Southwold Non Alcoholic Pale Ale Review. Made for M&S.

What type of beer is Southwold?

This brew from Southwold is a Pale Ale.

When beers are alcoholic, a pale ale will usually have a lower alcohol by volume than an India pale ale (IPA).

It is usually pretty hop forward but more easy drinking than an IPA with an increase in malt flavours and a medium body.

The Ingredients

You can tell a lot about a brewery with what ingredients they use in beers. I am a fan of less is more and especially if you see something like “natural flavouring”, that acts like a red flag to me.

Southwold Pale Ale includes…

  • Water
  • Malted barley
  • Hops
  • Yeast
  • Carbon dioxide

Just the classics then from Southwold, good on them. Nothing fancy, nothing added, just the basics beer ingredients.

Hops – chinook and cascade

It is now very popular to list what hops are involved in the brew and people are now being beer based on the flavour a particular hop will bring. Chinook should bring pine and spice whereas cascade will add floral and citrus.

Malts – crystal black and Munich malts

Not too many are also listing the malts as well as the hops. These are going to add some honey and caramel apparently.

The Nutrition

Most UK pale ales and IPAs are now being brewed with quite a low calorie and carb count. When you have strong hop flavours you can loose a little body and mouthfeel that carbs bring.

Values per 100ml or 100g
Calories 13kcal
Southwold Pale Ale Nutrition Stats

And there we go, a pretty skinny set of numbers from Southwold. Very low calorie, carb and sugar levels so i am now eager to try this

To read more about what isotonic is and how it affects beers, you can read about that here

The Look

This comes from Adnams brewery in Suffolk and they always have something nautical on the label. This time there is a lighthouse and pale blue colouring.

The beer itself is a dark amber colour. It is getting on towards an ale colour rather than a pale ale. Will it deliver some caramel flavours as well?

The Aroma

There is a big nose of pine hops, that will primarily be from the chinook hops with some adding from the cascade. I don’t really pick up any decent malty characteristics on the nose but maybe I will on the tasting.

The Taste

Where to start here, it isn’t what I was expecting.

The dominant flavour is the bitter hops which is primarily delivering a pine type flavour but with very slight spicy and floral tones. I am not getting any citrus or tropical hop flavours here.

From the colour, I did expect to get a bit more malt flavour and even getting in towards caramel and honey but I don’t really get any of that.

The body is fair to middling, it doesn’t taste rich and creamy like a German wheat beer would be but it isn’t completely thin and skinny either. 

I wouldn’t say there is a brilliant mouthfeel either but again I’ve had worse.

It is difficult to find much to describe about it which shows it is largely forgettable to be honest

The Verdict

An average pale ale with pine and spice. Perhaps this is what the M&S shoppers want?

The Score

5.5/10 – An unexciting but not completely terrible pale ale. I am not sure you would be restocking after the initial purchase tho.

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?

This is brewed for and available exclusively at Marks and Spencers. See in store for prices.

Is Southwold Pale Ale gluten free? 

No, Southwold is not gluten free

I have an entire article on non alcoholic beers and gluten if you want more information.

Is Southwold Pale Ale vegan?

No, Southwold is not vegan friendly.

For more on vegan beers see my article on the matter. Why beers may or may not be and how to check.

Review Overview

An unexciting but not completely terrible pale ale. I am not sure you would be restocking after the initial purchase tho.


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