Gluten-Free Beer? Yup!

I guess with my winter break I decided to take a break from Blogging. It wasn’t as much as a decision as a lack of time. Winter break was filled with big decisions, and a lot of fun. I made my way to Atlantic City for the first time since turning 21, spent some time with the manfriend, and got to know his family.  As well as spending time with my family, my brother, and his girlfriend.

The manfriend and I did a big Christmas dinner at Pasta Pomodoro in Voorhees, NJ instead of buying each other presents. It was DELICIOUS! The garlic bread consistently comes up in reviews of the restaurant. Trust me, it lives up to the hype. More of a garlic pizza dough bread, than traditional garlic bread, but still amazing. The manfriend got gluten-free ravioli with chicken and pesto sauce, even though he doesn’t have too, he chose to eat gluten-free so we could share. The pesto sauce was perfect, and the chicken tender. I had the Pollo Lucia with gluten-free gnocchi. It had artichoke hearts, spinach, chicken, and mozzarella in a beautiful roasted garlic cream sauce. The best part about Pasta Pomodoro is that even though they have a specific gluten-free menu, they can also alter pretty much any dish on their menu to be gluten-free. Pasta Pomodoro was a little pricey, it cost around $80 for the two of us, with an appetizer, garlic bread, two entrees, and a desert. However, it was definitely worth the money, and the manfriend and I will be returning for other special occasions. It was nice to be able to go out to eat, and share things without constantly worrying about the cross contamination.

Now to the exciting part about this post….GLUTEN-FREE BEER!

I’m sure every Celiac out there agrees with me, especially if they were diagnosed later in life, giving up beer is one of the hardest parts of going gluten-free. But we don’t have to go without anymore! Due to the rising popularity in gluten-free diets, and in Celiac diagnosis’, brewers are experimenting more and more with gluten-free beers.

The first beer I’m going to talk about is probably the most common, and easiest to find. Redbridge, brewed by Anheuser-Busch, is the most classic “American Lager” tasting gluten-free beer I’ve tried. Lightly hopped, and brewed from sorghum, it has a very well balance, full-bodied taste. It’s not too strong on the hops, and has a nice golden color. The Redbridge website not only has information about the beer, but talks about Anheuser-Busch’s partnership with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, and provides information about Celiac Disease itself.

The second beer, which I actually tried this weekend, is Bard’s. While many craft beer drinkers love Bard’s, it was simply not my cup of tea. Even though the Bard’s website lists the bitterness as low, I found the beer to be very bitter. I didn’t even wind up drinking an entire one because of the flavor. It reminded me more of a Pale Ale then the Lager they claim it to be. However, Bard’s is the first beer company to malt their sorghum before brewing it. While malt does normally refer to barley, it is actually a process which the Bard’s website describes here. While, the beer wasn’t for me I enjoy the founder’s dedication to brewing a craft gluten-free beer. You can visit Bard’s website and find the founders story as well as praise for the beer from fellow Celiac’s.

The final, actual gluten-free beers I’ve tried are both from Green’s. They brew a gluten-free dubbel called Endeavor, and a trippel  style called Quest. The Quest was lighter, with an almost champagne like feel to it. I preferred the Endeavor, which had a darker

maltier taste. Both beers are higher in alcohol content than a regular beer, the Endeavor is a solid 7.0%, and the Quest is a hefty 8.5%. Only available in larger bottles, I personally have had a hard time finding the Greens beer in my area. However, Uno’s Chicago Grill does carry these two as a gluten-free option, along with Redbridge. Feel free to check out their website, though I found it lacking information.

The thing I’m most excited about when it comes to gluten-free beer is Dogfish Head’s new Tweason’ale. Brewed from fresh wild strawberries, sorghum, and dark buckwheat honey, this in between seasons beer (hence the name) is supposed to have a fresh vibrant taste. Tweason’ale was tapped at the Dogfish brewpub in Rehoboth, Delaware, and one of the bartender’s at my job got to sample it. The beer itself will be shipped starting at the end of the month and according to the Dogfish website available in 12 ounce, four packs. The saddest part about this beer is that it will only be shipped out four times a year due to the labor intensive process. I know Uno’s Chicago Grill in Maple Shade, NJ has secured a half keg of Tweason’ale to be tapped for the Dogfish event on February 15. The lines are scheduled to be cleaned before tapping the beer, so cross contamination will hopefully not be an issue.  Another cool thing Dogfish did with the brewing of this beer is the creation of a Cinemagraph detailing the process. You can check it out from the link to the Dogfish website, or just click here.

I know there are other gluten-free beer options out there, such as New Grist and New Planet, but I have yet to be able to find these in my area.

And of course for the non-beer drinking Celiac’s out there, there is always Woodchuck Ciders which are always delicious. Also, as of yesterday, I’m finding that Mike’s Hard Lemonade’s are gluten-free. According to their website FAQ

Are your products gluten-free?

We’re glad you asked! Our products were put through highly sensitive tests that indicate they are gluten-free. The ELISA test, the most stringent test currently available for gluten quantification, indicates that they contain less than 5 parts per million (ppm) of gluten, meaning they can be considered gluten-free. The results indicate that the products also tested well below the FDA’s current proposed limit of 20ppm for a product to be considered gluten-free.

If you don’t believe me check them out here. Honestly, I’m skeptical about drinking a malt beverage, but I tried one yesterday. My stomach was a little upset but I also risked eating a cheese steak without the bun, so it could have been that. I want to try it again without taking any other risks to see if its okay. Being the girl I am I love Mike’s Hard Lemonade, and I am very excited that it may be possible for me to drink it.

Hopefully this post was as exciting for you to read as it was for me to write. Here’s today’s smile. Happy, healthy, gluten-free eating (and drinking) to you all!

P.S. I totally forgot to talk about the big decision, I changed my major again! This time to Law and Justice with a Psychology minor. I’ll talk more about that decision next time.

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About ellenensminger

I am a recently diagnosed Celiac living in Glassboro, NJ. I am attending Rowan University for Law and Justice with a minor in Psychology.
This entry was posted in Beer, Cider, and other Gluten-Free Drinks, College, Cooking, Dining and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Gluten-Free Beer? Yup!

  1. Totally agree on Bard’s – yuckyyucky. If you’re interested in how I rank all of the gluten free beers that I’ve tried, check out this post of mine, might be helpful! http://glutenfreegimmethree.com/

  2. Pingback: I Finally Have Internet Again…WOOOOHOOOO! « ellenensminger

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