I know there is strong local interest in gluten-free beer, so I figured I’d pick a couple locally-available bottles to review. One such example is New Grist from Lakefront Brewery in Wisconsin, a 5.75% ABV beer brewed with sorghum and rice instead of malted barley or wheat.
Pours incredibly light into a pint glass. It might even be lighter and clearer than Bud Light. Coarse looking large bubbles, foam retention respectable.
There is just not a lot in the nose. I get faint sweet apples, apple strudel if I’m being fancy.
It’s interesting, I’ll say that for it. It has flavor, unlike most American macro lagers. It nearly comes across as an apple soda with light tart notes and hints of sweetness on the finish. It has none of the body you would normally associate with a beer brewed with malted barley, which I have to consider a weakness. So thin, in fact, I think A&W Root Beer has more body. This is likely an unavoidable weakness stemming from the use of rice and sorghum in the brewing process, but I still have to ding it a few points.
Even so, it’s not terrible – it just doesn’t feel much like beer. It has more flavor nuance than beers like Bud Light, Miller Light, Coors Light, etc, and unlike those, doesn’t turn nasty when it warms up. I’m sure that if I was intolerant of gluten, I’d get used to drinking this. I could see this pairing well with grilled chicken, fish, vegetables….specifically, I’m thinking of a mixed green salad with a light citrus-y vinaigrette, apples, walnuts and a little blue cheese.
Overall Impression 3.0
Weighted Average 3.18
Beer Advocate 2.71
Ratebeer 2.06/3/7 (I think this rating is a bit unfair)