It took us a while to try Athletic, but we’re sure glad we did
We mean it in the least meatheaded way possible when we say it was a big leap to deliberately crack open and sip a nonalcoholic beer. The last time that we had one was way back in high school when a buddy who was not so sharp surfaced at a party with a case of Sharp’s thinking he’d pulled one over on an idiot store clerk, only for the rest of us to learn a couple of Placebo Lights later that we were the fools.
None of the two-and-and-half of us who cowardly comprise the anonymously amalgamated Citizen Grain handle, at least this week, are on that whole, Yo, bro, beer is for getting drunk and nothing else, dude, that’s like one of the commandments in the Constitution stupidity; at the same time, it’s not the first thing we would reach for after a rough day of blogging, if you know what we mean. Specifically, it doesn’t get you pissed. But as it turns out, beer is good for other things too. Like … working out!?!
To be clear, we’re not talking performance enhancement here. Sort of like Gatorade or Reebok Pumps, Athletic won’t, well, make you athletic. But it is enjoyable before, during, or after the court, gym, or pool—unlike, say, root beer. Or milk. Which is to say we have been pleased to see their sales reps everywhere from the Boston Marathon, to basketball courts outside of downtown, to yoga studios, to kickball league games.
As for what they’re offering, it feels funny to say this out loud, but when we’re covered in sweat, we particularly like their ales. They bill their Run Wild as “the ultimate sessionable IPA for craft beer lovers, brewed with a blend of five Northwest hops,” and we concur. We’re not exactly counting calories over here, but this one has but 70, and that sounds manageable. Plus they have no alcohol, so we won’t be guzzling eight back-to-back.
Athletic also has a Free Wave Hazy IPA that packs Amarillo, Citra, and Mosaic hops for a refreshing splash, or a lighter Golden Ale Style beer if you’re driving. For darker tastes, we recommend their autumn brown, Stump Jump, a nutty number which may be in its own category of beverage altogether. Which brings us to our big dilemma …
We love the stuff, sure, but there are two questions that we are wrestling with in regards to Athletic. First, if it tastes like futuristic low-carbonation organic pop and has no booze in it, is it still actually beer? And second, if it’s this delicious, does it even matter what it says on the label?
Citizen Strain/Grain is an amalgamation of a bunch of us who, in addition to the hard and oftentimes depressing journalism we report for the Dig, also enjoy sampling and writing about the various beers, spirits, and cannabis products that vendors from near and far send our way. If you want us to check out your product, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.