Educating Students in the 21st Century
Gluten-Free Products (Beers)
We completed our gluten-free experiment last month to some mixed results. I think as a whole, both Heather and I felt healthier during it. It could have been the placebo effect, but I think there is something to be said for reducing gluten intake in your diet. It's in so many places where it isn't needed, adding unnecessary calories.|
Sadly, I don't think it resulted in any significant improvements to my digestive issues though besides inspiring me to try other possible solutions. I'm drinking peppermint tea now at times of high stress and I really think it's helping! Regardless, I wanted to put a summary post up here of some of the great gluten-free products we found during the month.
Our love for great beer proved to be the hardest part about going gluten-free. That, combined with Heather's amazing cooking, resulted in this list of products being composed almost entirely of beers and ciders. Seriously though, if you want to try going gluten-free, the key is to be ready to do a lot of great home cooking. I am blessed to have such an amazing wife and though I did help out a bit, it is thanks to her that I really didn't miss anything (except for maybe some good pizza) on the food side.
Here is a list of the key products I wanted to take the time to highlight.
Glutino Gluten Free Fiber Bread
This is the only food product that I felt deserved to be specifically recognized. While we did have some success with things like gluten-free pasta, they never really lived up to the real thing. This gluten-free bread did an all but indistinguishable job of it though. It comes frozen so it's really only good toasted, but using toasted slices for a BLT or burger really hit the spot.
New Planet Off Grid Pale Ale and St. Peter's Sorgham Beer
When trying to find a gluten-free replacement for a good American pale ale it's slim pickings. Our two favorites were the New Planet Off Grid and St. Peter's Sorgham Beer. Don't get too excited. Both of these beers have a strange off taste to them. It will probably be shocking at first. That said, we were able to get over the initial shock and enjoy drinking them. They will never be as good as the real thing, but if you have no choice I would consider them.
Green's Gluten Free
Green's beers are a product of Belgium and they come in a few Belgian styles. When looking for gluten-free beers that actually taste like the style they are trying to emulate, Green's is a pretty good bet. I think the usage of Belgian yeasts goes a long way in covering up the off flavor present in the other gluten-free beers. While not as wonderful, we definitely tasted a lot of what makes Belgian classics like Duvel shine.
Dogfish Head Tweason'ale
This is one of the few gluten-free beers we had actually tried prior to our experiment. Tweason is a strangely pleasant experience but it honestly tastes more like wine than beer. The fruitiness is very nice and the strawberries are especially apparent if you cook with it. We actually used it as a replacement for white wine in a recipe and were very happy with the results.
McKenzie's Seasonal Reserve Hard Cider
Are you interested in an apple pie-like experience? Try this cider! It's loaded with spices and goes a long way toward bucking the bland hard cider taste that so many brands share. We really liked this one and will probably pick it up again in the future.
We tried a bunch of ciders from Crispin and while many have that standard, almost boring cider taste, there were two standouts. Bird on a Wire is actually a whiskey barrel aged brew that has many of the flavor notes you'd expect from a similarly aged beer. It's great for sipping. Brownslane is my absolute favorite of all of the gluten-free beverages we sampled. It's an English dry cider and it has a wonderful tartness reminiscent of sour ales. I sincerely love this cider. It also helps that it comes in great 500mL cans.
When we started our gluten-free month I tried to research some beer and cider options online. Most posts were either overly positive or overly negative about the prospect of replacing beer on such a diet. Our findings show that if you are into great beers you will definitely be missing things like wonderful IPAs. However, you may uncover some hidden gems that you otherwise wouldn't have tried.