July 2, 2013 by 250 Beers
One of Mrs 250 Beers sisters suffers from coeliacs disease. This means that her body cannot cope with gliadin which is a prolamin which is a gluten protein which is found in wheat. I think I got that right. Anyway, I’m not a doctor but I know that she adheres to a gluten-free diet.
A few weeks ago said sister-in-law paid us a visit. It should be noted that upon entering 250 Beers HQ, it’s really not that hard to determine that a beer lover lives there. After all, there’s an array of empty beer bottles on display, beer literature hanging around and beer related glassware for all to see.
After seeing that my obsession with good beer was starting to spiral out of control (the hoarding of empty bottles from every unique beer consumption was a big give away), we started to talk beer. In fact, if I recall correctly, just the mention of it lead me to crack a beer open. I can’t remember exactly what beer it was but I’m fairly certain it was a brew from Holgate Brewhouse. I offered her a taste. As soon as I’d uttered the words, she thought I was rubbing in the fact that she was a coeliac. Whoops. Yes, I do often tease her (in a nice way) but I wasn’t dicking around at that point.
That minor event kick-started me thinking about gluten-free products. Gluten-free beer to be precise. I decided to road test three of the most common gluten-free beers. By ‘common’ I mean the easiest to obtain here in Brisbane.
I figured that not only would I be providing a service to all coeliacs and those with a gluten intolerance, but I’d also be doing myself a favour by trying three new/unique beers…this meant three new empty bottles for the collection and three unique check-ins on Untappd.
The beers in question are from the O’Brien gluten-free range – brewed at the Rebellion Brewery, Ballarat, Victoria and are all available in Dan Murphy’s. The range of O’Brien beers is larger than three varieties if you live in the southern states of Australia.
First to be road-tested was the Light Lager. At just 2.7% it didn’t set my heart racing. If you suffer from coeliacs, it won’t set your entire insides racing. Which is a good thing, right? For me, it lacked a lot. It didn’t really taste of anything. It’s drinkable though…but then so is water.
Next up was the Pale Ale (4.5%). I didn’t mind this one. In fact, this was just about my pick of the three beers. It’s a very pleasant pale ale with a decent sessionable quality about it. Very tasty. I’d drink this one again for sure.
Lastly, was the Premium Lager (4.5%). I enjoyed this one too but I felt the maltiness to it didn’t suit the term ‘lager’ if that makes sense? It was tasty but I’d get bored after a couple of bottles. It was ok but didn’t quite out-strip the Pale Ale in goodness.
I’m not sure if gluten-free products tend to cost a bit more than normal produce? However, these beers aren’t any more expensive than other beers which is good news. It’s how it should be.
I’m privileged to not have to watch every mouthful that I swallow and I’m lucky enough to be able to drink whatever beer I want to. These O’Brien beers give those reliant on gluten-free products a real escape into beer. There IS a resource of beer if gluten isn’t your thing.