Tag Archives: Gluten Free Beer

Just get Glutenberg

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This post is long overdue.

I mean really, really long overdue.

When my husband first found out he had celiac disease and could no longer drink conventional beer he went through the usual grieving process, which included the desperate attempt to find a beer that could somehow emulate the taste of his beloved stouts.

A very sage person gave us one piece of advice prior to my husband’s decision to tilt at windmills; “Just get Glutenberg“.

Of course my hubby was never one to learn the easy way so he tilted away trying anything and everything with the gluten free proviso.

There were many, many, (too many) misses and just the tiniest few smatterings of hits and what exactly did he learn from all this independent surveying? “Just get Glutenberg”.

Now before anyone starts championing their favorite one-off, needle in the mash tun, gluten-reduced brew I want to repeat “Just get Glutenberg”.

Being the ever dutiful wife that I am, I did try my fair share of sips of his (sorta) beers and while there were some contenders in the light beer styles like pils or lagers when it came to a beer with some kind of flavour resembling a traditional craft beer Glutenberg honestly and truly gets the job done.

As you can probably tell from the photo my hubby enjoys the Red and the Belgian Double but he pretty much has at least one style of Glutenberg in the regular rotation since his diagnosis.

The thing I appreciate, as a “regular” beer drinker, is that Glutenberg has translated the craft beer ethos to gluten free beer. While many other gluten free beers on the market seem to be content to proffer an offering or maybe two, Glutenberg does seasonal limited releases, they do big high ABV beers, they take a crack at complex styles and complex flavours, or in other words they make the effort and it shows.

Happily the gluten free market seems to be growing (not happy that more people have celiac disease) and that means demand for gluten free beer is growing. Like the monumental rise of craft beer for the wheat-able folks there is a vast army of wheat-unable drinkers just waiting to be tapped.

So if you or a loved one has had to say adieu to their beloved craft beer I have the following piece of advice to offer, which you can take or leave as you like…

“Just get Glutenberg” or drink single malt!


Beer by Campfire Light

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I know I have been a little off the radar as of late but I like to think I have good excuses for not getting around to writing my blog posts. It is really not for lack of ideas, I am quite adept at that part, it is just the actual sitting down at my computer and typing part that trips me up.

I blame it on the fact I have worked too many years as a Princess Leia like slave to my desk – yup, in my mind I am literally chained to my desk, which I picture as a slovenly beast from a distant galaxy and I must type up endless reports and documents for it’s amusement while I wait for someone to come rescue me or at least afford me the opportunity to strangle something and free myself.

But lets put a pin in that while I get back to the topic at hand, why does beer taste so much better around a campfire?

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Seriously, has anyone done any scientific studies on this? If not, I volunteer.

Labour Day weekend found me and a couple of friends car-camping with our trusty red plastic coolers, gas station bought bags of ice, enough firewood to keep burning man in business, and, of course, several (dozen) summer worthy beers like Muskoka Detour, Beau’s American I.P.A., Naughty Nellie, Waupoos Cider, Daura Damm (gluten free for the hubby), Smithworks Kellerbeer, a few types of Radlers all made better by the warm nights, mosquitoes, lakeside smells and smores.

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I really do not have much in the way of beer reviews to impart but I do have a few observations; summer and IPA are meant to go together like summer and baseball, everything tastes better when you are sitting in a camping chair in front of fire and wearing a glow stick, beer always has been and always will be a communal experience, and take the time to enjoy your last few sips of summer before the pumpkin beers start emerging from the patch!

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New Brew Friday, the Gluten Free Edition

If you read my last post you’ll know the hubby is (reluctantly) delving into the world of gluten free beer. In his honour,  I am dedicating this new brew edition to his very first attempt at finding a new go-to brew.

Harvester Coffee Pale Ale

May I present for your consideration Harvester Brewing Coffee Pale Ale, part of the brewery’s Experiment-ale Series.

Coffee Pale Ale pours a very clear gold colour with lots of bright white airy head and good carbonation. There is a nice amount of coffee bitterness on the nose.

So far so good, it looks like a beer and it smells like a beer but does it taste like a beer? No, no it does not.

While receiving a respectable 3.5 average on UnTapped one user (presumably not the one bestowing 3.5 stars) described this beer as paint thinner and somewhat sadly I think we get where he or she is coming from.

There is an overwhelming astringency to this beer that derails other attributes. The hubby did say as it warmed it got slightly better but I never made it past the first sip.

Perhaps it is best not to think of gluten- free beers as beer because in many ways that seems to just set the brewery up for a fail. The quality of craft beer is so high right now that removing traditional brewing grains from the equation means you are no longer comparing apples to apples. It is kind of analogous to thinking of alcohol free beer as beer.

Despite the first swing at the plate being a miss, we will not be undeterred. I am interested in trying more from Harvester Brewing because they seem like a great operation dedicated to making the transition to gluten free as painless as possible and they hail from the land of beer aka Portland OR so I imagine we will mine some gold from their line-up.


A Pox upon our House

There are a great many tragedies that can befall a beer geek, the last of the cask runs dry before you get a pour, your favourite brewery puts out a dud, you forget to check-in your beer on Untapped and miss a special badge, you drop your six pack on your bike ride home, well you get the idea. But none of these compare to the worst, I meant the WORST thing that can happen to a lover of craft beer …you find out you cannot have gluten.

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No-BeerTrue gluten intolerance and allergies are not the beer death sentence they once were, and in our increasingly health conscious society, many people are choosing to eschew wheat by choice.

There are gluten-free options being brewed with alternatives like rice, sorghum, buckwheat or corn (hello Bud) and apparently some of them don’t suck.

Bon Appetit compiled their  list of the 10 Gluten-Free Beers that actually taste good  and Men’s Fitness chimed in with Gluten Free Beers you’ve gotta try. I even found out one of the beers I really enjoy, Unity Vibration Bourbon Peach Kombucha beer, is naturally gluten free!

And there are always ciders, which are becoming increasingly creative and dare I say craft beer-esque. Barring that hard liqour will do in a pinch but honestly going sans gluten is still a drastic blow to a beer nerd’s ego.

 

Now before you go feeling sorry for me (and mentally divvying up my cellared beer) it is my stout-loving, strong beer-finishing, blog-enabling hubby who is going to be  re-inventing his beer geek personae.

I am thinking a Ziggy Stardust-like character who espouses the virtues of beer made from rainbows not grains but I am not convinced he’s on board so in the interim disgruntled beer nerd may have to do.

 

Long story short, our fridge now boasts two gluten free offerings, a Coffee Pale Ale from Harvester Brewing and a Dubbel Dark Ale from Green’s Brewery so it looks like we will be exploring a whole as-of-yet untapped area in the craft beer market; stay tuned for our adventures into the unknown…

Greens Dark Ale

 


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