Adventures in Near Drinking: Athletic Brewing “Run Wild” IPA

Well, it’s been so long since I actually sat down and tried to smith some words about drinking that I had to knock my head against a post just to remember my credentials.

Then it hit me.  The password, that is, not the post.  Plus also the post.

I’ve had a recent conversion, of sorts.  Like that guy, on that road, except maybe less dramatically Biblically so.

It turns out that Covid made me one thirsty, alcohol-spongin son of a gun, and it was affecting my health.

I know what you’re saying, though.  This is a beer blog (technically).  About beer drank by beer loving beer guys.  And these beverages are not technically beer, I am surmising, as the can calls it a “near beer” and an “N/A brew” but not a beer.

But now it’s time to put my own spin on this blog.

I’ve converted to an N/A devotee.

Not full time, mind you.  I do still enjoy stopping by all of my favorite local haunts for a real deal beer (specifically Buried Acorn and Freight Yard, but others also).

But in terms of what’s in my fridge, nowadays, I am not exaggerating when I say that while there are a couple of Guinnesses and late season Oktoberfests in there, the primary occupants are thirty individual cans of Athletic Brewing self described “near beer.”  I’ve even added a monthly subscription, so that I can get some of their other choices sent to me that are not carried at my local food jobber.

Now, I know what you’re thinking.  There are all kinds of metaphors here to be made.  Here are a few that have gone through my head.

  1. Drinking an N/A beer is like watching a pornographic film where everyone keeps their underwear on.
  2. Drinking an N/A beer is like eating a vegan hot dog covered in mustard powder.
  3. Drinking an N/A beer is like taking a photo of a painting of a sunrise.

You get the idea.  It’s a near experience.

But, ultimately, this is about flavor and drinkability.  Being drunk is fantastic, do not get me wrong.  There’s a reason I’ve been doing it since 1987.  But, as I get older, I find that I really just want to enjoy a cold refreshing beverage, and in this regard, these Athletic Brewing beers hit the spot.

I’m going to start with their flagship brand, the “Run Wild” IPA.  This one is found locally at Wegmans and is I believe their most popular product.  It is, ITBMCBB*, “the ultimate sessionable IPA for craft beer lovers. Brewed with a blend of five Northwest hops, it has an approachable bitterness to balance the specialty malt body.”  Did you get all that?

And it is delicious!  It tastes, well, like an IPA.  I won’t get all specific with hops and notes and mouthy feels and shit, because that’s not how I do things.  But it’s good.  I come home from a run and crack open one of these fellers and pour it into a glass and then I’m just another guy having a beer.

And that, my friends, is what it’s about.

Look for future reviews of the Athletic Brewing stout, hazy IPA, copper ale, and raspberry lime radler in upcoming weeks.  I told you I’m all about this!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *