Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NA-Fest '08

it's 1030 am, and i've nothing to do but wait for a ride home.  i have 3 NAs in my fridge that have been there since July.  i couldn't think of a better way to spend this morning than a good old-fashioned NA-fest!
the line-up:
1) from Hamburg, Germany:  Holsten Pomegranate
2) from the fine folds at Brouwerij de Orangeboom in Breda, Holland:  Oranjeboom Premium Nonalcoholic Beverate
3) from St. Louis, Missouri:  Budweiser NA Tropical Fruit Flavoured Beverage
first up is the Holsten.  Holsten's non-flavored NA is really not bad.  it's my favorite NA, which is even better than some regular beers (Natty Light, The Beast, Miller Lite, Heineken).  i've avoided this beer after my previous fruity NA experience with the Bud Green Apple.  i'm willing to give Holsten the benefit of the doubt as Bud doesn't make a good NA anyway.  the plain Bud NA was slightly better than Efes.  Holsten Pomegrante does smell very pomegranaty.  i can barely smell the beer.  the ingredient listed are: water, glucose-fructose syrup, malt, carbon dioxide, natural identical pomegranate flavouring, citric acid, caramel, quillaia, hops, coloragent: e150c.  it appears more fruit drink than beer.  now for the taste....not bad.  tastes nothing like beer, rather a pomegranate soda.  nothing hoppy, malty, or beerish about this drink.  i'll probably finish this after the tasting.
now for the Oranjeboom.  this NA is no-frills.  looking at the can, it appears to be the Schlitz of European NAs.  the smell is a combination of ass and beer.  not very appealing.  i'm going to have to wash this down with some Holsten Pomegranate.  it tastes like the swill from the bottom of a 40oz of St. Ides.  painful indeed.
the Budweiser NA Tropical Fruit Flavoured Beverage is the NA i'm looking least forward to sipping.  the Green Apple version was awful, probably the worst NA i've tried.  how can Holsten make the fruity NA so good, yet the King falls short?  this stuff smells like a mix of Natty Light and Hawaiian Punch.  the taste is not as bad as the Green Apple, yet not as good as Holsten's Pomegranate.  it's surprisingly drinkable, yet not desirable.  Holsten's sweetness overpowers the bad NA flavor.  Bud retains more of the NA taste, so you could say that Bud's a little more true to the fruity NA genre.  if you're a fruity NA purist, go for the Bud Tropical Fruit.

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