We’ve dived into the non-alcoholic offerings of Gruvi in the past, with mixed and sometimes lackluster reception (see reviews of releases from 2020 and 2021). Today we visit with them once again, with a recent round of mostly limited releases. Let’s see how they’re coming along in this journey.
All are 0.05% abv.
Gruvi Golden – In a blind taste test, this would unquestionably pass for a summer lager. It is bright and refreshing, with the signature hops and malt and a nice bitter grip on the palate. Not much else to add, as it’s a great, light lager substitute; nothing too clever but satisfying while sitting in the sun. B+ / $28 per 12-pack
Gruvi Juicy IPA – This brew is equally satisfying and as balanced as the Golden, with more bite in the citrus rind bitterness and a bold and bright hop profile. The producer’s tasting notes include pineapple, but I get more of the grapefruit, calling to mind popular citrus-forward IPAs like Sloop Juice Bomb and Lagunitas IPA, with a very nice long finish. The Juicy IPA holds its own as their non-alcoholic counterpart. A- / $32 per 12-pack
Gruvi Mocha Nitro Stout – The nose is very noticeable and distinct as I am hit with a waft of fresh shitake mushrooms and seaweed. It may be unconventional but not unpleasant. If I wasn’t looking for mocha notes, I probably would not have noticed them, although some pure dark chocolate notes show through. The weight and bitterness of stout is definitely present. It will probably satisfy most stout fans looking for a no-alcohol alternative. The finish is not as consistent and has the faintest hint of must, but not enough to distract from its solid presentation. (Some crema would have also been nice, but now I’m just being persnickety.) B / $32 per 12-pack
Gruvi Dry Red Blend – The Dry Red actually starts with red wine that has been “de-alcoholized,” and the experience is as what you would expect when you remove that added complexity of aged, fermented grapes. The color is a deep ruby red. The nose has a musty woody character of unsweet dry prunes and unripened raspberry. The palate follows suit, with a dry mouthfeel at first sip. The flavor is akin to highly concentrated unsweetened red grapes with a brightness in the fruit that seems to fight hard not to cross over into grape juice territory. It is pleasant enough but it would probably do best in a wine-based cocktail, such as a sangria. B- / $25 per 4-pack of 250ml cans
Gruvi Sangria – The segue into this expression is obvious based on the impression of the Dry Red Blend. Carbonated fruit notes present as a sweet-tart embellishment to the muted musty red grape base. The Sangria is probably a more forgiving wine alternative since the wine itself is not the main attraction but instead offers that dry and malty texture alongside a lightly sweetened fruitiness. B+ / $25 per 4-pack of 250ml cans