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