Partake Brewing Red


Partake Brewing Red

Red Ale / Partake NA / <0.5%

Partake Brewing, maker of award-winning, craft non-alcoholic beer, announced the launch of its new Red Ale. This is the first time ever a non-alcoholic Red Ale has been available in the United States.

As I have worked my way through dozens upon dozens of non-alcoholic beer offerings, it has become clear that there are a handful of brands making up a large share of the market – or at least a large share of the marketing. Companies like Athletic Brewing and Gruvi keep popping up into my life via things like targeted ads or simply their presence on the shelf at many a liquor store. These breweries seem to have established something of a name for themselves and a decent array of styles in an effort to appeal to everyone. One brand that share a similar position in the industry but I have yet to try, until today, is Partake Brewing.

Instagram has been pushing Partake into my feed for months, but I hadn’t seen it readily available at any local stores until recently. So when I did, I figured it would be wise to pick some up and see what all the fuss is about. Partake beers come in a few different varieties, including a Blonde, Stout, and of course an IPA. But as Autumn works its way into full swing, I decided to start things off with something hopefully a bit maltier and went with their Red. I plan on letting you know if it is worth your while through this Partake Brewing Red review.

Partake Brewing Red Review

Partake appears to be going not only the non-alcoholic route but also the extremely low-calorie route. This Red comes in at just 25 calories and 3 grams of carbs per can, and some of their other options are as low as 10 calories per serving. This is on the far low end of the NA spectrum and leaves me a bit skeptical about whether they will be able to maintain a strong flavor profile.

This information is available right on the can, the label of which is framed by two horizontal red bands. All of their cans have roughly the same label design – black and white hands raised in the air as if at some concert or party. The back of the label also displays a short paragraph of tasting notes, helpful to consumers but something I try not to look at before sampling.

Poured into a glass, the most remarkable characteristic of this beer is clearly the sizable off-white head that develops. It is surprisingly large and shows quite a bit of retention, slowly reducing itself to some good lacing around the edges. This head sits atop a dark red but translucent body. It certainly has the shade of a quality amber or red ale.

The aroma is largely nice with strong notes of malted caramel in addition to some lighter hints of pine and grass and a teensy bit of citrus. The one worrying trait is the vegetal wort aroma that lingers underneath. I have found this to be a common find in low-calorie NA brews. It isn’t a death knell by any means but doesn’t always strike the best balance and is more at home in pale ales.

None of this is as important as the actual flavor profile though. So let’s dig in and answer the question, “Is Partake Brewing Red good?”

Is Partake Brewing Red Good?

The first thing that strikes me as a take a swig of this beer is that it is a lot richer than I was anticipating. With such a subdued calorie count, I wasn’t necessarily expecting it to be watered down but definitely toned back in flavor. Not so. Everything isn’t perfect within, but there is a good bit of complexity present.

The backbone is clearly the caramel malt, which even has a decent amount of roast to it. I even get notes of coffee here and there as it settles on the tongue. There are some additional earthy and bread notes in the back of the mouth, really a pleasant surprise for something that contains just 25 calories. Not much for hop character, which is fine, but that vegetal wort is still lingering in the background. Fortunately, it is extremely mild and outweighed by all of the other character.

These rich flavors lead to a heavier body than you find in most NA beers. There is a considerable amount of carbonation on the tongue, bordering on too much for something as rich as this. The mouthfeel has a bit of dryness to it, which I enjoy. But the finish is far from clean. That’s a bit of a problem for me. The smoky and roasty notes are pleasant enough, but they hang around on the palette longer than I would like them to.

There is a lot to consider as I come up with my final Partake Brewing Red rating. Definitely soe surprises throughout the tasting experience, but in the end it isn’t all that different from similar varieties from other NA brands. Finish reading below to see where I arrive at for a score.

Partake Brewing Red Rating

The more and more that I work through sampling all of the NA beers that I can get my hands on, the more I just want something that stands out from the crowd. That said, I can’t in good conscious penalize a brew like this for resembling many others just because of the order that I chose to taste them. I actually feel compelled to give it bonus points for attaining the same level of flavor as some other NA brews while having such a drastically low calorie count. But there are some traits around the edges that take it down a few notches in my eyes.

I much prefer a cleaner and more crisp finish, and if they managed to rid the beer entirely of that vegetal wort, I would hold it in higher regard. All of these pros and cons seem to be adding up to about an average beer in the end. So it only makes sense for me to end this Partake Brewing Red review by awarding it 3 out of 5 stars. A solid option with some nice flavors that could use a few improvements.


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