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At the beginning of a new year, many people are motivated to try new, healthier diets, with gluten free being at the top of that list. I’ve already gone over gluten-free wines in an earlier blog, but it’s football season, with the Super Bowl right around the corner! What about the beer? Here are the best of what I’ve tried:
New Planet Pale Ale, Colorado
Using the classic gluten alternative, sorghum, as the main ingredient, the New Planet Pale Ale has a nice hoppy quality from the ever-popular Cascade and Centennial hops they use, a bit of sweetness, and a medium-to-light body. It is by no means going to give you the intense flavor of an IPA, but if you are a hop head with a gluten-tolerance issue, this would be the one for you.
Estrella Damm Daura, Barcelona, Spain
Though by law Estrella Damm does not put gluten free on its label, it has only 3 ppm gluten, technically making it safe for gluten-intolerant people. If you have full-blown Celiac Disease, I would taste with caution, but please taste! I found this quite enjoyable, with a medium body; bready, malt character; and mild hops that lead into a clean finish. Gluten free or not, I would take this any day over the $8 swill I am subjected to at the ball park.
Dogfish Head Brewery Tweason’ale, Milton, Delaware
My husband likes to call Dogfish Head Brewing the I Dare You Brewing Company, as in “I dare you to make a beer with moon dust.” Well, it looks like someone dared them to make a tasty gluten-free beer, and they did it! Though this may not be for the everyday beer drinker since it is strawberry flavored, the Tweason’ale does the trick. It has some sweet notes derived from honey that mask the sometimes off-putting sorghum sweetness. The strawberry shines, but don’t mistake it for a Lambic style of beer. Malt and a dry finish round out the flavors of this drinkable GF beer.
Epic Brewing Glutenator, Salt Lake City, Utah
The folks over at Epic Brewing have chosen to abstain from using sorghum altogether, picking sweet potatoes, millet, and brown rice instead. Between the sweet potato and the addition of molasses, this GF beer is a bit sweet, but the citrusy, piney hops give it some balance. With its light-to-medium body and a crisp, clean finish, many beer lovers would have a hard time guessing this was gluten free.
Whether you have gluten intolerance or are simply trying a new diet, there is no reason to cut out beer completely. These are just a few of the gluten-free products we have at Nino’s. Which do you think make the grade? Tweet me @NinosWineExpert and let me know!
– Jennifer Laurie