Last year, when Athletic Brewing Company mailed me a shipment of non-alcoholic beer to sample, I gave most of it away to my non-drinking friends.
If I wanted a beer, I thought, I’d go full octane. If I didn’t want one, why try to fake it?
Choices have long been limited when it comes to non-alcoholic beer. That segment of the market generally ignored the craft beer revolution, so you drank what they made, and what they made pretty much tasted the same: Crappy.
Non-alcoholic beer for athletes
Then some of my friends who also drink alcohol started drinking Athletic Brewing Company’s beer – and raving about it. They told me it tastes just like craft beer, only it didn’t give you a hangover with the good taste. They liked it when they finished a long bike ride or a hard paddle.
So, after a bike ride a few weeks ago, I cracked open a can of Free Wave, a non-alcoholic hazy IPA made by Athletic Brewing Company. My husband cracked open a Training Bines IPA from Pinthouse Pizza. I shut my eyes and asked him to hand me one without telling me which what it was. I thought it would be easy to pick out the NA version.
Only I couldn’t. I picked the beer that tasted the best to me – although they tasted remarkably similar – and chose the Athletic Brewing Company one. (Please don’t hate me, Pinthouse Pizza lovers.)
Athletic Brewing Company launched in 2018, and now operates two breweries – one on the west coast and one on the east coast.
The whole point, company officials say, is that this non-alcoholic beer is the first one brewed like a craft beer, and it’s made to taste good first and foremost. The fact that it doesn’t give you a hangover or wreck your training efforts as an athlete just means you can enjoy it anytime you want. And it’s got 50 to 70 calories per can.
Even better, it comes in an array of flavors. The offerings rotate, but the current lineup includes Run Wild IPA, Upside Down Golden Ale, Cerveza Atletica, All Out Stout, Downwinder Gose, Athletic Cream Ale, Tropical Sour, Rice Helles, and Single Hop Wheat.
Stop by Athletic Bar for non-alcoholic beer and a workout
\Want to try it yourself, and nab a free workout at the same time?
Athletic Brewing Company plans to open its first-ever bar and fitness pop-up, Athletic Bar, next week. The space at 115 San Jacinto Boulevard includes a taproom, fitness gym and retail space. Mostly, it’s a community gathering spot.
Anyone can sign up for one of five free fitness classes – high intensity interval training cardio, yoga, and other mat-based and body weight workouts – offered every Wednesday through Sunday. All fitness levels are welcome, and every class comes with a complimentary beer.
Class size will be limited to 12 people per class, and participants are asked to wear a mask until they get to their mat. Doors will remain open for air circulation, and the gym will be cleaned between classes.
Reservations are recommended, but walk-ins will be allowed for classes that are not at capacity. Sign up at www.athleticbrewing.com.