Mmm… gluten-free beer

Through serendipity and the kindness of friends and relatives, I’ve had the chance to try quite a few different gluten-free beers over the past few months. I thought I’d jot down a few notes here for those who are interested – the rest of you can skip to the end for the photo. 😉

To start with, I am very, very glad that those of us who must follow a gluten-free diet actually have beer choices now – this wasn’t the case just a few years ago. Also, you should know that I am not a fan of sweet beers, which heavily influences my preferences.

Dragon’s Gold by Bard’s Tale Beer. This may have been the first gluten-free beer available in the US. Malted sorghum is used instead of malted barley in this golden lager. Taste is sweet. Not a favorite.

Redbridge by Anheuser-Busch. With the massive Anheuser-Busch distribution system behind it, this is the gluten-free beer you’re most likely to find at restaurants and bars. Again, this lager is made with malted sorghum and is sweeter than I like, but I will drink it when I’m out and about. (Being able to order a beer at a bar again is still pretty exciting to me.)

Mission Amber Beer and Pathfinder Dubbel Dark Beer by Green’s (UK). I very much liked the amber, but the double dark was way too heavy and sweet for me. I look forward to trying the other seven types of gluten-free beer Green’s makes! (Well, ok, I might skip Endeavour, which is another double dark.)

Honey Beer by Ramapo Valley Brewery. Another sweet beer (not surprising, given that it’s a honey beer), but much lighter than most of the sorghum-based brews. I quite enjoyed this beer, which is good, since I think Deb still has a few in her fridge for my next visit!

New Grist by Lakefront Brewery. New Grist is my personal favorite of the gluten-free beers I’ve tried (and it’s featured in the photo below). It’s a “session ale,” based on a mixture of sorghum and rice extract. From what I remember, it tastes the most like “real” beer of the gluten-free beers I’ve tried (although Green’s is also very close). Even my beer connoisseur brother thought this was a very drinkable brew!

You can get more information about gluten-free beers from the Gluten-Free Beer Festival, including their taste test results.

“How come you won’t let me drink beer, Mom? You are so mean to me!!” -Mayhem

40 thoughts on “Mmm… gluten-free beer”

  1. lol, poor May, I’ll bet she’d change her mind once she tasted it. I remember a friend of mine slipping beer into my dogs water dish once while I wasn’t paying attention. Simon drank the whole dish…then sat looking at us for a while and then suddenly decided he needed a nap. My friend was terribly disappointed that he didn’t act “drunk”. I thumped her on the head for giving my dog beer.

  2. Thanks for the beer tips! I’m sure some of them are available here in Canada. The one I did try was just plain *awful*…

    Heh, Gandalf actually slurped a bit of a Mojito once when I wasn’t looking…bad kitty.

  3. Huh. My advisor doesn’t eat wheat, but he says that the fermentation is enough to make beer drinkable for him.

    I don’t know about cats–Mel drank some cocoa spice tea the other day–but my friend’s rat used to like beer and whiskey…

  4. Our cats aren’t into alcoholic beverages, but I used to have a cocker spaniel who was a real lush! On on occasion he was caught drinking out of a friend’s Pimm’s Cup during a croquet game, and another time he drank most of a mug of hot buttered rum. The Pimm’s didn’t seem to have much effect, but the rum made him a mean drunk. He spent the rest of the evening under a chair, growling at anyone who dared get near him.

  5. I’m happy to hear that you’ve stretched the taste testing out over a few months. All that beer in one night would probably result in quite a show for May & Chaos

  6. I forwarded this on to my sister – she’s more of a wine drinker, but everyone wants a beer at a barbecue on a hot summer day, right?

    The kitties really like beer in my house. There must be something about the yeastiness of it that attracts them. I think in cat years, they’re all of age, right? 😉

  7. Mayhem, you have to be 21 to drink beer. Are you 21? You wouldn’t want mum to go to jail for serving likker to a minor, would you? Then who would feed you and love you?

  8. I owe you a gluten-free beer at that restaurant I can’t think of the name of at 26th? and Hennepin. Or Lyndale. Sheesh, I’m brain dead. Time to go back to work. THAT doesn’t require any thought.

  9. It just seems wrong doesn’t it, that some of us without the issues just don’t like the beer. Dang.

    Hey, I’m home! I burned my kids – I’m a bad mom.

    Mayhem looks like a Halloween decoration.

  10. I had a cat once who used to attempt to stick his head in my wine glass when I wasn’t looking. Tom always looked pissed off that I wouldn’t let him drink it.

  11. Back when I used to make beer I tried a gluten-free recipe. I didn’t enjoy it. It was definitely missing something ;). Possibly wheat. The beer fermented faster, but the taste was too different for me. I guess I’m a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to beer.

    My sister’s dog is a beer snob. A family friend tried to give him some cheap beer and he wouldn’t drink it, but when we offered him some microbrew he wanted to drink the whole bottle. Good puppy!

  12. Hey Chris – I’m going gluten free (1 week now!) any tips on favorite foods I could buy? I found a yummy bread – thank goodness! But do you have any other favorites you could tell me?

  13. I didn’t know Redbridge was gluten free! That’s pathetic since the company I work for makes it. I knew about the organic brands and the ones made out of wheat… Shows they make something for everyone. Thankfully.

  14. Mmmm, beer *Homer drool* I may need to make a run down to the kegerator in the basement now.

    You could always take up homebrewing and make your own gluten-free beers 😉 Actually, I was wondering about this – what do you think the risk of gluten contamination is with the beer? I’d think they’ve have to do it all in separate facilities with separate equipment to keep it clean. Interesting to think about.

  15. Mayhem looks so two dimensional in that photo… like a RUG! Hmmm… gluten free beer? Who knew? I like the hoppy IPA style beers… it’s the grain, right that gives beer its gluten? Why can’t they make a hoppy bitter version? Wine is ok for you? But do you like it????

  16. ooo this post is great. now when my no-gluten employ turns 21 there are beers we can give him.
    i feel like a “more you know” star should fly in now.

  17. whoa. gluten-free beer. how wonderful.
    I am such a novice at the world of “gluten” issues you must face, it never occurred to me that beer had gluten.
    How wonderful that you have found some that bars actually carry, which you can have!

  18. I had a cat that liked tea, but never one that drank any alcohol…who knows what goes on while we’re on vacation, though. The cat nip parties must be outrageous.

  19. Nice photo with the black shape looming behind your beer. All beer used to smell foul to me. Then I found a rich German dark beer that smelled wonderful, so that is what I drink on the rare occasion I want one.

  20. May you’re way too young to be drinking beer.

    I’m not much of a beer drinker so I didn’t even know restaurants and bars carried gluten-free beer now. That’s great that there are so many gluten-free beers now.

  21. My in-laws used to have a dog who would drink beer. He’d put his mouth over the top of an unattended bottle, put his paws on either side, and roll over on his back to let the beer trickle into his mouth. Little bugger.

  22. Wow, I am so glad I came over (darn, co-workers keep walking by my desk). Okay,
    I’m not a sweet beer fan at all, so I will definitely look for these! Thanks.

    I give Felix a little beer every now and then, but he just basically runs after and hits Della, then goes to lie down. He’s not a happy drunk.

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