Wednesday, 12 March 2014

St. Patrick's Day Gluten Free Beers & Ciders in Canada (just Alberta,Really)

So you can't drink beer anymore. Wait wait wait - stop pulling on your hair…what's left of it anyway.

In honour of St. Paddy's Day, Canadian Living has produced a nice (Canadian) article (complete with pictures!) of the top 5 Gluten Free Beers. Gluten Free Beers for St. Patrick's Day

In no particular order - I will list them (close to) alphabetically to avoid any conflict until we get to the reviews and ratings blog post - which should be quite entertaining, I'll tell you!

How about I mark my favourites with an (VG)!

  • Bard's Tale (VG)
  • Glutenberg (Red ale, Pale Ale and Blonde Ale) (VG - not as huge a fan of the red)
  • Green's (Canada doesn't seem to have them all, but… Amber Ale, Dubbel Dark & Trippel Blonde) (VG)
  • La Messagère (There are 4 types, but I have only seen Messagère and Messagère Red Ale. Also brewed Messagère Millet & Messagère aux fruits)
  • Lazy Mutt by Minhas *caution - this brand name is not all Gluten Free
  • New Grist by Lakeside (Pilsner) (VG)
  • New Planet
  • Nickel Brook
  • Harvester Brewing from PDX - haven't tried it yet, but $10 gets you a big bottle at Next Act Pub
I've tasted all of the above.  There's really three categories in my vocabulary - Ok, No, and Again please.

Gluten-Free - Technically (legally must be <20ppm as tested) They do NOT agree with me at all, so sensitive digesters beware!

Beers that MAY be considered gluten free, but have absolutely no goal of obtaining certification

  • Efes. A rice beer from Turkey. Available in a pilsner and a dark. I was getting it from a liquor store by the Husky/Mohawk in Wolf Willow on 170th Street when I was over that way often.

Beers in the USA I have tried!
GREAT reference from Co-op Wines and Spirits on Gluten Free Beers, how they're made, and a section on low gluten beers and why they may not be suitable for those who must avoid gluten.

So! Now we have to taste-test as many as we can get our hands on.  If I've missed any, that are available in Canada, please let me know what it is and where you purchase it from.  If we can locate it in Alberta, we'll add it to the list for our future tasting.

In Edmonton, I zip up Groat Road to Sherbrooke Liquor. They have an EXCELLENT selection of beers, ciders and wines, and all the staff are knowledgeable.

Ciders, I haven't truly researched cider well.  There are definitely some out there with gluten in them, and flavourings, natural or otherwise!! Be warned!  Contact the brewer and find out what you can.

I haven't reacted to these (that I can tell) other than some give me the sulphite sinus and the red face… comes with the genes.

  1. Rock Creek Cider - my favourite
  2. Magner's
  3. Sommersby (flavouring alert! But it's sooo tasty)
  4. Tempt ciders (7,8,9 usually found at Next Act Pub)
  5. Foundry
  6. William's
  7. Sir Perry (I love the tiny bubbles, but it makes me stuffy)
  8. Strongbow (I'm not a fan. Too dry for me and dang it's expensive in the bar!)
Check with the staff at Sherbrook - they really have a large selection.  I have tried one that I just couldn't choke down, very British I was told - I thought it had "corked" it tasted so musty, but apparently, that's how it is. If I remember it, I'll share.

One more link I found that has a few interesting items on it… not Canadian, but a start! Glutenista's gluten free beer & hard cider list

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