Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More recent rates: Gluten Free Green's Beers and other odds n sods

I was somewhat excited to find three new gluten free ales available on a recent visit to the bottleshop. The beers are sold under the Green's brand, and are brewed by DeProefbrouwerij of Lochristi Belgium. They are fairly prolific brewers, 157 beers are listed under their namesake at Ratebeer.com. With that many beers, not all can be knockouts. The Green's beers are interesting in that they are gluten free ales that attempt to emulate some classic beer styles. Quest approximates an Abbey Tripel, Endeavour the Dubbel, and Discovery is apparently a strong ale of English origins. The beers are packaged in 500ml brown capped bottles with a best before date and a neck-tag that in block letters states "NO WHEAT NO BARLEY ALL NATURAL". Further reading of the label reveals that Green's beers do NOT contain any of the following: Crustaceans, Eggs, Fish, Peanuts, Soya Beans, Milk, Lactose, Nuts, Celery, Mustard, Sesame Seeds, Sulphur Dioxide and Sulfites. I appriciate their thouroghness, as I suffer from food allergies myself, however most of those ingredients are never found in beer at all so it seems strange to list them. (Any brewer want to take on a celery and egg beer?)

How do beers brewed without malt taste? Well, in short I wasn't a huge fan. All of the Green's beers shared traits with the last gluten free beer I had (La Messagere) - they seems to all posess a grapey/winey component, both in aroma and flavour and also a cider/apple component that seems to overpower, regardless of style. I liked the Endeavour the best (rating 3.2), Discovery (shown left) came in second (rating 2.3) and Quest came in last of the three (rating 2.2). In the end I'm glad I got to try these, they were all drinkable, if a bit odd and didn't really capture the styles they were aiming for, but they were also interesting in an experimental kind of way. I'm glad a brewer decided to try some classic styles malt-free, who knows what they'll brew in the future - malt free imperial stouts and barleywines maybe? You know I'd try em.

Other odds and sods that have crossed my tastebuds recently: Bowen Island Irish Cream Ale. My first taste of the mild style. I was "mildly: disappointed. It showed promise in the aroma - toffee and honey, but fell apart in the mouth, thin and watery with a little nut and caramel. I was hoping for more. Kamloops Brewery does make some tasty beers for some chain restaurants in the area. The Bowen beers are budget priced at around 7 bucks for 6 cans, so I guess for that price point...

Next came the (in)famous Pacifica Clara from the great beer nation of Mexico. Grupo Modelo makes this, and they also make the loathesome Corona, so I was not expecting much. It was your average pale lager - a bit corny and grainy, a lot of carbonation, light body. Nothing special really, but on a hot day it could work. (rating 1.4)

Pump House Scotch Ale was another single I picked up, but would gladly buy a sixer of this. It was surpringly smokey, but this was a good thing. Flavour was of smoke, caramel malts and peat with similar aroma. Very sessionable and a good effort coming out of Eastern Canada, will look for others from theis Moncton brewer. (rating 3.6)

Next comes a Bohemian Pilsner which in my books seems a little underrated on the beer rating sites. I'm a sucker for classic pilsners, and Krusovice Imperial 12 was drinking like a classic the day I had it. Pleasant hay/grass aromas, bready malts and Saaz-ish flavour and bitterness. A nice fresh (rating 3.4) I rated this one above the benchmark for Czech pils - Pilsner Urquell (rating 3.1). Will end this post there as I could blather on forever... cheers!

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