I don’t get a whole lot of joy from shoveling six inches of snow off of my driveway and sidewalks nightly. Even at a cool 20 degrees Fahrenheit with a wind chill of zero degrees I still sweat my ass off. The joy comes when I get to refresh afterwards, and nothing refreshes like a cold beer (or six).
After stripping off all my snow gear, I stumbled to the fridge to find a six pack of Redbridge Gluten-Free Beer. Really? I was a bit disappointed. First, it’s brewed by Anheuser-Busch, and I admittedly have a bias against macro-brewers. Second, it’s gluten-free. What? Finally, it’s made with sorghum instead of wheat or barley (makes it gluten free).
Too tired to brave the weather and traverse to my local purveyor of gluten filled alcoholic beverages, I relented and poured a glass. It looked like beer. It had a nice, rich gold color and poured a foamy head. I put my nose to the glass. It smelled like beer – any beer.
Taste would be the true test. Frankly, I was expecting something that tasted like O’Douls or some other NA beer. I have yet to find a NA beer that is bearable (not that I’ve tried too hard).
The first sip was surprisingly pleasant. It had mostly a hoppy flavor with subtle sweetness to it. I suspect the sweetness came from the sorghum only because it is often used to make a sweet syrup. There was a slight tinny aftertaste. Despite coming from a bottle, the aftertaste could make me believe it came from a can – a tin can.
Overall, this isn’t a bad beer though. It rates a solid 3 out of 5. I would not make it my every day beer because there are so many gluten filled beers that I enjoy more. If I suffered from Celiac disease or had a wheat allergy, I would be very happy to enjoy this beer. If one came my way at a party or hanging out with a friend who cannot enjoy gluten, I would not pass on it.
I found out while researching this beer that there are quite a few gluten free beers. BellaOnline has quite a long list of gluten free beers and links to their breweries. Most all of the beers are from craft breweries, and some sound quite interesting (gluten free or not). One advantage of being brewed by a macro brewery may be availability. Anheuser-Busch has a large distribution network, so you may be able to find Redbridge everywhere Budweiser is sold. The Redbridge site has a beer locator to help you find this beer.