Self Care Freak Flag IPA
Self Care Freak Flag IPA
IPA / Self Care NA / <0.5%
Self Care's Flagship beer, this batch--Batch #4--is brewed with Galaxy, Topaz, Mosaic and Citra hops (with Mosaic oil in the whirlpool and Citra oil in the bright tank), while the grain bill in Freak Flag remains relatively the same from batch to batch.
One trend we’ve noticed in the NA beer world is that in addition to specific NA brands like Athletic and Gruvi and conglomerate’s takes on NA like Budweiser Zero and Heineken 0.0, many microbreweries have also been launching NA products, but under a different brand and flag.
We saw this early on with O’Fallon Brewing partnering with entrepreneurs to launch Wellbeing Brewing and here we have a similar case with Three Magnets Brewing from Olympia, Washington launching their line of Self Care NA beers.
According to the team at Three Magnets, they wanted to bring the same level of attention to detail to NA that they put into their craft brewed alcoholic products. They admit that it’s a learning process and they continue to tweak and adjust processes as they continue to create products.
Along with their flagship Freak Flag IPA, Three Magnets also has numerous other varities and seasonal releases. It’s all too often we walk into a craft brewery only to discover they have no NA products on tap or bottled. We’d be happy if they carried even another brand, but alas most ask you if you’d like a soda or a water. I like to see that this wouldn’t be the case if I walked into Three Magnets. They seem to be investing in their Self Care line and are passionate about extending the same benefits to NA drinkers.
Self Care Freak Flag IPA Review
The first thing you’ll notice is the can. And while I waxed poetic about Self Care, it’s obvious that their flagship (always available) IPA is using a generic can with a hastily applied label. I’d totally understand this for a seasonal or limited brew, but I’d like to see a more polished external appearance. Moving beyond the pint size can, once you pour into a proper IPA glass, you see that this beer could be mistaken for any of its alcoholic cousins.
It has the hazy appearance you’d expect and not a chance you’d be able to see through the glass. The nose is also spot on for an IPA and encourages a closer look, or shall we say, drink.
Is Self Care Freak Flag IPA Good?
This beer on my lips and in my mouth tends to follow the aroma and is true to the nose. The hops come through in a big way, especially the Citra hops, which have become very popular in beers across the spectrum. The grapefruit flavor hits most for me, but there is also some lemon and slight peach to the taste as well. Again to reiterate, the hops are the key here — if you love them, you will love this beer, if you don’t stay away.
The body is heavy; it’s filling and after a pint, you might feel like you ate a small meal. It’s definitely not a daily drinker, and certainly not a health conscious option, aside from being NA. The mouthfeel is very dry and the finish is sharp — the hops linger on the tongue and in the throat, but that’s to be expected in a hazy IPA.
Let’s get to the next section and see my Self Care Freak Flag IP rating.
Freak Flag IPA Rating
There is nothing about this beer that would distiniguish it from it’s alcoholic relatives if you didn’t have the can. If you lined this up amongt other hazy IPAs and did a blind taste test, I bet even the most discerning drinkers wouldn’t be able to tell. That’s part of the point, as NA beers have gotten better they have lost some of that watery, limp taste and have embraced the craft beer movement fully.
I commend Self Care and Three Magnets for putting in the effort. I wish they would spice up the cans, but that’s not super important as they test and learn with these products. Personally, I really enjoy beers that can be consumed regularly and with a nod towards the drinking ritual without the resulting intoxication and heaviness. I think Freak Flag IPA misses the mark for me in that way. It’s just too heavy and too full bodied to be enjoyed with a sense of regularity. For those that are used to an all-consuming IPA experience, I am sure you will like this product, especially if you can get it fresh in the Wahsington area. I see the merits and I want to reward the brewmasters for creating an alcoholic doppelganger, but my final rating is a 3/5 for this beer.