Reviews -

Latest Articles | Page1 2 3

0

Gluten Free Beer

When you have a gluten allergy, not being able to partake in festive treats like birthday cake is something you get used to. In fact the rule is better safe than sorry, and unless you know you can have it, don’t.  But with an abundance of gluten free alternatives showing up in stores over the past few years, it was only a matter of time before the beer industry was infiltrated as well.

Since beer is made from wheat, you can imagine wheat free (and therefore gluten free) beer doesn’t really taste that much like beer. My gluten tolerant coworkers that were nice enough to partake in this taste test certainly seemed to agree. It’s kind of like having a popcorn flavored jelly bean instead of popcorn.

tasting gluten free beer

Bard’s, Omission and Redbridge were the brands we tried. Omission, which is not recommended for people with Celiac disease because it is only “gluten removed” not, gluten free, was the favorite of my coworkers. I can only assume that is due to the remnants of gluten and consequently, most beer-like taste. Bard’s and Redbridge received a resounding “Eh, it’s okay.”

Never really having been a fan of beer anyway, cider has always been my go-to alternative.  It’s light, crisp, refreshing, and oh so delicious. And there is a plethora of brands and varieties.

Crispin is a very popular brand that can be found in most stores and bars and it comes in seven different varieties: Original, Light, Brut, Browns Lane, Honey Crisp, The Saint and Lansdowne. Original and Browns Lane are the most commonly found and not as sweet as other brands of cider.

Ace cider also comes in different varieties; Apple, Apple-Honey, Berry, Pumpkin and Joker, with Pear being my favorite.

If you are new to the gluten free lifestyle, I would suggest sticking with ciders until the taste of real beer is such a distant memory, that the faint beer essence of gluten free beer will be enjoyable. Since gluten free beer is still such a new addition on the market, perhaps with time, breweries will get the hang of it and the taste will improve. Until then, there are plenty of other options to help those of us that are gluten free feel included.

0

Craft Beer Club: Delirium Tremens

delirium tremens logoOne of my favorite beers is Delirium Tremens, a blonde Belgian style trippel, offered up by the Huyghe Brewery in Belgium. This beer first came into production in 1989 and has since won numerous accolades worldwide for its complex taste that has been proven to please the palates of many beer drinkers. Delirium Tremens is the brewery’s best known beer and one of four beers in the Delirium line up all branded with the signature pink elephant. A strong brew coming in at 8.5% ABV, this one is not for the faint of heart as one might tell from the tongue-in-cheek name referring to the shakes caused by alcohol withdrawal.beer bottle label - Delirium Tremens

Some may be intrigued by the unique label on the bottle illustrating colorful whimsical crocodiles and dragons attacked by a row of Hitchcock’s birds meant to symbolize a state of delirium; the masses agree that they love this beer. Though, it is hard to come to a consensus on what exactly makes up its taste profile. As you pour the beer into a glass you will notice the pale blonde coloring and dense white foam head that dissipates slowly. Upon tasting, I recognized coriander and orange that give it a light, fruity flavor profile. I also noticed the beer is very carbonated with a creamy complexity stemming from the multiple yeasts used in the brewing process. Just when you think you have the flavor figured out, the profile shifts into a dry, bitter, lingering finish.

This is a beer that really develops on the palate, from front to back, which makes it an ideal beer for laid back slow drinking. You definitely want to discover and enjoy each and every nuance and intricacy in Delirium Tremens. Save the chugging for the light macro brew  and enjoy Delirium Tremens at a leisurely pace with friends. Delirium Tremens is a great beer choice year round. The light, crisp, carbonated elements of the beer would make it a great choice for a summer evening on the patio. While the strong alcohol content and its yeasty, dry, bitter finish make it an ideal beer to serve up alongside a bowl of chili in the cold winter months. Let us know what you think of Delirium Tremens and cheers to good health!

0

Craft Beer Club: Jester King’s El Cedro Hoppy Cedar-Aged Ale

Jester King Brewery El CedroI am a big fan of a sister beer from Jester King, The Wytchmaker Farmhouse Rye India Pale Ale, and only happened to pick up a bottle of El Cedro after finding the Wytchmaker out of stock at my local grocery store. I was pleasantly surprised.

You can tell a lot of love was put into its making when you see its beautiful reddish hue as the beer settles in your glass. El Cedro is not your typical beer (no beer from Jester King is), and is successfully able to pull off providing the perfect balance of fruitiness with hoppiness. It is neither too fruity nor too hoppy for my taste.

I would recommend this beer for anyone looking to try something new and is looking to get away from traditional ales or IPA’s. It’s definitely not a light beer; however, it’s refreshingly smooth and it will make a great addition to my beer rotation as we head into the summer.

El Cedro is an 8.0% ABV farmhouse ale brewed by Jester King in the Texas Hill Country outside of Austin, Texas. Jester King describes it’s flavor by saying, “It combines tropical, fruity hop flavor and aroma with funky, barnyard yeast character and the unique flavor and aromatics of Spanish Cedar.”

On a scale of Piss Poor (1) to Perfection in a Glass (10), I give it an 8. How do you rate El Cedro Hoppy Cedar-Aged Ale?

0

Craft Beer Club: Lagunitas A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale

I’ve always had respect for Lagunitas. Almost everything they brew is gold in my book. They’ve been at the forefront of the less conventional side of craft brewing, and their expertise truly shows through the beer they produce. They are your prototypical West Coast brewery – inducing flavorful and aromatic hops and blasts of wonderful complexities at any chance they get. However, unlike some other reputable West Coast names (Russian River, Ninkasi, 21st Amendment, Firestone Walker, etc.), they’ve managed to maneuver their way through endless amounts of state rules and regulations to establish impressive distribution lines, spreading the wealth across the far reaches of the U.S. And because of this, we are very happy to be able to get our hands on all the delicious beer they bring to the table. One of these treats that’s available year-round is an American pale wheat ale by the name of “A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’.”

A Little Sumpin Sumpin Ale

We can say right off the bat, that this beer always looks delicious. It pours a substantial white head you’d find in a wheat ale and an orange-amberish color and level of clarity more typical of a pale ale. The initial look can leave you with a certain sense of slight confusion, and perhaps a little apprehension, only to be immediately swept away upon first sip. The taste is reminiscent of a delicious West Coast IPA, but with a seemingly fuller body and bready character. Give it a swirl and you’ll release an enormous amount of absolutely amazing aromas. The hops don’t lend much to the piney aspect but rather take you on a trip into a floral and fruit-filled place with an abundance of grapefruit and other various citrus. It’s certainly on the sweeter side, but the hop bitterness provides a balance akin to that of an Olympic gymnast. The mouthfeel is beyond great and the alcohol is there but it’s not boozy at all – definitely a great beer to session, that’ll get the job done any time of year.

The style of A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ is obviously unique as it’s not too often that you come across a beer like this. It’s not a pale ale. Not a wheat ale. Nor is it an IPA. It’s just an awesome mixture of wheat and pale malts with loads of floral and fruity hop goodness. There isn’t a single thing about this beer that we would change. If your favorite pale ale and favorite wheat beer were to have a child – this would be it. We tip our hats to Tony Magee and all of Lagunitas Brewing Company for creating and maintaining their own path in the ever-growing jungle of craft brewing.

0

Craft Beer Club: Kona Koko Brown

This week we tried something from a brewery that we’d all like to visit – Kona Brewing Company in the far-off land of Hawaii. While they have many beers readily available for enjoyment, we decided to go with their Koko Brown – a nut brown ale with some island flair.

Kona Koko Brown

This is a nut brown ale unlike the rest of the pack. From what we’ve seen, craft brewers like to use nuts that are either readily available to them or don’t have to be shipped long distances even if they’re not within arm’s reach. Typically, in the contiguous U.S., we see flavors attributed to more widely-seen tree nuts like walnuts or pecans, but with this Hawaiian version, what other to use than the coconut? And that’s exactly what the crew at Kona did use.

The beer pours a brown that’s reminiscent of cola – not the deepest we’ve seen and it has a pretty thin and somewhat “soapy” head that dissipates fairly quickly. Right away, you can smell the coconut coming from the glass, however, the Victory and Chocolate malts, among others, bring that oh-so-wonderful caramel and chocolate presence to the palate. Start sipping and you’ll get the coconut, caramel and chocolate right off the bat. This beer is definitely on the sweeter side. It’s like a Mounds candy bar in a cup. The coconut is present from start to finish, but fades to a more roasted characteristic on the back-end. The mouth-feel is a little on the thin side but is completely sufficient.

Overall we like this one. It was definitely “a nut brown worth cracking”, and while it may not be an everyday drinker in our book, it’s definitely one worth revisiting. In fact, we envision it being even more enjoyable in the colder months. It is, after all, a winter seasonal. Good work, Kona.

Page1 2 3