Ceria is the latest company from brewing master Keith Villa. He has a PhD in brewing form the University of Brussels (yes, that is a real thing).
You might know the previous company he founded, Blue Moon? That was something of a success story.
Ceria claim they are dedicated to offering a more health conscious choice to other craft breweries.
What type of beer is Grainwave?
Grainwave is a “belgian styled” beer. I guess they mean a Belgian Witbier or simply white beer.
They are typically brewed with unmalted wheat, coriander and orange peel. A witbier supposed to be very refreshing.
When alcoholic they are usually moderate at 4.5-5% or so with a medium body and some tartness. The orange peel citrus blends nicely with some spice flavours of the yeast used to brew it.
Is Grainwave really alcohol free?
This can of Grainwave clearly states is has 0.5% ABV – alcohol by volume.
I have discussed the differences in labelling and laws in this article. There are differences across the world in what is non alcoholic (usually less than 0.5% ABV) and what is alcohol free (typically 0.0%).
In reality, for most people, 0.5% and 0.0% are basically the same. The extra alcohol is tiny and a lot of foods contain similar levels (see that surprising article here). It may make a difference special groups like pregnant moms and Muslims how might be trying to avoid any alcohol at all.
I have written a number of articles on if alcohol free beers are halal or haram. You can start here for some reading
A belgian white has some set ingredients. Will Grainwave stick to these or do some free form jazz?
- Pale malt
- Malted wheat
- Orange peel
- Natural flavour
A mixed bag, where to start?
A traditional Belgian white would use unmalted wheat along with malted barley (pale malt here) so that is a slight break from tradition. You have to have orange and coriander so good to see them in there but i always am a bit worried by “natural flavour”. What is that exactly?
Is the natural flavour from the yeast, which should give a gentle spice? If so, just put “yeast”. Or are they adding lots of spices themselves, or is something else weird or wonderful. I dont like the guessing game.
Belgian beers and whites, in general, have plenty of body, huge creamy heads and a massive mouthfeel. This is in part from the alcohol but they would usually have a lot of carbs and sometimes added sugar. See my review on Leffe Blond 0.0 for their eye watering carb load.
|||Values per 100ml or 100g|
That isn’t as bad as i thought they would have to make it. 22kcal is middle of the road for a non alcoholic beer and 3.9g or carbs certainly isn’t very high. I wonder what the added sugar is, but i would guess somewhere in and around 2-2.5g, which again isn’t the worst ever.
The can art if of a Roman or Greek styled head with laurel wreath. The font makes it hard to actually read “Grainwave” and the blue on blue isn’t really a winner.
The beer is unfiltered and cloudy. The colour is verging on pale orange from the blood orange peel
Normally a Belgian beer would have a huge foamy head, this does not.
There is quite an interesting smell from this one.
I can smell plenty of malted, toasted cereal along with a hint bitter hops and quite a pungent orange peel/zest smell
A classic Belgian white beer does have orange peel and coriander but in my experience the dominant flavour is the wheat.
Grainwave does taste sweet, it has some spice or fruit flavour and I do get quite a bit of malt but that overall big mouthfeel and body of a Belgian white is missing. The usual look of a Belgian white beer is the huge ice cream cone head and that’s sort of how it tastes.
It nearly has a pure orange juice feel about it. There isn’t much carbonation and if you closed your eyes you could well imagine it is a type of squeezed orange juice that has gone off a bit.
I am finding it difficult to assess really. I definitely get much more malty, cereal, toasted grain and wheat flavours than bitter hops but still the biggest flavour is the slightly off orange which I guess is the coriander kicking in.
I suppose this is from the inventor of Blue Moon so this is sort of like a non alcoholic version of Blue Moon.
If you like orange flavours in beer or you are a huge Blue Moon fan, then this is probably for you. I found it a bit off putting and sweet. The coriander along with the orange changed it to make it taste a bit weird.
6.5/10 – It isn’t terrible and I think a lot of people will like it but there were a few issues for my palate.
Find out where this beer ranks compared to all the beers i have reviewed on my updated “Best Non Alcoholic Beers” page
Where to buy?
Amazon.com has these and you can check out the latest price here
You can try these at Wise Bartender as well, a brilliant non alcoholic retailer
You can buy this at Sober Sauce and get 5% off with code OPENINGTHEBOTTLE
*Affiliate Disclosure – if you click on the links and buy from these providers, i might receive a small commission*
Is Grainwave gluten free?
No, Grainwave is not gluten free as it contains barley and wheat and nothing has be done to mitigate the gluten
I have an entire article on non alcoholic beers and gluten if you want more information.
Is Grainwave vegan?
Yes, Grainwave is indeed vegan and confirmed by the company.
For more on vegan beers see my article on the matter. Why beers may or may not be and how to check.
It isn’t terrible and I think a lot of people will like it but there were a few issues for my palate.