Friday, March 04, 2011

Beer of the Week (Vol. XC)

Another edition of Beer of the Week brought to you by the healthy folks at Glen Lake Wine and Spirits who can help you with all your liquid diet needs.

It was all that long ago when the only association most of us had with the word “gluten” was as a misheard Def Leppard song lyric. Today, it seems like everywhere you go you hear people talking about gluten-free diets:

A gluten-free diet is a diet completely free of gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye, malts and triticale. Gluten is also used as a food additive in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent, often hidden under "dextrin". A gluten-free diet is the only medically accepted treatment for celiac disease, the related condition dermatitis herpetiformis, and wheat allergy.

Additionally, a gluten-free diet may exclude oats. Medical practitioners are divided on whether oats are an allergen to celiac disease sufferers or if they are cross-contaminated in milling facilities by other allergens.

Yes, the great “are oats really gluten?” debate rages across the land. Meanwhile, some brewers have sought to get in on the gluten-free living trend. Among them is Green's Gluten Free Beers from Belgium. Their Discovery Gluten Free Amber Ale is our featured beer.

25oz brown bottle. Green label that gives Gluten Free top billing and describes the product as “Ale made Millet, Buckwheat, Rice, and Sorghum.” It also includes nutritional information and this promise:

Green’s Beers DO NOT contain any of the following allergens or products thereof:

Gluten, Crustaceans, Eggs, Fish, Peanuts, Soybeans, Milk, Lactose, Nuts, Celery, Mustard, Sesame seeds, Sulfur dioxide nor Sulfites

About time. I was getting so sick of all those crustacean-infused beers on the market.

Style: English Strong Ale

Alcohol by Volume: 6.0%

COLOR (0-2): Dark amber brown. 2

AROMA (0-2): Malty, slightly sour. 1

HEAD (0-2): Off-white color, good volume and lacing. 2

TASTE (0-5): Mostly malty with some sour fruit bitterness. Also sort of a medicinal flavor that's not very pleasing. Medium-bodied, but goes down heavy. Not especially drinkable. 1

AFTERTASTE (0-2): Sour, bitter and thoroughly nasty. 0

OVERALL (0-6): Let me start by thanking God for not having to follow a gluten-free diet. Because if this is supposed to be one of the better gluten-free offerings, the poor bastards who are living sans gluten can't be enjoying their beer. It actually looks good in the glass with nice color, a good head, and a decent aroma. There is a lot of junk on the bottom of the glass, but that's not uncommon with unfiltered beers, which often taste excellent. Unfortunately that's not the case with Green's Amber Ale. The taste is not good and the aftertaste is even worse. I wanted to wash my mouth out after the first sip and it was only with great difficulty that I was able to finish it. Seriously, I was THIS close to pouring it out and we all know that wasting beer is a sin. 1

TOTAL SCORE (0-19): 7