Grüvi Non-Alcoholic Stout “Limited Edition”, Canada (0% Alcohol) Selected retailers and online/Ubereats $9.99 for 4 x 355ml cans

Well, this was certainly an unexpected early morning discovery.

Ever since I was seriously impressed by Big Drop’s non-alcoholic brews, I’ve being doing a bit of a deep dive into the world of such “near beers”, and found both non-boozy treasures and some absolute stinkers.

Last week a press release for the awkwardly-named Grüvi (Oof!) crossed my desk, and so I reached out for few samples, with a view to review one of them for this week’s issue. Having gotten caught up in the travails of an unusually hectic week that included half a day in ER (don’t ask!), I realised that I had left my GFR tasting obligations until the very last minute, but there was a little bit of a problem… I was suffering from a blinding molten-hot hangover.

Now I’ve often stated that I actually do my best tasting in such physically compromised circumstances, but upon this particular morning I was certainly not enthused to open and taste the slightest touch of anything alcoholic… and then I remembered the samples from Grüvi.

Cringingly crap name aside, this can of pitch black “near stout” turned out to be just what the proverbial doctor ordered… and it wasn’t just the placebo effect or micro-dosing (as suggested by my colleague. Malcolm.)

Over my months studying the ins and outs of non-alcoholic beers I’ve come to understand that the inherent broader flavour profile of stouts really lends itself to the category, as all those roasted nut/coffee/toffee/caramel notes really do fill out the palate and almost trick the senses into forgetting about the obvious lack of alcohol. Indeed this is where so many of the current breed of non-alcoholic beers fall flat on their oft-smug and judgy teetotal faces, because a lot of them are severely lacking in the mid-palate and are simply soulless buzzkilling imitations of the real thing.

This Colorado-based/Canada-brewed example, however, was delightfully smooth, slightly honeyed, and wholly satisfying. Whilst not as complex as the Big Drop stout, it still impressed on many counts, and worked a damn miracle on my malevolent maelstrom of a hangover.

I’ll be picking up a bit more of this, and not just for the blessed morning-after relief.

I’m also hoping that the “Limited Edition” tag is just a way for the company to test the waters with this new line.

4 apples out of 5
(Four apples out of a possible five)

Jamie Drummond

Edinburgh-born/Toronto-based Sommelier, consultant, writer, judge, and educator Jamie Drummond is the Director of Programs/Editor of Good Food Revolution… And that was quite a revelation.