Review: Red Racer Street Legal IPA (non-alcoholic)

A few fellow readers have contacted me late last year asking me if I ever tried Central City Brewing + Distilling's Red Racer Street Legal IPA. Nope, I have not, but when I was at Central City last month (click here to see my visit), I needed to pick up a beer to take home because I've been reviewing their beers longer than just about any other brewery. You would think I'd pick up a bottle of Thor's Hammer or one of their spirits... nope! I settled with a four-pack of Red Racer Street Legal IPA. I wanted to also pick up their Pilsner version of the Street Legal series but unfortunately didn't get the time to pick any up while I was in town.. but ah well, I'll get to try it one day.

Red Racer's Street Legal IPA is a dealcoholized IPA that comes out at no more than 0.5% ABV. Dealcoholized beer is generally beer brewed normally as if they were brewing their regular IPA but at one point the beer gets heated up to burn off the alcohol or else completely filtered out by means such as reverse osmosis. There's a website that goes in great detail about how it's done.

From the Nutrition Facts: The beer has 110 calories per 500mL can, 21g of Carbohydrates, 2g of Protein, 300mg of Potassium, 75mg of Calcium and 0.2mg of Iron

The Street Legal IPA is traditionally craft brewed with big hop flavour before having the alcohol removed. Enjoy one, enjoy many. Ingredients: Water, malted barley, hops, yeast, ascorbic acid, potassium sorbate. Contains barley and sulfites.

Appearance: Mostly clear but there's a bit of sediment floating throughout the beer. This was canned just two months ago so it can't be bad yet. The body has a nice caramel/amber appearance.. reminiscent of a Red Racer I remember from early-mid 2010s.

Aroma: So far, this beer looks and smells like something I'd actually expect from Central City's Red Racer brand. The beer has a bit of a West Coast vibe to it, giving off notes of floral, piney and sweet hop presence. I get notes of grapefruit and pineapple, a bit of caramel, a very noticeable presence of saltine crackers and a hint of straw at the end. Light amount of graininess.

Taste: I was hoping that the hop profile would be popping out right from the beginning but unfortunately it doesn't.. but it's there. The first thing I get is the grain, it's a sweet wet grain taste mixed with saltine crackers. There's a flavour in this beer that I'm familiar with, seen in beer and food in the past.. but I can't really pick it out. Light amount of caramel, some floral notes and even a bit of an herbal presence that reminds me a tad of dill. There's a bit of a pine bitterness but the grapefruit/pineapple I got in the aroma just isn't there.

Overall Thoughts: Not a bad non-alcoholic IPA, definitely a sign that NA beers are going to get better as more breweries come out and perfect them but I think this may have been the best NA IPA I've had yet but I need to try more. So breweries.. if you ever come out with a series of non-alcoholic beers, you should send some my way to review, I'd love to try them!

The beer was grainy but did end up having a decent hop presence to it and didn't really taste like water with hops like some non-alcoholic/dealcoholized beers I've seen in the past.

1 comment:

Beerfaced said...

I like the IPA better than the Pilsner. I have been drinking craft beers for over 25 years having worked for one of the first craft brewers in BC. I don't drink any other beer if I can get craft beer and lately I've been trying non alcohol beers. Most are rather rude to the pallet but this is one I actually like and buy it several times a year.