Beer Reviews

Mathlete (Low Cal IPA)

Data don’t lie.

Hit the buzzer, because the numbers are in: this is the most flavor you can fit into a 115 calorie IPA. Crisp, refreshing, and unaccountably hoppy—you don’t need a TI-84 to know Mathlete is a sum greater than its parts.

Reviews are done by our Sensory Specialist Travis Houston, a Certified Cicerone and FoBAB judge.

Malts: 2-Row, White Wheat, Dextrose

Hops: Haas Citra Incognito, Haas Mosaic Incognito, Azacca

What are the notable characteristics of this beer?

This beer is as light and refreshing as can be. The hop flavors and aromas are ever so slightly subdued, which pair perfectly with the low ABV, light body, and dry finish. The slight haze comes from the presence of hop oils, and adds an eye-catching opalescence to the beer. “Drinkability” is one of those words you can’t really define, but you know it when you taste it. And Mathlete is it.

From a recipe standpoint, low cal beers are a bit of a high-wire act. You can’t swing too heavy, or too light, in any one direction. How do you keep the calorie count low while ensuring the bright hop character and balanced profile of a good IPA?

In the Lodo review, I noted that a gram of ethanol (the alcohol in beer) has more calories than a gram of carbs. Because of this, the upper ABV limit on these beers is set fairly low by default. In an IPA, that same ethanol plays a large role in helping to extract the natural oils found in hops. These oils aren’t only important for the characteristic hop aromas and flavors beloved by IPA fanatics, but also heavily impact things like foam formation, body, and perceived bitterness. Since this lower ABV makes traditional hopping methods less effective, we had to find another way to get those hop oils into the beer. Which leads directly to the next question…

Mathlete uses two “incognito” hop varietals from our friends at Haas. What’s so special about these hops? Will they clear my browsing history?

“Incognito” actually refers to a proprietary line of products made by Haas in which all of the previously mentioned hop oils are contained in an easy to use liquid form. They’ve taken some of the most popular varietals, like Citra and Mosaic, and extracted out all of the oils in the ratios they occur naturally in the fresh hops. By adding this directly to Mathlete, we’re able to get those delicious hop oils into the beer, even with the lowered ABV.

can of beer surrounded by equations

What are some lower calorie IPAs or Pales Ales that you really dig?

Bell’s Light Hearted Ale, Dogfish Head’s Slightly Mighty, and Wowza! by Deschutes.

What makes you want to drink this beer?

It’s incredibly refreshing and light, while still delivering citrusy hop flavor. Lodo has been my post-run beer, but Mathlete is definitely going to take over. This beer would be great for camping, the pool, the lake, or just enjoying the sun in your own backyard.

Appearance: Light straw color with slight haze and white foam

Aroma: Lemon zest, stone fruit, and oranges

Taste: The flavor is light and dry, with low bitterness, enhancing the drinkability

Mouthfeel: Thin, crisp, and refreshing

Overall: Mathlete is light and crisp, with citrusy hop notes that don’t overwhelm the palate, lending to an incredibly refreshing beer.

What foods would pair well with Mathlete?

This is the perfect backyard BBQ beer. Hot dogs, burgers, potato chips and cornhole would all go great with this beer.

Ideal glassware for Mathlete?

A standard shaker pint glass.