Before I got diagnosed with Celiac disease, I was an admitted total beer snob. Loved the microbrews. Hated the cheap, mass produced, over advertised, tastes like water…well, you get my point. I still wish I had some inkling of my diagnosis beforehand and I would have savored over one final Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA.
So I did what most people in my shoes probably did. Went to the liquor store with fingers crossed and hoped for a miracle. “Do they even make gluten free beer?” (keep in mind this was five years ago). So I scan the shelves and there it is…Red Bridge beer made with sorghum. Gluten free. Grab a six pack. Go home. Open one up. Take a sip. Oh boy…this is not good. The other five beers stayed in my fridge for years to come. So I did what any sensible person would do. I switched to Vodka!
But there is hope
Lately, there has been good news coming out of the gluten free beer market. I have since tried a handful of other beers. Some not drinkable, but some very drinkable. Now, admittedly, my expectations and taste buds have changed. Whenever I think I have found a decent beer, I will let somebody else try it who still has their senses, and nine out of ten times, they respond with empathy that this is what I’m stuck with. But I’m ok with that. Hey, you gotta play the cards dealt to you.
The best gluten free beer I have found so far has been New Grist. Nice flavor, good aroma, decent aftertaste. And there are more and more coming to the market as the brewers realize that the demand for gluten free beers is just going to get stronger. Finding them can be the problem as my local stores only carry a few of the brands but hopefully that will improve with time as well.
And the best news of all? Dogfish Head is coming out with a gluten free beer in December. It may not be a 90 Minute IPA, but in my eyes, it will be even sweeter.
March 2013 Update: There are indeed some decent gluten-free beers!