Jim Beauregard's Tasting Notes: More gluten-free choicesBY JIM BEAUREGARD March 26. 2013 6:49PM
Back to gluten. Gluten-free beer, that is.
Recall from last time that Celiac disease, a nasty thing, rules out consumption of the wheat that is found in so much of our food. An alternative to beers made with wheat or barley, gluten-free beers are made from plants that don't contain gluten, and these include so-called "grist materials" from malted sorghum, buckwheat and common millet.
So let's continue the journey where we left off with tasting notes of more gluten-free beers (prices are from Bert's Better Beers in Hooksett):
New Planet Tread Lightly Ale, $3.15. Clear/Pale gold, small white head, hoppy nose, Sharp palate, hoppy, good acidity, balanced components, long finish that keeps the hops going.
New Planet Pale Ale, $3.15. Amber gold, light tan head, sorghum and brown rice extract in this one, a nose that gives some malty sense, balanced and strong palate with good bitterness, hops that come through with a malt flavor, also well-balanced, intense flavors of hops and light malt. Both this one and the one above could pass for regular old beers if you didn't know they were made differently.
New Planet 3R Raspberry Ale, $3.15. Very light nose, white head with just the tiniest hint of pink, gold beer, and the raspberry comes through on the palate, ripe and rich, this can be a draw to anyone who likes fruit beers, the raspberry stays with you along a long, steady finish.
Omission Lager, $2.15. 4.6% abv. Small white frothy head, slowly diminishing, yellow pale beer, rather intense hoppy nose, reflected on the palate as well. Moderate bitterness, reasonable acidity, balanced alcohol, light body, medium-light texture. Good finish.
Omission Pale Ale, $2.15. Back into the amber ballpark, light tan head, slightly cloudy unfiltered look, light malty nose, malty palate, with bitterness coming to the fore toward the finish. Light bodied, good carbonation, good balance of components, some roasted and bread notes.
S'Peter's Sorgham Beer, $5.75. A little skunky when opened, then hops hints, white head, pale gold beer, all hops, no malt on the palate, very good bitterness, I think of this one as a food beer, paired with something spicy.
S'Peter's Dark Sorgham Beer, $5.99. Dark brown, but not opaque, light tan head that lasts, good bitterness, citrus type flavors, hay, grassiness. Profile stays through the finish.
Green's Amber Ale. $6.45. Amber ale under a tan frothy head. Darker, animal type notes, toffee ballpark, the palate is darker, more toward molasses, but not too intense, some nutty and burned notes. Medium body, more filling.
Green's Tripel Blonde Ale, $6.45. Blonde it is, light gold, pale, white head, fresh bracing nose of white fruit, hints of tartness, bracing flavors of fruit, not overwhelming, but held well in balance, on the white fruit, citrus end of the spectrum. Pleasing finish.
Green's Dubbel Dark Ale, $6.45. Brown, heading toward black beer, light brown head, and this one's made from millet, buckwheat, rice, sorghum, hops, yeast and water. The nose is very light, hints of fruit in the citrus region. Medium body, medium bitterness, good carbonation, balanced components, and the flavor profile brings the fruit, also some balanced bitterness in harmony on a long finish.
So there you have it. My conclusion, sitting here at a table full of gluten-free beer each missing a pour, is that there's hope for beer lovers who may have had to give it up in the past because their body said no.
If you're interested, stop by Bert's in Hooksett, and ask him to point you toward the gluten-free section. It's right near the mead, which is gluten-free, too.
Jim Beauregard can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.