“Upside Dawn” is a 0.5% golden ale from US brewery Athletic. Get tasting notes and info on ingredients, calories, carbs, sugar and stockists in this review.
To see how the popularity of non-alcoholic beer has sky-rocketed in the last few years, look no further than Connecticut-based Athletic Brewing Co.
It launched in 2018 in a space with an annual brewing capacity of 10,000 barrels (around 2.9 million pints). Not tiny.
Now it has also has a San Diego-based facility, with the potential to produce a further 125,000 barrels a year (around 36 million pints).
Of course, it’s not just the rising demand for non-alcoholic beer that has contributed to Athletic’s growth. A decent product and branding, plus backing from investors such as Lance Armstrong and J. J. Watt has surely contributed to its growth.
The brewery now accounts for a significant chunk of US non-alcoholic craft beer sales – a craft brewery defined as one that produces less than six million barrels of beer a year. After entering the Canadian market, it’s now launching its beers in Europe and Australia.
“Upside Dawn” (0.5%) is one of Athletic Brewing’s core beers. A golden ale, it first appeared in 2018 when the brewery launched.
Ingredients and how it’s made
Rather than brew a full-strength beer and remove the alcohol, Athletic brews its beers to be naturally ultra-low in alcohol.
The grains are barley malt, oats and wheat. Hops, water and yeast are the only other ingredients.
Calories, carbs and sugar
This beer contains 14 calories per 100ml, making it one of the lowest calorie non-alcoholic beers available.
It has 3.2g of carbohydrates per 100ml, of which 1.4g is sugar. So it’s quite low in sugar too, with only 5g per 355ml can.
Flavours, appearance and mouthfeel
Upside Dawn pours a delightful golden colour, with soft-looking foam that encircles the glass and leaves an island of bubbles. It has a slight haze.
Fruit is most prominent in the aroma, with mango, orange and grapefruit on a foundation of light malt. There’s hints of pine, sherbet and caramel too.
The body is medium, with small and aggressive bubbles that belie its slack appearance. The mouthfeel is a touch filmy.
The taste characteristics are similar to the aroma’s, with peach and grapefruit representing the fruits, backed with pale malts that blend nicely with the fruit flavours.
The bitterness is light initially but begins overpowering the simple flavours nearer the end of a serving.
There’s a sweet finish.
Upside Dawn is a credible non-alcoholic beer that’s handy to have ready in the cooler/fridge.
The aroma and flavours are understated without boring the taste buds. Just don’t expect a golden ale that adheres to the classic style guidelines – there’s far too much fruity hop flavours in there to tick that box.
Key info – Athletic Brewing Co Upside Dawn
- Name: Upside Dawn
- Brewery: Athletic Brewing Co
- Style: golden ale
- Alcohol content: 0.5%
- Calories: 50 (per 355ml can)
- Carbohydrates: 11.5g (per 355ml can)
- Sugar: 5g (per 355ml bottle)
- Ingredients: water, barley malt, wheat, hops, yeast, oats
- Country: US
- Dispense: can (355ml)
- Selected stockists (UK): Sober Sauce* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Sober Sauce order), Wise Bartender*, Light Drinks* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 5% off your Light Drinks order)
- Selected stockists (US): Amazon*, Athletic Brewing, Total Wine
- Selected stockists (Australia): Craft Zero* (use the code STEADY at checkout to get 10% off your Craft Zero order)
- Selected stockists (Canada): Athletic Brewing