There is nothing more satisfying than having an ice cold beer after a finishing a long (or short!) race. But what can our gluten-free friends do to participate in this ritual? Enter, the rise of gluten-free beer. With an increasing number of people being diagnosed with Celiac Disease and gluten sensitivities, the food and beverage industry has been hard at work, searching out allergen-free versions of our favorite foods. I have been hearing about gluten-free beers popping up, so this week we decided to give one a try.
My running partner Erin stopped by this week to join my husband and I in our taste test. The beer that we tried was New Planet’s Off Grid Pale Ale. New Planet is located in Colorado and the company has a mission to celebrate life and do things that are beneficial for the planet. In fact, New Planet is donating part of the proceeds of every Off Grid Pale Ale to non-profit organizations that promote alternative energy education. Always a sucker for a good cause, I figured that this was reason enough to give Off Grid a try.
So, what did we think? Well, unfortunately, we were not overly impressed. We rated the beer on four categories, on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the highest possible score). The beer looked normal when it was poured, with a nice caramel/amber color. The aroma was not unpleasant, but it did not come close to the delicious smell given off by so many other beers that we have enjoyed. Overall, we were not impressed with the taste. We had a difficult time recognizing the flavors, but we are pretty sure that we detected a syrupy-malty-sweetness, some bitterness, and something that reminded us of a cleaning product. The worst part was the lingering after taste that made our faces pucker.
Our overall verdict:
As this is the only gluten-free beer that I have tried, I can’t say how it ranks against the competition. All tasters did agree that if we were going to avoid gluten all together, we would pass on this beer and pour ourselves a glass of wine or a gin and tonic.