and other limited editions. Proof of their brewing prowess came at the World Beer Awards 2016, when 3 of their beers won awards

So drawing to a satisfying conclusion on beer Number 1 I feel this is going to be an interesting experiment and unsure if all will be as nice as Playground IPA from Vanderstreek but time and taste will tell.  Well worth trying and one beer I would be happy to have again. I was very surprised with this and the fresh light beer was very nice.

Playground IPA by Vanderstreek gets 8.5/10 on the Edccooperative’s Cooperator scale, a strong start.

More can be found on the following link:  Our beers – vandeStreek bier

We would love hear what you think if you have tried this one, or your thoughts on non alcoholic beers but also if you recommend any. Add comments below and also on our Facebook group page.

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