Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Lakefront Brewery New Grist Beer

Typically, beer is brewed with four ingredients: malt, hops, water and yeast.  Then, there is the Reinheitsgetbot, the Bavarian purity law,  that limited beer making to those four ingredients.  The problem for some, is that one of those ingredients -- the malt -- makes all of those beers off-limit.  The malt is typically barley or wheat, which creates an issue for those who suffer from Celiacs Disease.

The good thing about the American craft beer movement is that the innovation and ingenuity knows little to no bounds.  To serve those who suffer from disease, craft brewers have begun making gluten-free beers, substituting high-gluten grains with ingredients like sorghum, rice, corn and buckwheat.

Recently, I purchased a six-pack of Lakefront Brewery's New Grist Beer.  I bought it partly because I wanted a Wisconsin craft beer for my Super Bowl Party and partly because I was intrigued with the idea of a gluten free beer.  Until the New Grist, I had never tried such a beer.

Gluten-free beers are completely different than regular beers.  This is something that I think escapes most people when they review the beer.  I've read reviews and, for the most part, they tend to be a little negative.  Raters give the beer a C or a D, instead of an A or B, arguing that, while the beer is very drinkable, it just lacks something.  So, I went into drinking this beer with a completely open mind, recognizing that this beer is brewed using different ingredients in an effort to open the craft beer movement to people who ordinarily cannot enjoy beer. 

The beer pours like a very light beer, with a lot of fizzy carbonation that quickly dissipates.  The nose of the beer is very subtle, reminiscent of club soda.  Maybe some light apple or other fruit.  The taste of the beer is different from a beer made with traditional ingredients.  The beer has flavors of a light cider or pears.  It is definitely a different drinking experience, but that is what I expected.  I really like the beer and would recommend it for those who want to try something different.

Obviously, when it comes to pairing this beer with food, all foods with gluten are literally and figuratively off the table.  The crispness of this beer makes it a good pairing with spicy foods, chili or barbecue.   I served this beer with the Mini-Open Faced Ribeye Sandwiches and the Hot Wings

The beer is about $8.99 a six pack and is available at most beer stores that have a large craft beer selection.  I found this six pack at Corridor Wine in Laurel, Maryland.


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