This Is the Beer I Needed for All of Dry January

January 29, 2020

By Jesse Bussard, January 29, 2020

It’s the last week of Dry January, but let me be real with you. In my attempt to participate in this month of alcohol abstinence, I’ve fallen off the wagon at least three times. First, I broke my beer fast for a dreamy imperial stout from my favorite local brewery, Bozeman Brewing Co. The following weekend, I encountered a hazy, hoppy hard kombucha seltzer I just couldn’t say no to. Then work got stressful and I just had to have a beer. 

Needless to say, some people might sum my Dry January attempt up as an utter failure. To those dissenters, I’d argue, I still think I put in a good effort. Part of me wonders, though, if maybe I’d heard about WellBeing Brewing’s new non-alcoholic beer, Intentional IPA, sooner, I wouldn’t have given up so easily. 

The St. Louis, Missouri-based brewery is a leader in the craft NA category and was one of the first breweries to be solely dedicated to brewing beers that have an ABV of 0.5% or less. Along with Intentional IPA, the brewery also offers up a full portfolio of NA options covering a variety of beer styles from Intrepid Traveler Coffee Cream Stout to Victory Wheat Ale. 

It’s not scandalous to say that most NA beers don’t live up to their boozy counterparts, so I’ve always been skeptical about drinking them. WellBeing addresses this longtime issue by changing up the way its beers are brewed. According to the brewery’s website, “Historically, NA beers are made in one of two ways: stop fermentation or boiling the alcohol off. Each has adverse effects on the beer, including being too sweet, too watery, bad aftertaste. And just don’t taste like beer.”

This is the first non-alcoholic beer I’ve drunk that actually tastes like a legit beer.”

WellBeing’s brewing process does things differently by taking fully-brewed and finished craft beer into a vacuum and lowering the boiling point to gently remove the alcohol. This procedure creates what WellBeing describes as a finished product with “the body, aroma, mouthfeel, crispness, and flavor of fully-brewed craft beer.” 

WellBeing takes this whole “making it taste like beer” thing a step further with Intentional IPA. The beer is graciously hopped with two of my favorites, Citra and Mosaic, giving it the distinct bitterness one expects in an IPA-style beer. But where it really stands out from other NA beers is in its addition of lactose. This adjunct, along with WellBeing’s brewing process, gives the beer a little something extra (i.e., the much-needed mouthfeel and body often missing in booze-less beers) and sets the stage for what WellBeing has dubbed “a full-flavored, alcohol-free experience.”

This is the first non-alcoholic beer I’ve drunk that actually tastes like a legit beer. If I didn’t already know better, I’d swear this was your standard West Coast IPA. After working my way through a few cans, I can confidently say, it’s grown on me. Coming from someone like me who loves beer and all the sensory experiences that come with it, finding a non-alcoholic alternative to my favorite beverage might be, I dare say, a life-changing revelation. Especially if, like me, you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle in the New Year.

This was my first attempt at Dry January and I don’t think I was fully prepared for what it would be like or the FOMO I’d experience. I feel a lot better now knowing next time I need to take a break from booze, I will finally have a NA beer option that doesn’t leave me feeling like I’m missing out on the parts of “real” beer I miss most. Simply put, Well-Being’s Intentional IPA is a Dry January, Sober October (or whenever you need a dry spell) gamechanger. It’ll definitely be my go-to the next time I need to take a break from regular beer. 

ZX Ventures, a division within AB InBev, is an investor in October
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