Bravus Oatmeal Stout


Bravus Oatmeal Stout

Stout / Bravus NA / <0.5%

The Bravus non-alcoholic Oatmeal Stout is the perfect companion during these cold winter months.
With hints of chocolate, caramel and smoke, it is extremely smooth and delightfully refreshing. And thanks to our proprietary brewing method, you would never guess it is non-alcoholic!

When you come across a brewery that is dedicated to the creation of non-alcoholic beer, there are typically a number of things that you can expect. They will generally have some sort of flagship lager or golden ale. They will have attempted to craft an IPA, or perhaps more than one, to give the masses the hops that they desire. And usually there will be some sort of amber or another ale. I would say the the majority of these beermakers aren’t straying too far from those options quite yet, but there are a few that offer some sort of dark beer. Bravus Brewing, which purports to have been the first of these NA breweries in the country when they were established in 2015, gets a little more experimental than most and currently offers both a porter and a stout.

I have had some mixed results when it comes to the specific choices in the beers that Bravus offers, but generally speaking, they know how to craft a brew that closely mimics a traditional version. In my experience tasting NA beers, I have found that this mimicry is more challenging when it comes to dark varieties. A quality oatmeal stout is not something that’s easy to nail no matter the alcohol content. But I’m going into this Bravus Oatmeal Stout review with an open mind to see what they have accomplished. Let’s find out.

Bravus Oatmeal Stout Review

Bravus has chosen to go with a black label for this particular beer. I wonder if some sort of dark brown would have been more suiting, but I guess we’ll see after the pour. They use the stick-on labels rather than printing directly to the can, which can give me concern over temperature regulation, but it hasn’t been much of a problem with my other sampling experiences.

One thing I like about their packaging is that the labels aren’t too busy. This is a refreshing change of pace from most NA breweries that litter their cans with catchphrases and nutritional facts. They instead limit it to a blurb on the back and their single tagline “Any time is a good time for a Bravus. The front of the can contains a simple logo of three rolled oats.

The company seems focused on creating facsimiles of traditional beer rather than pushing health benefits. Though, this brew does contain just 99 calories and 22 grams of carbs per can, both low totals for a stout.

After pouring, the can color makes sense, as the liquid appears a deep dark brown, just a shade from black. Their is a nice-sized frothy head that doesn’t take long to dissipate but hangs around the edges for a while longer.

The aroma is great. The strongest note is probably malted caramel with plenty of chocolate and roasted coffee to go along with it. Nothing is overpowering, but everything is easy to discern, and it really raises my hopes for this beverage overall. I find that non-alcoholic beer often has one dominant note, but this one is a pleasant blend of many that really dance well together.

In both appearance and scent, this brew has characteristic of a real quality oatmeal stout. But that doesn’t quite answer the question “Is Bravus Oatmeal Stout good?” The only way we can do that is by tasting, so let’s put this drink to our lips and find out.


Is Bravus Oatmeal Stout Good?

I have to say the answer to this question is a resounding “yes.” All of the elements that were present on the nose have stuck around, if just a tad more subdued. The malted caramel that I would say was the most substantial in the aroma has faded some and given way to more of the coffee bean and cocoa notes.

The namesake oatmeal characteristic is underlying everything else, and there is a nice creaminess that isn’t quite as full as some may like it to be. The biggest nitpick that I could come up with for the flavor profile is how tame all of these elements are. I think that just comes with the territory in a non-alcoholic brew, you lose some of the flavor strength along with the booze.

That said, it could be for the best, at least for me personally. When I turn to a dark beer, I don’t typically like one that is going to fill me up and feel heavy in the stomach. I would much rather be able to enjoy a couple without overloading on calories. So as long as there is no watery quality, which there absolutely isn’t in this beer, I kind of prefer the toned down characteristics.

Along those lines, the body and the mouthfeel are on the lighter side of medium. It takes a second to get used to that lightness combined with those rich flavors, but once you do I don’t feel that it takes away anything from the experience. There is also a surprisingly crisp finish that I would never complain about.

It becomes pretty difficult to find anything wrong with this particular beer. If I were present this in a blind test, I would likely assume that it is lower-abv just because the bite isn’t there, but it would not be obviously NA. I would surely down three or four before realizing there was no buzz. So how high will my Bravus Oatmeal Stout rating be? Finish reading to find out.


Bravus Oatmeal Stout Rating

My personal preferences lean toward hoppy beers over the dark malted stuff. But there is, of course, a time and place for everything. Those who love enjoying a Guinness on a crisp autumn day but want to reduce their alcohol intake for whatever reason may find themselves turning to this Bravus offering. After all, their aren’t that many other similar brews on the NA market. I have to say that those doing just this will likely find themselves quite pleased.

Everything from pour to nose to taste stands up to a traditional stout very well. And even more importantly that mimicking something accurately is tasting delicious on your own, where this non-alcoholic offering also succeeds. A bit of a stronger, richer flavor profile might be preferable to some, but I love it just the way it is. Which is why I’m concluding this Bravus Oatmeal Stout review by giving it the highest rating of 5 out of 5 stars. A truly great beer.


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