Although I’m mainly a wine drinker, there are times that I’m just in the mood for a good beer. However, there are very few “gluten-free” beer and even fewer good “gluten-free” beer. For the gluten knowledge challenged, those with Celiac Disease cannot consume wheat, rye and barley, which are main ingredients in beer. So, how what is used in gluten free beer? Other grains- rice, corn, sorghum, just to name a few. Well, I’ve tasted my share of different beers. Some are great and some, well, not so much.
The most easily accessible is Budweiser’s Red Bridge, a sorghum based beer. Comparing to the gluten beers, it’s like any other Budweiser beer- cheap and weak. It doesn’t taste bad, but for a more experienced beer palette, it will not suffice as a good beer. However, it is easily accessible and if I want a beer fix, it’s an easy go-to. Also, when I go to the Braves game at Turner Field, I can rely on the Gluten-Free kiosk to have Red Bridge. By the way, I love my hot dogs and beer at a baseball game!!
The next step up, for me, is the New Planet brand beers. There are a variety- pale ale, raspberry ale, and Belgium Ale. For the most part, they are sorghum based. But, some of them may include corn or rice as well. My in-laws make a habit of getting me a 4-pack from the local craft beer store, the Crafty Draught in Cumming. I like them all!!! They are relatively cheap, but not as easy to get. I’ve only seen them at the Crafty Draught.
What I don’t like– Dogfish Head Tweason’ale. It pains me to say that because I have so much pride for Dogfish Head since I lived in Delaware for 10 years. Sorry Dogfish Head, I tried it and I really wanted to like it, but I really just don’t. 😦 The overall taste is just bad and there’s an aftertaste that’s just as bad. I’m sorry, but I couldn’t finish the bottle.
Now, moving up to more “craft-style” beer– there are a couple that I really like and wish I can find where I can get them besides the restaurant. One brand that I really like, and I actually found it at the local grocery store, is O-Mission. I first tried this beer at a pizza place and I liked it. Then I found it at Publix and I got excited. O-Mission is much different than other GF beer. It’s actually made with barley, but in the process of brewing, the gluten was removed. Yes, I was REALLY hesitant to trying it since it’s made with barley, but, I didn’t get sick, so all is well! Since it’s made with barley, it truly tastes like beer. It’s hoppy and I love it!!! I hope Publix keeps selling it!!!!!
I found New Grist Gluten Free beer. It’s also relatively cheap, but hard to find. I actually picked up a pack at the World Market, which is strange since it’s made by Lakefront Brewery in Wisconsin. It has a decent taste. I’m not crazy about it, but it’s nice blend of sorghum and rice. However, if I saw it at the grocery store, I’d buy it.
Recently, I was at a SoHo in Vinings and they had a great gluten free menu and choice of beer. I tried two kinds. Brunehaut Blond Ale. It’s an import from Europe and super hard to find here in the US. It’s really tasty and I want more of it!!!!
One of my favorites, no doubt, is Green’s Amber Ale. Again, another import from Belgium, it has the taste of real beer. It’s got that craft-style taste with a little bitter aftertaste. But, SUPER yummy!! I’ve had it twice and I’m looking for more places that carry this amazing import. I also like it that it is a larger bottle– BONUS!
So, it appears that Europeans really know how to craft a good gluten free brew. I’m going to Germany and Austria in August and I’m hoping to try some more GF beer!!!!
So, if you’ve tried something different, please share!!!! I’m always interested in trying new beer!