Athletic Brewing – Run Wild IPA
Athletic Brewing – Run Wild IPA
IPA / Athletic Brewing NA / <0.5%
Run Wild is 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. Always refreshing and only 70 calories
Athletic Brewing continues to make a name for themselves with a variety of non-alcoholic craft beers that are brewed with health in mind. My first experience with one of their products was sampling the Upside Dawn Golden Ale, which I think has a number of qualities reminiscent of mildly hazy IPA. It then seemed like a prudent decision to move on to their actual flagship Run Wild IPA. In doing so, I discovered a few predictable similarities along with plenty of pleasant surprises.
One of the first things that sticks out when you get ahold of Athletic Brewing’s beer is their labels. I find them to be the perfect combination of simple and colorful, and each is tailored to the name of the specific beer. In this instance, the Run Wild can is predominantly different shades of blue making up a mountain horizon with a bright yellow trail winding through the middle of it.
The can is also chock full of information that you don’t typically find on craft beer labels. Everything from ingredients to nutritional value to the fact that two percent of their sales are dedicated to restoring local outdoor trails is listed right there. Upon composing this Run Wild IPA review, I found that, unlike Upside Dawn, Run Wild is not certified organic, though it is made with organic malt. And its calorie count is just a bit higher, still coming in at a relatively low 70 calories per can.
Athletic Brewing is clearly directing their marketing strategy at outdoor athletes who are looking for a healthier but still refreshing alternative to alcoholic craft beer, but it is suitable for anyone who wants all the flavor without the hangover. While each of their offerings comes in under 0.5 percent ABV, it appears that all of them do contain trace amounts of alcohol, with Run Wild IPA sitting at a 0.4.
Is Run Wild IPA Good?
But is Run Wild IPA good? All of these stats and notes don’t mean much if the beer doesn’t stack up once it’s opened.
A couple of things are immediately noticeable once you pour Run Wild into a glass. One of those being a darker color than expected. Maybe I was influenced by the brightness of the can or the light golden color of Upside Dawn. Or perhaps the predominance of vivid hazy IPAs on the market had me assuming something similar, but Run Wild comes out with more of an amber coloring to it. It also creates a fairly thick foamy head that sticks around for awhile.
I have to admit that I didn’t catch an overly strong aroma at first, but after some more time with the brew I found the distinct scents of malt and pine, even a little hint of citrus on the nose. The smell of hops was present but definitely on the tamer side.
While the scent was solid, the flavor will determine the true quality of this brew.
Athletic Brewing Run Wild IPA Review
There is a bit of a shift with the first sip, with hops coming through a bit stronger than anticipated and mixing nicely with the rich malt flavor. As with the aroma, it was a bit challenging for me to pin down precise tasting notes, but what ended up standing out most to me was a citrusy combination of lemongrass and a little bit of orange. There were also hints of pine that came through, and the malt remained strong throughout.
The body of the beer could only be described as medium, not too light, not too full. It was really a body that reminded me more of something along the lines of an amber or red ale, satisfying but not overwhelming. There is also a fair amount of carbonation that tingles the taste buds.
One of the bigger surprises for me personally was the clean finish that Run Wild provided. The reason this was unexpected is because when I sampled Upside Dawn I found it to have a long-lasting linger of hops, despite being a golden ale. Mistakenly I anticipated that I would end up writing about a similar sensation in my Run Wild IPA review. While the complex mixture of Citra and Mosaic hops comes through fully and clearly, the bitterness is crisp and quickly prepares you for the next sip.
When formulating my own Athletic Brewing Run Wild IPA rating, I take into account all of these factors, from the appearance of the can and the nutritional facts to the aroma and flavor profiles. There is no shortage of characteristics to take into consideration with this version of a non-alcoholic IPA.
Athletic Brewing Run Wild IPA Rating
As any craft beer drinker can attest to, IPAs have been dominating the scene for years, with an ever-growing trend toward those of the juicy and hazy varieties. I state this not as a good nor bad thing but rather an immutable fact. It is only natural that a brand trying to stand out in the world of non-alcoholic beers would put a great deal of effort into making a drinkable IPA. Athletic Brewing has done just that.
All in all, Run Wild IPA impressed me a fair amount. To go along with Athletic Brewing’s generally admirable ideals, this specific brew was a great blend of complex flavors and refreshing drinkability. As their beers seem to be designed for consumption following athletic activity, I tend to give them a shot after a good workout, and Run Wild didn’t disappoint. A good beer after a long run or workout session is something to be savored, and being able to enjoy that guilt free is an added pleasure. I am glad that they didn’t attempt to do too much with the flavor profile and simply made a good, clean IPA that can stand tall as one of their flagship brews.
On a 1- to 5-star rating system Athletic Brewing’s Run Wild IPA comes in with a score of 4 for me. It can’t hurt to keep some on hand for when you are really craving hops but sobriety is priority number one.