SO here we are, at the end of the 16 beers for the review, and I hope in all hopes that I have saved the best till last, ever since opening the box this was the one I have had the highest hopes for. A porter at last, the IPAs and fruity beers are behind me so here we go.
Lets switch up and head straight to the brewer this time as this was an odd one, the website on the lable is www.braxzz.com but it wouldn’t show anything, I did find a facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/braxzz/ but really couldn’t find a standard web page which I thought was strange.
Braxzz are however a Dutch craft brewer based in Amsterdam who specialise in non-alcoholic beers of all styles. Founded by a couple of university friends who found themselves one day supping a few alcohol free wheat beers. Noticing how good they tasted and how well they were selling, they started wondering how to get the same quality into a dark beer while maintaining the zero alcohol content. And thus was born Braxzz, apparently named after the ‘Braxators’ or ‘Braxiators’, supposedly a medieval European term for brewers or maltsters.
Braxzz Porter was launched in April 2018 with the claim of being the world’s first alcohol-free porter, and later that year they took their offerings to the Great British Beer Festival. This was the first time a NA beer was featured at the GBBF in it’s 41 year history, and by all accounts it was a hit. The porter style of beer is indeed one which comes out well as a non-alcoholic drink, as long as the deep complex flavours are not stripped out in the brewing process.
This is a dark beer that has the distinct dark appearance of porter and the smell while close is just a slight hint away from the real thing.
This beer was opened with the amazing Zach Wood Z-Wear Pop N Pry, this pry bar is one to work and will hold its own for what ever its being used for. Love this pry and it is one I will always have. More on Zach as follows: https://zwoodknives.com/tools/
Coffee…. ‘coffee’ I hear you say, yes that’s the first thing that comes to mind when tasting this. But a room temperature off tasting coffee. Porter can be a coffee, chocolate rich beer and that’s the part I love. I didn’t the full satisfaction of that during this beer. A Mock Porter if that’s the right way to describe it. A close but not quiet close enough. This has all the making of a great non alcoholic beer but it just seems to be the “Non-Alcoholic” version of the Real thing. Now I Know that’s exactly what it is but that’s the aim of what it doesn’t want to be. Half way in and I am not hating it, but not sure if that’s because I wanted so much to love it. Its all fine and is what it is and what it is a good attempt but clearly still some way off being a true beer without alcohol.
On the nose it’s like you’ve just been handed a fresh iced black coffee. Deep roasted malt bitterness is there with some dark chocolate sweetness too, and some liquorice vying for attention but not quite making it. Certainly an invigorating aroma, lets hope the taste lives up to it.
Black coffee taste immediately makes itself known on drinking, so much so that I had to check the ingredients for any coffee in there. Roasted malt bitterness is there, along with some slight vanilla sweetness and a flavour that seems to me like the skin of a dried fig. The body is rather light but there is a smooth mouthfeel to it, which I think must come from the added pectin, which is a fruit-based gelling agent. The finish is slightly sweet but mainly bitter.
This porter is ticking all the boxes for me; looks great, smells great, tastes great. If you’re a fan of strong flavours or a coffee drinker, you’ll definitely like this. And for a beer with such strong flavours it slips down very easily. I think we may have found a new highest scoring non-alcoholic beer for the blog.
I wanted to love but only like it, could and should have been better so with that being what it is I find myself giving the last non-alcoholic beer a middle of the road 5/10 on the Cooperator edccooperative scale.
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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