When I was first diagnosed with coeliac disease my biggest concern was not being able to drink lager, luckily I soon discovered that Gluten Free Beer did exist! As time has gone on I’ve discovered more and more, not just independent craft types, but a lot of the big boy breweries have their own Gluten Free Beer as well.
So I thought I’d start writing very lazy and short reviews as I work my way through them…
I first encountered this on a trip to Seville visiting some good friends who had been travelling round Europe in their camper van, todler and loyal dog in tow!
Slightly sharp taste. Not the nicest GF lager I have had in Spain but perfectly drinkable. 4.8% – not a bad afternoon beer in the sun. But wouldn’t be my go to Cerveza. 7/10
Probably my favourite Spanish sin gluten Cerveza. And amazingly it is Wetherspoon’s sin gluten of choice. Which is a shame. Smooth, light… but strong at 5.5%. Having tried quite a few now, it remains my favourite. 9/10
Belgian Premium Pilsner – M&S
Marks and Sparks Gluten Free lager option and possibly a contender for my favourite along with Galicia. It’s light, crispy but strong and flavoursome. 8/10
Mongozo (Regular and White)
My parents brought me back the regular Mongozo Pilsner from a booze cruise in France and said it was about all they had. Funnily enough I then found it on a recent trip to Amsterdam, where they were pretty unforgiving about gluten free beer. I was told to “just have a glass of water” in one bar. Cheeky prick. Anyway, it’s a nice enough beer… the white one is particularly crisp and light. Nothing special though. 6/10
JADE – Gluten Free Beer
This was another one my parents brought back from France and I only had one. It was so long ago I can’t remember fuck all about it, but it wasn’t horrible so will give it a 6/10
Greens Glorious Pilsner
Bit of a regular one for me this as it’s always in Sainsbury’s. It’s nice, quite strong in taste and hoppy for a lager but really lovely. 8/10
Another one of my favourites and one I drink most regularly probably. It’s the one pubs seem to stock when they do have a GF one and it basically tastes exactly the same as normal Peroni. ABV: 5.1% – 8/10
Celia Premium Czech Lager
A really nice light crisp organic, Pilsner , usually found in Waitrose but I have seen it elsewhere. Another favourite of mine and probably in my Top 5 just because of it’s ease to drink (aren’t they all!) and how light and refreshing it is. ABV: 4.6% – 8/10
Gluten Free Beer Box
by Beer Hawk
When the Covid-19 lock down started in March 2020 I thought I’d better find a way to stock up on gluten free beer. So I looked some up on Beer Hawk and found that they did a “selection box.” 12 Gluten Free beers, ales and lagers. Perfect. I then set about a. drinking them. b. putting short reviews on Instagram.
1. Brewdog – Vagabond
My thoughts on Brewdog are well known, but unfortunately their Gluten Free offering, Vagabond is quite often the GF choice in pubs in London, particularly the “craftier” types. So I’ve been forced to drink it on occasion. It’s not undrinkable to me, like a lot of Brewdog beers were before I was diagnosed, but I try to avoid it if I can. A heavy-ish, hoppy lager that I just don’t enjoy. 4/10
2. Wold Top – Against The Grain
I wrongly was not expecting to enjoy this one. Against The Grain from the Yorkshire brewery, Wold Top. It has apparently been declared the most beer like of all gluten free beers in taste tests. Which is of course a good thing, but I thought that might perhaps mean quite a heavy, hoppy, craft type beer that I so detest. In fact it was more of a lager malt, lighter than expected. Dry and crisp. I really enjoyed it. 7.5/10
3. Bellfield’s Bohemian Pilsner
This was one of my favourites before I even got the Beer Hawk box as it was served in my favourite local in South East London, but that was the only place I had ever seen it so I was delighted to see it featured in this selection! From Bellfield Brewery, an exclusively gluten free brewery set up by two coeliac brothers, their pilsner has one numerous awards and I can undersand why. Described as a “noble classic Czech pilsner”, it is pale and light, which is right up my street. They describe it having slight background bitterness and gentle floral tones from the finest Saaz hops which leads to a soft refreshing finish. 8.5/10
4. Fantasma – IPA
Fantasma Gluten Free IPA from @magicrockbrewing is another one that I had tried before as it’s the GF craft beer of choice in any trendy hipster pub and it is drinkable! You can also find it M&S and probably some other supermarkets. It wouldn’t be my first choice but it’s crisp, quite floral and hoppy. 6/10.
5. Satzuma – Thornbridge Brewery
The Satzuma from @thornbridge was the 7th out of the box (I drank them all in one day) so I don’t remember much about it as I was drunk & consumed it in bed. But it was nice & I assume had a hint of satsuma and plenty of overiding citrus tones. 6.5 / 10