Last week was a great week! I was sitting on the beach in Florida with my wife and friends and I had 4 four packs of Dogfish Head’s gluten free beer, Tweason’ale. Tweason’ale is a sorghum base beer with hints of molasses with vibrant notes of strawberry and a unique twinge of buckwheat honey. While several reviews out there from those fortunate folks who can drink “real” beer might say that it is nothing special, for someone who was diagnosed with celiac 7 years ago, it was heavenly. For years of beach travel, when you need a break from the rum there wasn’t much to go to. To just drive to the store down the street and get this treat was awesome! Now, if we could only get it back home here in Nashville!
Since we can’t though, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t celebrate the ones that we can get here!
A year after I was diagnosed we were able to get our first certified gluten free beer here in Nashville thanks to the fine folks at Lakefront Brewery, Inc. in Milwaukee. They introduced New Grist, a gluten free pilsner stile beer, it was my first. Brewed from sorgum, rice, hops, water and yeast to form a crist and refreshing beer. It was pure joy and is still one of my favorites. Grab me a burger with an Udi’s gluten free bun and some tots and I’m in heaven! Like most gluten free beers, in my opinion, they’re not like drinking regular beers. Taking a 6-pack to a party normally isn’t the best thing. The taste goes great with food and snacks but not something that you would like to sit around and drink while just watching the game. To get this I normally have to go to Whole Foods but occassionally it pops up in Publix, Frugal’s and other spots.
Redbridge was the first gluten free beer made from a major beer company, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. and the first one I was able to get out in a bar because of Anheuser’s distribution. Redbridge is a rich, full-bodied lager brewed from sorghum for a well-balanced, moderately hopped taste. While New Grist is still my favorite, Redbridge does go down a little nicer on it’s own, no food required and it’s easier to find. Most Kroger’s and Publix in the area carry it and if not, they can easily get it if you ask.
Bard’s is another one that pops up around town at Kroger and Publix along with others. While I love the copy writing on their site and the idea, this one is probably my least favorite gluten free beer, sorry folks. I’m not sure why it’s not clicking with me, I want to like it, but like tequila, it’s just not for everyone. This one is a little heavy for my taste and the aftertaste lingers. I know some who love it and think it is the best one out there, give it a try! I’m up for supporting anyone in favor of making sure we have beer options that are gluten free!
This one is probably my 3rd favorite one available in the Nashville area. In the last year it has been popping up at grocery stores around town. I discovered it while at Mafiaoza’s enjoying a gluten free pizza, the mix of the 2 was AWESOME! A Spanish beer where they have used the most advanced technology to actually remove the gluten. I know… I know… does it really work? They say it is less than 3PPM of gluten, not totally sure what that means but it meets government guidelines so that means that I had to try it. While a little timid, I have not had any issues. Enjoy and let me know what you think.
This is from a British brewery that specializes in “Real Ales” that apparently that spell Sorghum with an A insteadof a U. This is also one of my favorites, but the price tends to make it lower on the list since it is around $6/bottle and a little too rich for my blood. It has a citrusy, crisp taste that I really enjoy and make it fun to drink. Hey, if you like this page, feel free to send me one
Quest (Amber Ale), Discover (Triple Blonde) and Endeavor (Double Stout). They sound more like the NASA space shuttles than Belgian gluten free beers but these taste. Not sure what I mean by that, but I do like them. The Discover Triple Blonde is my favorite. This is the closest you are going to get to a traditional Belgian ale, so if that’s what you’ve been missing… Look no further. Due to the higher alcohol content, you will only find these in select liquor stores. I’ve found them at Vinea Wine in the 12 South area and Midtown Liquors on Church Street. These to me fall in place for a special treat. The price, like the St’ Peter’s, actually makes them go in that category. Around $9 a pint. If you find one, try it, you deserve it, if you can actually afford to keep your fridge stocked with these, you’ve done a great job!
This is my most recent discovery here in Nashville. The only place I have been able to find it so far has been at Whole Foods. Ommission has 2 flavors, a lager, brewed traditional lager style perfect for a variety of beer drinking occasions (according to their site) and a pale ale, a hop-forward American pale ale brewed to showcase the cascade hop profile. The brewing process looks to be similar to what Estrella does with removing the gluten. I was ultra excited when I found it and grabbed a 6 pack of each. Truthfully I don’t know which I was more excited about, finding a new gluten free beer or that now I had my choice of 6 different gluten free beers in my fridge at home. The excitement didn’t last long. To me, they are both very similar and remind me of Bard’s but with a UFO on the label, which of course makes it cooler.
All in all, I’m VERY thankful that there are lots of gluten free beer options out there for me and others with Celiac disease to try and I am very thankful to each and every producer who makes them. Thanks for taking the time to help us out! If you find a new one in the area, let me know!