Something about a nice cold beer on a hot day is something you really miss when you can’t have it anymore and nothing reminds one of this than a hot summer day. Whether you’re at the beach, poolside, or on a vacation sometimes nothing else will do.
So what is one who is celiac to do? Fortunately the proliferation of gluten-free products in general means more competition and choices than in recent years for beer enthusiasts. So below is a short list of beers (sans gluten) in no particular order to give a try this summer.
1. New Planet Blonde Ale
This beer by New Planet is brewed with sorghum, orange peel, brown rice, hops and yeast. This ale has a beautiful golden hue and has a banana like flavor with a hint of lemon. It’s a great beer on the lighter side with a five percent ABV. This ale finishes with a little bit of a hoppy bite that you may or may not like, but all in all it’s a nice little beer to try.
Primarily brewed with the same ingredients as the one above, this is a summery pilsner-style beer that has hints of fruit and apple. It only has an ABV of five percent so it’s an easy drinking beer. Oddly enough, it reminds one of drinking the wheat beer Hoegaarden. This is one looking for a beer on the lighter side.
3. Dogfish Head’s Tweason Ale
Like the others listed so far, Dogfish Head replaces the barley with a sorghum base to create this gluten-free beer. This ale goes down easy and is light and bubbly –almost like drinking a spritzer or shandy. Made with fresh strawberries and honey, it has a strawberry Jolly Rancher taste and smell, but don’t let it fool you: It still has six percent alcohol by volume (ABV). For anyone afraid of venturing into beer land, this could be a great first start --and definitely gives you the feeling of summer.
4. Bard’s Original Sorghum Malt Beer
Bard’s is brewed with 100 percent malted sorghum and contains no wheat, barley, rye or oats. Bard’s is more of a malt-flavored larger-style beer. It has a beautiful golden hue and aromas of honey and cinder. And with and ABV of just four point six percent, it doesn’t pack a punch. Yet, its tangy aftertaste can be a turn off for some people. It can be said that it doesn’t have the distinct flavor as much as others in the crowd of gluten-free beers.
5. Harvester Brewing IPA No.1
This brew is a little different than the others in that Harvester Brewing in Portland, Oregon, makes only gluten-free brews. And like many of its beers, the IPA is not only made from certified gluten-free oats –but uses pale roasted chestnuts and Horizon, Willamette, Cascade and Meridian hops in this IPA to give it its distinct flavor. With a five point eight percent ABV, it has a golden color with a flowery taste and smell instead of the hoppy taste you get in a traditional IPA, which may turn off some beer purists.
6. Omission IPA
Unlike other gluten-free beers, Omission IPA is brewed with barley, which contains gluten. The gluten is then later removed in the bottling process, and each brew contains fewer than 20 parts per million of gluten-- which meets the FDA standard for labeling a gluten-free product.
Omission cannot use the term gluten-free on its labels and those with gluten allergies should know that there are small amounts of gluten in it. But in terms of taste, it would be hard for a regular beer drinker to know the difference between this and those with gluten.
Like a traditional IPA, it has a tad bite of bitter taste but with bright citrus notes. It’s made with Summit and Cascade hops, giving it a distinct hoppy flavor, but it is balanced and smooth. This was my favorite of the group. They also have a lager, which is a little bit lighter but just as good as their IPA.