The first few days after being positively diagnosed with celiac disease are often an emotional mourning period for the lost pleasures of one’s favorite foods. Here in Philadelphia, it was a sad and difficult experience. Farewell, fresh-baked soft pretzels. I’ll miss you, delicious pizzaria pizza. Perhaps worst of all for me personally, beer… beloved beer, how could I live without you? Sure, there were a handful of gluten-free beers available back then. They were expensive and nearly impossible to obtain in our area, and the tastes were extreme for the typical beer drinker. So when a friend at a local beverage distributor announced that Anheuser-Busch was developing a mass-market, gluten-free lager brewed with sorghum instead of malt, we were skeptical but also thrilled at the possibilities.
Well, that was four years ago and Anheuser-Busch Redbridge Beer turned out to be a reality; we can easily pick up a case at our local beverage distributor. The taste, while different than our former favorite beers, is wonderful. For once, I am thankful for celiac disease, because otherwise we wouldn’t have discovered this delicious “alternative” beer.
Everyone’s palate is unique. I, personally, was not fond of mass-market American beers and preferred craft brews or imported lagers and ales with more body and a gentle flavor. I found Redbridge Beer to be a smooth, floral delight, less harsh than other GF brews I’d previously tasted, yet still noticeably hoppy with a satisfying body. The head seems crisper and not as long-lasting as a malt brew. If typical American light beers were your fare, you mayfind Redbridge Beer to be a bit heavy and flavorful for your casual drinking, so instead, try it as an ingredient in beef stew or in a beer batter recipe. One taster remarked that, after having experienced the unique taste of this sorghum lager, his regionally brewed, mainstream lager “tasted like burned water!” We now heartily recommend Redbridge Beer to anyone we meet that’s been recently diagnosed and is still in mourning for their lost brew.