Athletic Brewing – Cerveza Atletica

Athletic---Cerveza-Atletica-Main 4_5

Athletic Brewing – Cerveza Atletica

Lager / Athletic Brewing NA / <0.5%

Cerveza Atletica is a refreshing Mexican Light Copper Lager, made with summer time refreshment in mind. A unique blend of Premium Vienna and Munich malts provide a rich copper hue with an aroma and flavor of delicate bread crust that are balanced with light spicy and floral notes from the noble hop, German Hersbrucker. It’s balanced with a dry finish, and pairs perfectly with spicy salsa and fish tacos.

Athletic Brewing continues to be one of the more popular craft breweries in the world of non-alcoholic beer. The company, based out of Stratford, Connecticut with a brewing operation located in San Diego, is focused on providing a healthier alternative for craft beer lovers who love the taste but hate the hangover. A standard variety pack of Athletic Brewing’s offerings contains fairly typical styles, such as their Upside Dawn Golden Ale, Run Wild IPA, and All Out Stout. Interestingly, the fourth beer in the pack is their Cerveza Atletica, a Mexican-inspired light copper.

I feel that I must be upfront in saying that I love a good Mexican beer. While they don’t have a reputation for having the most complex flavor profiles, they are a great standby to have on hand any time you need a nice drinkable brew that has more going for it than others in the same price range. Whether it’s a hot summer day on the porch or I need something to pair with my tacos on a Tuesday, I like to have an ice cold cerveza in the fridge.

After finding myself rather impressed with their takes on a golden and an IPA, I figured it was time to move on to my Cerveza Atletica review. There were less surprises when it came to this beer. Keep reading to find out if that is a good or bad thing.


Like all of Athletic Brewing’s varieties, Cerveza Atletica has an elegant and colorful label that speaks to the specific beer itself. On this one, a surfboard peeks out of a wave pipeline in front of a golden setting sun.

It seems clear to me that, in addition to marketing their products to the health-conscious beer drinker, Athletic Brewing is also going for radical transparency with all of the information that they provide on their can. All of their labels point out that the beer contains less than 0.5 percent alcohol. Unlike some of the others, the Cerveza Atletica can doesn’t mention anything about being certified organic, though it does list ingredients, nutritional value, and the fact that 12 ounces totals up to just 65 calories. Another piece of information that is listed on the label and shows how dedicated they are to their target demographic is that two percent of all Athletic Brewing sales go toward restoring outdoor trails.

None of this information, however, answers the question, ‘Is Cerveza Atletica Good?’ All of the values in the world don’t mean much if the beer doesn’t stand on its own.


Upon cracking open the can and pouring Cerveza Atletica into a glass, I was pleased to see the dark amber hue that is reflective of other Mexican lagers such as Negra Modelo. It was a very clean color reminiscent of iced tea. The pour also came with a decently sized cream-colored head that faded slowly.

Anyone who is a fan of these types of beer would immediately recognize the familiar aroma, though it is hard to effectively put into words. In my mind it’s a combination of malt, caramel, a little bit of grass, and copper itself. None of these scents are overpowering or all that distinct, but they make for a nice subtle blend that has come to be what I expect in a darker Mexican-style brew.

The first sips came with much of the same but a few important differences. The best way that I can describe the flavor profile is a little bit of a lot of things. In addition to the array of aromas that I mentioned above, I got hints of syrup on the tongue. There was also faintest lingering taste of apple. A bit of floral hops and more malt in the finish, but nothing hung around too long.

Overall, the flavor profile reminded me of a slightly lighter Mexican beer rather than what the color suggested. The body is distinctly medium but relatively crisp on both ends. There is a noticeable amount of carbonation but minimal hop bitterness hanging around.

This Cerveza Atletica review may not be convincing you to give this non-alcoholic copper a try. This is understandable because of the lack of strong characteristics that stick out and the difficulty that lies with describing a brew that is simply a strong blend of solid flavors. Perhaps that best complement that I can give Athletic Brewing is that if I didn’t know better I would have no idea that this beer is non-alcoholic. I found it to be virtually indistinguishable from dozens of Mexican lagers that I have had and enjoyed in the past.

Athletic Brewing Cerveza Atletica Rating

When formulating a review and arriving at a Cerveza Atletica rating, or a rating of any beer for that matter, I find it important to keep in mind exactly what the beer is trying to be. Does Cerveza Atletica have the most distinct punches of aroma and flavor that excite your taste buds? No. But it isn’t supposed it. A Mexican copper is intended to be an easy-drinking refresher that can be paired with a sunrise as easily as it can with a sunset. As far as I am concerned, it is supposed to go down easy while still reminding you that you aren’t sipping water. I found this beer did just that.

It was satisfying after a long workout. This is Athletic Brewing, after all. It was tasty after a hot shower. I look forward to drinking some in summer, but the experience did not suffer from sampling in the middle of a frigid winter. So while it doesn’t serve up as much complexity as a hazy IPA or a fruited sour, it does exactly what its meant to do, and I find that admirable. I believe that a Mexican copper is one of the best styles of beer to translate to the non-alcoholic field, and Athletic Brewing did a great job of it. For this reason, I give their Cerveza Atletica a rating of 4 out of 5 stars.

You can purchase all Athletic Brewing Co beers directly from their website here.