SHRB 1835 Lager
The chances are you’ve not come across the brewer shrb before nor their 1835 alcohol-free lager. Well to be honest it’s kind of understandable given they are a small craft brewer located under a railway arch in London.
Let’s start with the origins of their name. I believe it heralds from a mysterious recipe called ‘shrub’ found in a magazine from the mid 18th century which talked about mixing vinegar with fruits & herbs. This recipe travelled across the Atlantic to the US where it was all the rage in Prohibition and has now gone full circle back to UK. shrb were inspired by this tale and as such began to crush raw ingredients, adding apple cider vinegar and letting it sit for a few days to create an intense taste. They now have a range of alcohol-free drinks including the lager I tried today.
So that’s the company, what about the lager? Well, it is named as such as it commemorates the year that lager was first brewed in Britain – 1835. What makes their alcohol-free concoction different well shrb don’t ferment their lager (ie no yeast, no alcohol). Why the picture of the donkey? No idea, best ask them. Finally the burning question – was it any good? Well, you’ll just need to read below to find out.
Is SHRB 1835 Lager any good?
On first taste 1835 was certainly one of the hoppiest and cereal tasting alcohol-free beers I’ve tried, and it was refreshingly tasty. After a few seconds you do also pick out floral notes and there is a background bitterness that helps to balance the beer. To sum up, the flavour found it to be a crossover of other beer types – sitting in the middle of ven-diagram where the three circles are lager, wheat and IPA.
Aroma & Appearance
As this beer is unfiltered it does pour into the glass with a hazy amber colour. The level of carbonation is fairly low but it did give a half-decent head. Aroma-wise was similar to its taste ie very hoppy and florally.
I like the fact these guys are a small team, creating small batches but with a big heart. They haven’t gone down the route of many other alcohol-free brewers and have stuck to bygone methods to create an interesting tasting beer. I also like their eccentric packaging which has an eerie, rustic (Peeky Blinders) feel to it. The beer itself is vegan-friendly, unfiltered and contains no preservatives. The biggest issue is finding it in the first place.
“Drunkenness is nothing but voluntary madness.”
-Seneca, AD 50 BC