To makeup for missing Wine Wednesday, I decided to feature my all time favorite gluten-free beers and hard ciders for Thirsty Thursday!
Hunting for great gluten-free beers is no easy feat. The field of craft brewing gluten-free beer has come a long way from its beginnings, but still struggles to produce offerings that anyone without a gluten intolerance would regularly want to drink. Too often, the highest praise you can give a gluten-free beer is “Well, at least it’s gluten-free.” I was pleased to discover that there was a broadening of the “gluten-free” image and definition. Since the development of “gluten-reduced” and “crafted to remove gluten” procedures, breweries have a more varied palette of flavors and styles they can work with. Where those first-generation gluten-free beers tended to be found in a single, vaguely lager-ish style, modern “crafted to remove gluten” beers are doing a better job of representing the varied landscape of American craft beer.
And before someone points it out in the comments, yes, I’m aware that “crafted to remove gluten” beers may still contain enough trace amounts of gluten to affect the very sensitive sufferers of Celiac Disease. I’ve made the decision to evaluate both “gluten-free” and “crafted to remove gluten” beers, but drinkers should obviously pay attention to labels and descriptions on bottles in making these decisions for themselves.
Green Dubbel Dark Ale
After beer-loving Belgian Derek Green was diagnosed with celiac disease, he set out to make a tasty, allergy-free beer. He first created the Discovery Amber Ale, then the Quest Triple Blonde and Enterprise Lager. While all of these varieties kick most traditional beers’ butt, it’s really his Dubbel Dark Ale that takes the gluten-free cake. This dark ale has more depth than most wheat-less brews, but still offers hints of fruit, chocolate, and even candy notes to make the sipping superb. Even if it’s not for you, at seven percent alcohol volume, you certainly won’t be complaining about a gluten-free beer for long.
Lakefront Brewery New Grist
America’s first gluten-free drink legally allowed to be called “beer,” New Grist is a simple, pilsner-style brew that avoids the detested grainy taste of many sorghum beers. With a flavor similar to Ipswich’s Saison, the New Grist is crisp and refreshing, with hints of green apple—but still more beer than cider (so don’t worry, cider-hating celiacs).
Angry Orchard Crisp Apple
And now for my personal favorite! This hard cider has a bright, crisp apple flavor, just like biting into a fresh apple. It is a perfect balance of sweetness and bright acidity from culinary apples and dryness of traditional cider making apples, resulting in a complex, yet refreshing, hard cider. In the wash-sort-press room of the Walden, New York based brewery, apples are selected from surrounding orchards for use in ciders made on-site. Resulting in a beautifully crafted cider that is refreshing anytime of the year, not just the fall.
This is just a small selection, but I hope that you will give one of these brews a taste!
What are some of your favorite beers/ciders?
Have a blessed day every one!!!