If you’re gluten-intolerant, you know how tough it can be to find some of your favorite foods, and if you’re a beer drinker, that challenge gets even trickier. Traditional beers are commonly brewed with wheat and barley, which contain gluten, but gluten-free beers replace those ingredients with everything from sorghum to millet. And how do they taste? The flavor of gluten-free beers doesn’t quite compare to the real thing (though that’s sure to change), but we recently sampled an array of options and found five worth giving a shot.
Bard’s Tale Original Sorghum Malt Beer
Utica, NY // 4.6 ABV
Brewed with malted sorghum, this amber-hued American lager opens with light floral aromatics that shift into slightly sweet flavors, a bit of maltiness and a hint of hop bitterness on the finish.
Barcelona, Spain // 5.4% ABV
Estrella Daura tastes like a traditional barley-brewed beer, and that’s because it is. So how is it gluten-free? Through a proprietary production process they’re able to strip the gluten from the beer down to 0.000006%, making for a Euro-style lager complete with notes of toasted malts, a citrusy snap and lively effervescence.
Green’s Endeavour Gluten-Free Dubbel Ale
Lochristi, Belgium // 7% ABV
This bottle-conditioned beer is slightly sweet with notes of brown sugar, dried fruits and a touch of toast and yeasty spice on the finish.
New Planet Off Grid Pale Ale
Ft. Collins, CO // 5% ABV
Brewed with sorghum, brown rice extract and molasses, this pale ale is a tad sweet, but with a slight hop bitterness and a touch of toastiness on the finish to help balance things out. Plus, New Planet donates a portion of their proceeds to alternative energy programs.
Milwaukee, WI // 5.7% ABV
Brewed in the “shakparo” style popular to West Africa (where wheat is limited but sorghum and millet grow with abandon), this unfiltered brew has a mead-like aroma, bright tangy fruit flavors and a brisk, clean finish. It’s a unique option for gluten-sensitive fans of lambics.