Wellbeing Intentional IPA
Wellbeing Intentional IPA
IPA / Wellbeing NA / 0.3%
Distinctly and delightfully bitter characteristics of Mosaic and Citra hops, refreshingly punctuated with pineapple and peach notes. This sessionable IPA offers a full-flavored, alcohol-free experience for any intentional occasion.
We have reached a point in the evolution of craft brewing that there are no longer only a handful of specific breweries putting out one non-alcoholic offering each. It has become difficult to keep track of all of the breweries around the country who are dedicated entirely to creating beer with all of the flavor and none of the after-effects. Wellbeing Brewing is one of these companies. In fact, they claim to have been the first of their kind in the United States. While I, personally, had only a passing awareness of their existence, a little research assured me that they are a successful name in the industry and left me excited to sample their brews.
It comes as no surprise that a brewery looking to establish itself in this realm would make it one of their priorities to create a flagship IPA. You might not last very long in this industry without one. So I figured what better place to start with Wellbeing Brewing than their Intentional IPA? It ended up providing a good deal of what I expected, with a few twists and turns along the way. Keep reading this Wellbeing Brewing Intentional IPA review to find out precisely how this beer measures up.
WELLBEING INTENTIONAL IPA REVIEW
While labels are far from the most important thing when it comes to evaluating a craft brew, they can absolutely set the tone for the experience that you are about to have. The thing that I noticed the moment I saw a 16-ounce can of Intentional IPA on the shelf is just how busy the can is. While undeniably artistic, the front of the label contains more symbols than I would be able to list here, and the back is no simpler.
This is not an entirely negative feature, as many NA offerings like to point out nutritional facts and other characteristics that are meant to appeal to the health-conscious drinker. The Intentional IPA can spells out everything from information about the Missouri-based brewery to social media-focused marketing material. It also points out that a 12-ounce serving contains 13 grams of carbohydrates and 97 calories, a touch higher than many of the non-alcoholic IPAs that I have encountered.
All-in-all I think that the can could be cleaned up a bit, as it doesn’t provide much information that actually gives me an idea of the beer itself. Although, no matter what the can looks like or says, it can’t answer the question, “Is Wellbeing Intentional IPA good?”
Is Wellbeing Intentional IPA Good?
The first minor surprise came the instant I poured Intentional IPA into a pint glass. While the clear copper color was not terribly unexpected, the volume of the soapy white head and the amount of lacing it provided are things that I have rarely found in NA beers. Likewise, there was a good amount of retention to the head.
I think the best way to describe the aroma of this beer is the way that a working brewery smells in the middle of the process. It is by no means an unpleasant scent to people who love beer, but something about it seems unfinished. On top of that, there are a variety of earthy notes on the nose, from grass to barley and even a bit of citrus.
Up front, the taste has that similar unfinished aura, but it is toned well down compared to the nose. A lot of sweet wort combines with those grain and citrus flavors, with just a hint of maltiness. There are a good amount of hops but not overpowering bitterness by any means. No single tasting note stands above all others. But it still is an agreeable combination of subdued peach, bread, caramel, and an array of others.
The mouthfeel is solidly moderate. There is a generous amount of carbonation throughout, which was tipped off by the fluffy head. The finish is relatively clean without a lot of lingering hop flavor. Overall, many of the characteristics of this beer end up falling right in the middle of the spectrum.
I did have a strange experience with the four-pack of Intentional IPA that I purchased. The first can that I sampled had a distinctly unappealing almost skunky taste upfront that I did not encounter again through the rest of the cans. I can’t be sure the exact reason for this, so I won’t hold it entirely against the brewery, but it makes me wonder if there’s some sort of volatile element that suffers from sitting too long or some another reason.
While all of these factors carry different weight, I included all of them in the process of coming up with a Wellbeing Brewing Intentional IPA rating.
Wellbeing Intentional IPA Rating
Aside from the odd taste of that single can, I found this tasting experience to be largely pleasant. It seems clear to me that Wellbeing Brewing was going for a solid IPA that doesn’t offend but also doesn’t have a complex enough flavor profile to stand out from the crowd. Every brewery needs flagship beers of this in order to establish themselves before they can be more experimental, particularly NA breweries that have a built-in hurdle they must overcome to entice customers.
That said, as someone who has sampled quite a few NA IPAs along similar lines, I believe that many of them could be improved with a unique dash of flavor that makes them memorable. I would prefer if beermakers took a few more risks with their non-alcoholic offerings, but I understand why they are hesitant to do so. Intentional IPA does a fine job of mimicking a middle-of-the-line alcoholic craft IPA. That, in and of itself, is a step forward in an industry that, for a long time, had nothing to offering but light lagers. As the pros and cons seem to balance themselves out quite evenly, I feel compelled to finish off my Wellbeing Brewing Intentional IPA review by giving this brew a rating of 3 out of 5 stars.