Even before I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease I rarely drank beer. I drank it because it was cheap (often free) and generally available in large quantities. Afterward I did and continue to miss the inexpensiveness, but I don’t have to miss beer.
I found these two beers at Ward’s here in Gainesville, and am told they are two of the most commonly found gluten-free beers in the country. Redbridge is actually made by Anheuser Busch and can be found at most regular grocery stores. I’ve seen it on sale at Publix for $6.99, so keep a lookout. More importantly, both of them taste the way I remember decent beer tasting, with Bard’s being the ideal. Pick up a 6-pack of one of these before the next party and you’ll never have to play beer pong with wine again (or ever, for that matter. Seriously, don’t do that.)
One GF beer I would not recommend getting is New Grist, a sorghum beer from Lakefront Brewery. About three months after I was diagnosed I went to Chicago, where a friend took me to a bar that served New Grist. I was so excited to be able to drink beer at a bar again that I relished it, truly enjoying every sip. Then I had it again on my birthday last year and realized that it really is terrible. My friends agreed, and they drink PBR for goodness sake.
But really, the best thing to come out of my search for a good gluten-free beer isn’t beer at all. On draft or by the bottle, my favorite beer-substitute has to be cider. And I’m not talking about the hot, syrupy-sweet kind you can get samples of at Fresh Market Woodchuck Amber is most preferred and most common (I prefer the nearly-as-common Woodchuck Pear), but the best has to be this:
I pick up Fox Barrel Black Currant at Ward’s, and it’s also available at a pretty sweet bar here in town called Stubbie’s, but I’m not sure how common it is elsewhere. It is, however, available online. I don’t even really know what a black currant is. I’m pretty sure it’s like a cherry. Whatever it is, it makes delicious cider. Which brings up another question: Can cider be cider if it’s not made of apples?
All of these beverages have one thing in common: they say “gluten-free” right on the bottle/package. That’s not something I can guarantee for other potent potables, but we’ll get to that later on.
Here’s to quelling those beer cravings.