If I could immune myself to gluten in any one item, I would kiss cookies and pizza and pasta farewell forever, claim my ice cold bottle of Moose Drool and live jolly ever after. There's something about its bitterness and bubbles that swirl my taste buds into a piñata-smacking, hula-hooping, disco-dancing riot. It’s not just about the taste though; the social aspect is a big factor too. I live in Colorado and at last count we had 217 independent breweries. That being said, grabbing a beer with a group of friends after exploring the mountains or just to celebrate the beautiful day is a common occurance around this neck of the woods. When we all meet up at Great Divide, or Golden City, or Upslope, or share a 6-pack on the patio, I’d like to be able to play along. Sure, there are alternatives, but nothing satisfies quite like a brewskey. And, although it has been done (only once, have you), sneaking your own bottles into a brewery and pouring them into a used pint glass in the restroom isn't necessarily… mmm, acceptable.
There are some gluten-free beers out there, although many of them are just that, gluten-free beer: somewhat dull, lacking life, and incomparable to the real thing. As for standing up among the big dogs, there are a couple I would recommend whose taste is pretty darn good considering the circumstances. Two thumbs up to Green’s Discovery Amber Ale. It uses 100% gluten-free, corn-free ingredients and I must say the flavor is mighty fine. They also carry an IPA and a dry-hopped lager which I’m excited to try but haven't seen in my region. I also love their blond ale. For those who are not Celiac and can tolerate a little gluten every now and then, check out their de-glutenised brews. [Note: de-glutenised beer is not gluten-free! If you are very sensitive to gluten, I would avoid these beverages completely. You can also look for the manufacture’s ELISA test results, which list the gluten peptide (aka protein) content in parts-per-million. Some manufacturers list this on their website.] My ultimate favorite de-glutenised beer is Daura Damm. Let me just say, its six-year award winning streak speaks for itself. If you’re looking for something domestic, Omission tops the charts. The pale ale and lager verities have also won a few awards; rightfully so.
My wish for the future is that more microbreweries experiment with gluten-free grains and gluten-eating enzymes. If there’s a will there’s a way. And let me assure you, the market for gluten-free beer is growing. If any microbrewers out there are looking for an extra hand in the manufacturing process or are in need of a taste-tester, look no further! I’m your gal!
Alright folks… all this talk is making me thirsty. Catch you later.