Welcome to Like A Virgin, a column in which we recommend a different zero-ABV drink each week. They’re not “near beers,” they’re not “mocktails”—they’re delicious beverages that anyone and everyone should try at least once. Got an idea for a future Like A Virgin column? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s not often that I take a sip of something and involuntarily blurt out, “Holy shit, this is incredible.” Whenever this happens, I do a little dance. Is it a good dance? No. Does it incorporate elements of the moonwalk? You know it does. This dance does not need to impress anyone (even if I do it in public), because it is all about pure, unbridled joy. And when something tastes as good as Bravus’ Oatmeal Dark, busting a move is instinctual and imperative.
What makes this non-alcoholic beer so dance-worthy? Well, on a personal note, I was a huge stout enthusiast before I got sober. Even though I’ve tasted many remarkable brands of non-alcoholic beers in recent years, it’s been hard to find a sober stout that meets my requirements. I’ve had many delicious “almost-stouts,” but none have checked all the boxes quite like Bravus.
The first thing you’ll notice about Bravus’ Oatmeal Dark is the creaminess, which makes you feel like you’ve slipped into a luxurious plush robe. Poured slowly into a pint glass, this beer is practically black, with a fluffy, foamy head like a Greek frappe. The only complaint I have about this beer is that the head deflates rather quickly, so once it’s been poured, revel in it while you can.
The first notes are bitterly sweet like dark toffee, giving way to a mocha maltiness that reminds me of one of my favorite liquid treats: the Mega Chocolate Malted. I could say that Bravus’ Oatmeal Dark would work wonderfully in that recipe (because it would!), but pairing it with any other flavor is unnecessary. Do not bake with it, do not cook with it, just drink it and start dancing.
As the beer sits on your palate, its flavors transition from malt and coffee to a pitch-black dark chocolate, still sweet enough to be palatable but not so much that it tastes like a dessert. It reminds me most of a good brown bread, or maybe even a proper pumpernickel loaf.
Bravus sells a whole range of beers I could wax poetic about, but I will need to sing their praises in a future column, because I don’t have the coordination to bust a move for more than one beer at a time. There are a lot of moving parts to this dance, and I need to stay focused.