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Gluten-Free Beer Brewers Expanding Market

Posted May 20 2009 11:30pm

Check out this awesome article in the Worcester Telegram Gazette about gluten-free beer! It' s pretty fantastic to see that over the last five years, more than 10 breweries in the United States have started brewing gluten-free beer including the most familiar name in beer, Anheuser Busch. And, in 2007, gluten-free beer earned its own category at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver.

Gluten-free beers are made without any wheat or barley and according to the article, most breweries in the United States are instead using sorghum, a grass originating in Africa. In addition, Japanese gluten-free beers use rice as the grain of choice and British gluten-free beers use a combination of sorghum, buckwheat and brown rice in its beers.

This article was absolutely timely because just this past weekend my wonderful boyfriend and I were up in Boston visiting his family. Eric' s entire family is incredibly supportive of me being on a gluten-free diet and always pack their house with the best gluten-free goodies when I come to visit. And, best of all, Eric' s dad goes out of his way to always make sure there' s gluten-free beer in the house for me to drink! This trip we decided to challenge Rob (Eric' s brother in law) to a beer taste test where he had to taste three beers. Two were gluten-free and one was not gluten-free. The goal was to prove that gluten-free beer tastes just as good--if not better--than regular beer.

After a blind taste test of Redbridge (GF), Bard' s Tale (GF ) and Wachusett Amber Ale (not GF), Rob was unable to tell which beer was gluten-free and actually chose Redbridge as the best!

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As you can imagine, I was overjoyed that Rob, a beer lover, actually chose Redbridge as his beer of choice for the afternoon! Great job Rob! But, in case your friends and family ever challenge you to a beer taste test, here' s the secret.....it' s all in the smell! Sorghum has a very distinctive sweet smell that is easily recognizable. It smells sort of like sap from a tree, so be sure to take a whiff the next time you down a cold gluten-free beer! 


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