Gluten-free Beer

I think the best part of this post is getting to say gluten-free beer over and over again. Go ahead… try it. Yeah… you liked it, didn’t you? Anyway…. So last night we had dinner at a gluten free restaurant in the West Village, Risoterria. While we were there for the risotto (which was fantastic), Risoterria offered a huge variety of interesting gluten-free menu items. I noticed several gluten-free beers on the menu and thought – what the crap – why not? Thus I bring you today’s review of New Grist from the Lakefront Brewery.
Now I did a good bit of research on this beer. This beer gets a really bad wrap on sites like Beer Advocate and Rate Beer which made me think of a post that Jay Brooks did over at The Brookston Beer Bulletin earlier this week. It was about whether or not having just anybody blogging off about reviews can help or hurt a micro brew. Check it out here, it’s a great editorial. Anyway, I was disappointed at how many people missed the point of this beer. Imagine, my fellow beer lovers, having Celiac Disease. This means you can’t eat any gluten products which includes malt. NO BEER. This beer frees these people to imbibe in this great beverage. So think long and hard about that, before you go bashing this product.
Appearance: Pours a very light golden color with little to no head. Very clear and only a few bubbles.
Aroma: Not much aroma. A bit of citrusy or apple scent, but, of course, no malt aroma.
Taste: While this beer comes off a bit watery, it’s not bad. There isn’t a strong hop flavor or rich maltiness, but it does taste like a beer. There’s a bit of an aftertaste of the rice that New Grist is brewed with, similar to the aftertaste of saki, but nowhere near as strong. If you’re familiar with the taste of sorghum (think cous cous, porridge and molasses), you’ll find it here.
Mouthfeel: Watery, like it’s taste, but very crisp and refreshing.
So in the end, New Grist is never going to be the beer I reach for in times of need. But I think it’s great that those who can’t eat glutens have a beer choice at all, and if this is going to be it, well, it ain’t too shabby.

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