New GristSeptember 1, 2006 Milwaukee, WI
Brewery: Lakefront Brewery
Available: CT, RI, NY, PA, VA, NC, FL, TN, OH, GA, IN, MI, IL, WI, MN, IA, CO, NV
New Grist is one of a handful of beers produced for consumers who are sensitive to gluten. Currently, the FDA does not allow any beverage to make a “gluten-free” claim until the government has established a baseline level for gluten. The European standard for gluten is 200 ppm, and the level must be listed on the package. New Grist consistently tests as “below level of detection” for gluten, which is 10 ppm.
Alcohol (wt.): 4.5
Alcohol (vol.): 5.75
Original Gravity: 1054
Final gravity: 1012
Malts used: Malted sorghum and rice
Hops used: Cascade
A pale beer brewed from sorghum and rice for people with a gluten problem who cannot drink conventional beer. Congratulations to Lakefront. The palate is thin with just a hint of light citrus fruit. Some gentle hop bitterness in the finish delivers some last-minute flavor but I wonder whether it might be possible to get more character into this type of beer. Old grist, please.
- Roger Protz
This beer has a short-lived noisy head with smooth aromatics, good color, and well managed flavor factors. Although brewed from sorghum and rice extract, it is every bit as good as most mega-brewed beer, but with one nice advantage: you can actually taste the hops. This could be the beginning of a whole new scene for those who can’t manage regular barley or wheat beers.
- Fred Eckhardt
There are two ways to look at this beer. First, for those who suffer from Celiac Disease and can’t enjoy gluten (including barley, wheat, or rye), New Grist is a godsend for is likeness to “regular” beer. It’s crisp and refreshing, like you would find in a lighter-bodied lager or ale. However, seasoned beer enthusiasts will discover an atypical astringency and tartness, particularly on the latter half of the palate, which may take some getting used to.
- John Hansell
Roger Protz is the author of Complete Guide to World Beer and 300 Beers to Try Before You Die. He is a respected beer authority and editor of the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.
Fred Eckhardt lives, writes about and drinks beer in Portland, OR. He is the author of The Essentials of Beer Style and Saké.
John Hansell is an equal-opportunity drinker. He writes about beer, wine and spirits. He is the creator, publisher & editor of Malt Advocate, a magazine for the whisky enthusiast.
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