To date, I’ve had three gluten free beers and one alcohol free beer that have counted towards this challenge. I’m still waiting for my free gluten and free alcohol…
No. 53 – Bières Nouvelle France’s La Messagère au Millet
I personally have no problem with gluten and am one of those people who doesn’t understand why anybody would avoid it if they didn’t have to. Having a friend who can’t really take gluten gave me an urge to try a few gluten free beers throughout the year to see how they compare. The first was way back in February. I had bought a six pack of this for my gluten free friend and she only took a couple of them, so it was up to me to finish them off. To be honest, I’ve no notes on this but from memory it was a good blonde ale with a little sweetness to it. Very fizzy, as you can see by the picture and worth a go. I gave it 6/11 at the time, which I would like to revise but I’m not going to because at this late stage in the year I just won’t have time.
No. 335 – Krombacher Alcohol Free Pilsner
After much debate, it was decided that an alcohol free beer would still count. The reasons being that it is made by the same process (this was decided without any checking, but seems possible) and because it is just low alcohol beer, not truly alcohol free. Besides, I’d tried everything else Brutopia had to offer that day.
This is my favourite alcohol free beer – it is smoother than others I’ve tried and a little like a beer and lemonade shandy. It’s better than quite a few proper beers I’ve tried this year. It gets a 4/11 for being drinkable, ok for the price, a little different and I would recommend it for non-drinkers or drivers. I doubt that I’ll drink it again though.
No. 343 – Glutenburg Blonde
Back to gluten free. Another one I tried because I had been through all of Brutopia’s other beers at that point. It’s definitely a blonde ale, but it has a little sweetness to it, like the Messagère Blonde above. Maybe that’s a feature of gluten free beers. I gave this one 4/11 for being fine, for tasting like a blonde, being worth the price and one for recommend-ability. I won’t be drinking this again. I’d drink the Messagère ahead of this I think.
No. 426 – Glutenburg Rousse
This was cheap, so I bought it. It smells quite nice, like a sweeter red ale – very promising indeed. To taste though, it’s fine – like a red ale without that little hoppy fizz that you get sometimes. There’s no aftertaste, no little bitter hit to it. On the plus side it was somewhat refreshing. I give this one 4/11 as well. It’s not something that I would drink again but it’s not bad either, just a little bland.
So that’s a few brief notes on gluten free and alcohol free beers. I don’t think I’ll try any more this year but they had interesting tastes.