The thought of being "beer intolerant" is unimaginable to me, but sadly it is true. There are people that suffer from a digestive disease called celiac disease. Those who suffer from this can not tolerate gluten, a protein found in in wheat, rye, and barley. These grains are the life force in beer, so if you are a Celiac, odds are you can not enjoy a beer.
In 2005 the Lakefront Brewing Company of Milwaukee, WI decided to brew a gluten free beer for celiacs so they could enjoy a beer as well. Lakefront's answer was a beer called New Grist, a beer brewed from sorghum and gluten free yeast grown on molasses. This beer was one of the very first gluten free beers available on the U.S. market, with only a handful of other domestic and imported examples that have followed.
I have to commend Lakefront for brewing a gluten free beer for celiacs. I don't know what life would be like living on a gluten free diet and not being able to enjoy a glass of beer. New Grist gives celiacs a chance to enjoy beer, and one has to applaud Lakefront for their effort. Brewed with sorghum and rice, this is a light, slightly sweet tasting beer, that is quite different from what a beer drinker is use to.
New Grist pours to a very pale, golden color with a short, white head that fades, and a vibrant carbonation. The nose has some crisp rice aroma, and some slight sourness. The palate is lean, with flavor of sorghum, that tastes like grain, and a touch of tart sourness. This beer finishes with more crisp and dry rice and sorghum flavors, then ends with a slightly sweet flavor that lingers.
Not really a beer that I would find myself reaching for too often. It is crisp, refreshing, and has some character with the sorghum and rice flavors and light sourness. The rice in this beer really dries the beer out, and the light sourness makes it refreshing. It has a unique taste for sure, one that might take some getting use to.
I'm glad a beer like this is out there, and I know if I was a celiac, New Grist would be a staple for me. It "is what it is" a gluten free beer, and should be judged as such. Worth a try for the curious beer drinker, and a welcome beer for a celiac. Only a handful of examples gluten free beers are on the market, so New Grist would be a good choice I think. For more information, visit: http://www.lakefrontbrewery.com/
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