Against The Grain – Wold Top Yorkshire Brewery

[Against the Grain is Brewed by Wold Top Yorkshire Brewery out of Driffield, England comes their “Against the Grain” a Gluten free ale. (Added by MCB)]

While the bottle only says “ale” this reminds me of an English style pale ale with hops as the back bone but not overwhelming the whole beer.

I know it is a bit of a cop out but this beer smells like beer.  I have no words to describe it beyond “beery” and “beer like”.  That is not a bad thing, though it does not offer much interest either.

Flavour-wise this is a good beer for those getting tired of the hop obsession brewmasters seem to have but don’t want to give up hops entirely.  There are a lot of fresh, piney hop notes over some mild malts for balance.  The flavours are very much defined by the hops with resin, pine and forest flavours dominating with hints of hay and toast coming from the malt.

It is nice to see a hoppy beer that is not determined to kill my taste buds and actually attempts balance instead.


Endeavour Dubbel Dark Ale – Green’s Gluten Free Beers

[From England’s Green’s Gluten Free Beers comes their “Endeavour Dubbel Dark Ale”. (Added by MCB)]

I was not sure what to expect when I opened this bottle, obviously something dark but beyond that I could not tell what this beer would be like.

The beer pours nicely with an almost Guinness-like black colour and a tan head that is very nice to look at.  Green’s Dubbel has a huge nose, it just smell like a beer you should eat with a fork in the best tradition of stouts from the UK and Ireland with loads of chocolate and toffee notes.

Unfortunately the flavour does not live up to the nose.  That’s not to say this is a bad beer, just that the thick aromas coming off of it have very little to do with what the beer tastes like.  With a very thin mouthfeel reminiscent of a lager more than an ale it does have some very interesting notes of plum/prune with a bit of coffee on the finish.  I think if I had not been drawn into expecting a chewy beer by the nose I would have enjoyed this more.  The flavours are balanced and interesting with enough complexity to enjoy but are mild enough that I could drink 3 or 4 of these without feeling overwhelmed.

Not going to be a favourite but I would drink this again if it were placed in front of me.


Mongozo Premium Pilsener – Mongozo B.V.

Gluten Free Beer

From the Netherlands Mongozo B.V. (Brewed at at the Huyghe Brewery) comes their “Mongozo Premium Pilsener” a gluten free, organic and certified fair trade beer.  This gluten-fee beer is unlike other as it still uses barley malts in the brewing process.  They then remove the gluten using an innovative technique that leaves less than 10ppm (parts per million) of gluten.  Being a gluten free beer they also use rice in the brewing process but it is Max Havelaar Fairtrade certified organic rice.  This beer pours a light straw yellow colour with a very small head.  The aroma of this brew is just as any other pilsner with light malts and grassy hops although it does finish with a slight fruity/sweet aroma.  The flavour, like the aroma smells like most pilsners with mild malts and hops but also contains a hint of rice.  The brew also displays a slightly fruity and fairly sweet aftertaste.  The alcohol content of this beer is 5%.  I would rate this Pilsner among my favorite pilsners to date regardless of the gluten free rating.  This is not a style I frequent to often but in the summer this would be a great patio beer for sure!

Commercial Description:  Mongozo Premium Pilsner is a Fairtrade, organic and gluten-fee lager with an alcohol content of 5%.  Mongozo Premium Pilsner is the first lager in the world brewed to combine three unique elements: Max Havelaar Fairtrade, organic and gluten-free in one bottle.  It is also the first fairtrade lager in the world and tastes uncommonly good.  The new beer has a mild, slightly bitter flavour of hops and is easy to drink.  The beer is brewed using only high-grade organic barley malt, organic hops and fairtrade certified-organic rice.

As of February 2013 this beer is available at The Brewery Creek, Viti Wine and Lager, Firefly Fine Wines and Ales and 16th Street Liquor Store in Metro Vancouver or can be ordered directly throught your local BC Liquor Store.


Gluten Free Amber Ale – Green’s Gluten Free Beers

From Englands Green’s Brewing comes the “Gluten Free Amber Ale”.  This beer does not give the nose much to do, there is barely any aroma to it at all, but once you dive into the glass you get a very tasty beer.  Because this is gluten free rice is used as a large chunk of the grain in the beer so you get a very sake-like flavour with interesting malt notes that probably come from the sorghum. Very refreshing but surprisingly heavy, this is a sipper not a beer to drink 6 in one night.

This is not going to be everyone’s favourite, probably not even mine, but if you like sake or want to get take baby steps towards sake this is a nice beer to drink.