Open a Cold One: The Best New Gluten-Free Beers
by Max Librach
Traditional beers aren’t an option when you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Most beers, whether you’re a fan of an American-style beer or a dark stout, are made from barley or wheat.
Lucky for us, a few major companies and a number of microbreweries now offer gluten-free beer, enabling you to have one while you watch the game, enjoy a summer picnic or indulge in your favorite gluten-free pizza.
What’s the status of the booming gluten-free beer market? We’ve gone ahead and “researched” the various offerings (and had plenty of fun while doing it!).
We’re happy to present you with our findings on the various big-name brands, as well as the less-known beers that are definitely worth keeping an eye out for.
The Big Name Gluten-Free Beers
While you won’t find gluten-free beer in every liquor store or bar, a few brands are becoming more common.
- Redbridge is an American-style beer produced by Anheuser-Busch. If you enjoy American beers, Redbridge won’t disappoint.
- New Grist is a very light beer, without a lot of flavor. If you don’t like beer, but do enjoy fizzy drinks, you might like New Grist, otherwise you may be disappointed.
- Bard’s offers a rich flavor, with tones of fruit and caramel. This is a bolder beer, and may appeal if you favor microbrews over standard American beers.
The Lesser Knowns: Gluten-Free Ales Worth the Search
- New Planet offers microbrews to the gluten-free crowd. Offerings include a fruity, bubbly raspberry ale and an excellent pale ale called Off the Grid.
- If you favor European-style beers, Green’s, from Belgium, can provide you with a pricey, but tasty traditional beer. Green’s makes a Belgian-style Dubbel Dark Ale, a fruity Tripel Blonde Ale and an Amber Ale. The Amber Ale is a balanced, drinkable beer without a bitter finish.
- St. Peter’s is a British offering. The G-Free Sorghum beer is very much a European lager with a slight orange flavor, somewhat comparable to Blue Moon.
- If you have a local brewery, check their offerings. A few small breweries produce, but don’t ship, gluten-free beers. In Wisconsin or surrounding states, look for brews from the Sprecher Brewery.
A Just-as-Fun Alternative: Hard Cider
If you can’t find gluten-free beer in your area, hard cider is a tasty gluten-free alternative. You’ll find a variety of hard pear and apple ciders in most liquor stores. Most often, they’re simply fermented apple juice, pear juice or a mixture of the two. Flavors range from sweet and bubbly to rather dry. You’ll also find cider available at many well-stocked bars and pubs.
So this summer when you get tired of the same old wine or gluten-free cocktail, perform your own “research” and find your favorite gluten-free beer!