Smashed Lager

An award winning lager – just not for us

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The label screams “drink ice cold” and that’s definitely the way to do this one. We tried it that way first and much preferred it. It’s not the most sophisticated alcohol-free lager on the market, from the slightly drab branding to a hints of brassiness in the top notes and a subtle intrusion of appley florals that could leave the more paranoid among us suspecting they’ve been slipped a cider. As a result the nose tended to the flat and metallic, though the colour is a pleasant enough light amber. In the mouth the coldness gives the sharp crispness you’d expect from a lager, with hints of grapefruit coming though before the bitterness tips into a kind of zincy crab-apple at the back of the palate that’s fresh without being flavoursome. Similarly, the mouthfeel doesn’t hold up particularly well, a touch watery with the fizz, and little in the way of complexity before sledding down the throat. All of which was disappointing as the brewers, Drynks, are a pioneering and award-winning UK no-lo brand which we were fully expecting to love more.  As mentioned above, a second can that was not quite so cold left us even less impressed, the flavours not marrying up well closer to room temperature and the head dying away almost instantly, giving an impression of deadness in the glass. Perhaps it was a duff batch, perhaps not – either way it’s not a thought that shouldn’t have to enter the mind.

Makers Notes

“We start with craftily brewed premium lager then all the alcohol is swept away… a refreshing gold lager beer with a clean taste… hints of barley malt, complex aromatic floral notes and mild hoppy bitterness.”

Tasting Notes

  • Colour: pale gold
  • Nose: slightly metallic
  • Pour: eager
  • Head: quickly falls away in the glass
  • Taste: crisp grapefruit leading to flat apple
  • Mouthfeel: sharp and shallow
  • Finish: short

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Other Drinkers' Ratings

World Beer Awards 2020: UK Bronze
ABV achieved by
alcohol removal by cool vacuum distillation
Drynks Unlimited Ltd
Bottle size (ml)
Gluten Free
Calories Kcal/100ml


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