This weekend the Beer of Tomorrow team tackled the question, “does all gluten free beer suck?” We tried five alternatives to standard beer that ranged from undrinkable to completely unlike beer, but there’s still hope and options for the gluten intolerant beer fan.
Can barley-less beer still taste like beer?
The results of the first informal tasting of a range of GF beers were varied, but everyone agreed that it would take a real effort to confuse any of the gluten free examples that we sampled with actual beer. The good news is that there is hope for the gluten intolerant beer-fan, and the choices keep growing.
We sampled five GF offerings from across the globe, all of which were available at Sunset Beer Co, and the beers ranged from a nearly-passible alternative for an light adjunct lager (Estrella Damm Daura from Spain) to something closer to strawberry soda than beer (Dogfish Head’s Tweason’ale). We will post the more details results from the tasting after round two, but my favorite of this first bunch was the Sorgham Beer by St. Peter’s Brewery Co.
Many of the GF beers that I’ve tried have had an off-putting mouthfeel. They seem to “slippery”; like they just slide off the tongue before you can get a good taste. The St. Peter’s beer had a nice medium body that felt like real beer, and it had plenty of hop flavor and bitterness (my tasting notes refer to it as a “pine-bomb.”)
If you or a loved-one is gluten intolerant and looking for a beer-alternative, I would say that Sorgham Beer by St Peter’s Brewery would be a good place to start.
There are several other brands and breweries producing GF beers, and we’ll be tasting as many as we can get our hands on for a full feature on gluten free beers coming up next year.
Have you tried any of the gluten free beers available? Which are your favorites?