Athletic Brewing Co Upside Dawn Review Header Image

Athletic Brewing Co Upside Dawn Review

Athletic Brewing Co Upside Dawn

Athletic Brewing have produced a really nice beer here. In a market somewhat saturated with IPAs, they’ve produced a hoppy golden ale that is a real contender. It’s complex and hoppy without being bitter in the aftertaste. It looks great in the glass and it has a totally unique aroma. Upside Dawn has a strong taste profile but is still refreshing and clean. Crucially though, Upside Dawn has no alcohol and it doesn’t need it. Athletic Brewing have struck gold with this alcohol free golden ale.

For so many years now, and for so many of us, alcohol has been an intrinsic part of our cultures and our lives. We don’t just go out – we go out for a drink. We don’t just meet someone – we meet someone for a drink. 

Alcohol Change UK are currently spearheading the movement to help educate people that having a drink (a) doesn’t have to mean having an alcoholic drink, and (b) doesn’t have to mean getting drunk. The problem is that up until quite recently the choices for alcohol free drinks were incredibly limited, never mind the social hurdles of being ‘sans alcohol’.

The great thing about the craft beer revolution is that since the mid 00s we’ve no longer had to contend with the ‘choice’ of lager, lager or lager – which fizzy water shall I go for tonight? Now we, as consumers, have a broad choice of so many different styles of beers. 

Better yet, not only have brewers cottoned onto the fact that having a serious alcohol free range is crucial, but there are now brewers who exclusively brew no/low alcohol beers. Athletic Brewing Co. are one of the main players in this new alcohol free craft brewing scene, and not only do they brew alcohol free beers, they brew good alcohol free beers! 

Since 2017 they’ve been brewing a fantastic range of alcohol free beers without compromise. As you may have guessed from the name, Athletic Brewing actually positions themselves as a drinks company that positively impacts their customer’s fitness, health and happiness.

This also means positively impacting the community and environment, and leading to positive changes in the revolution and beer and improving the beverage industry as a whole.

In this review we’re going to have a look at their gluten free vegan alcohol free golden ale Upside Dawn.

Upside Dawn Initial Review

Upside Dawn is actually quite an exciting prospect. 

In this age of craft beers finding an IPA is incredibly easy – almost too easy – but to find an alcohol free golden ale is a bit of a treat! Athletic Brewing have opted for the packaging style of many craft brewers – a plain aluminium can with a wrap around label. I like this style – it adds to the ‘craft’ feel. The label design is clean, clear, distinctive and reflects the golden ale within.

Poured into the glass, Upside Dawn is a hazy brew of dark straw colour with a thin and foamy head. It looks proper. Where this alcohol free brew really surprises though is with its aroma – it looks like it could be slightly darker unfiltered lager, but it has a unique aroma – sharp, spicy, fruity and hoppy. Very interesting!

athletic brewing upside dawn co 330ml can

Upside Dawn has a fantastic taste, and it really is a golden ale. It has a hoppy bite – similar to Brewdog Nanny State – but much better. The team at Athletic Brewing have created a wonderfully hoppy ale without the bitter aftertaste. Quite uniquely this ale has a complex flavour but is also refreshing and cleansing. Definitely a good brew to enjoy with food, or simply to quench your thirst.

Where Can I Buy Upside Dawn?

Athletic Brewing Co. beers aren’t widely stocked in shops and supermarkets at present, so in order to find their brews you should look to their website, or to one of the alcohol free specialist retailers available online. I got Upside Dawn as part of a 12 beer selection box from The Alcohol Free Co. Getting a selection box is a great way to sample a choice selection of new and unfamiliar brews. Here are some other stockist suggestions:

Upside Dawn Ingredients, Nutritional Information and Calories

Athletic Brewing are on a mission to create new and exciting brews for a new and discerning market that want alcohol free beers that fit in with a healthy lifestyle. Their beers are made from the purest ingredients and this particular beer is both vegan and gluten free being made from only water, malted barley, oats, wheat, hops and yeast.

Nutritional values per 100ml are as follows:

Nutritional InformationPer 100mL
ABV<0.5%
Energy (KJ / KCal)59 / 14
Fat (g)0
Of Which Saturates (g)0
Carbohydrate (g)3.2
Of Which Sugars (g)1.4
Protein (g)0.3
Salt (g)0.01

The Verdict

Athletic Brewing have produced a really nice beer here. In a market somewhat saturated with IPAs, they’ve produced a hoppy golden ale that is a real contender. It’s complex and hoppy without being bitter in the aftertaste. It looks great in the glass and it has a totally unique aroma. Upside Dawn has a strong taste profile but is still refreshing and clean. Crucially though, Upside Dawn has no alcohol and it doesn’t need it. Athletic Brewing have struck gold with this alcohol free golden ale.

Pros
  • Unique aroma
  • Hoppy character
  • No bitter aftertaste
Cons
  • Harder to find - needs to be sourced online
  • More expensive than some of the supermarket stocked beers