I’ve decided to try out a gluten free diet. I wasn’t as sad about losing bread for my eggs, or cereal for my milk, as I was about losing my beloved beer. What will happen to my 100 beers challenge? I reached out to facebook for some comfort from my friends, and they reminded me that, 1: At least I can still drink wine, and 2: gluten free beers exist. Whoa. Gluten free beers sounds a little like yolkless eggs, or blood-free meat– it shouldn’t be possible. But they have lactose free milk, right? Mike and I planned to have a “fancy dining in” night on friday, so it was the perfect time to serve a beautiful gluten free beer. Friday I went on the hunt for it.
Shockingly, Rainbow didn’t have any. Faletti’s didn’t either. Panic. Then I remembered a place near my old house in the Castro: Healthy Spirits.
How have I not come here for my beer challenge before? This place is a specialty beer store with a bajillion labels and a seriously knowledgable staff to help you through them. I was scared to ask if they had any gluten free beers because I imagine it’s rather scoffed at by beer afficionados, much like when you ask for decaf at *certain* cafes (hint: not mine!) “Hi, Sir, I know it’s a bit of an oxymoron, but do you, um, have any, um, gluten free beers?” And his reply? “Oh you bet! We’re trying to get more in since it’s one of the most common questions we get here.” Sweet!
It was incredibly difficult to leave the store without any belgian style tripels (they had so many! so fancy! so pretty! GAH!) I managed to abstain, and instead I came home with this lovely specimen for beer #10: St. Peter’s Sorgham Beer.
It’s made from Sorgham, not wheat or barley. I learned that Sorgham beer is the traditional drink of the Zulu people. And also, Sorgham is used in the local version of Guiness in South Africa. Cool.
So, how can I describe what it tastes like?
Well, first of all it wasn’t as weird as I thought it would be. The flavor is totally beer, which is completely not what I was expecting. But the feeling of it on my tongue? It was a bit like cider. Like a beer flavored cider. The head wasn’t as full as other beers, but that’s ok by me. The flavor was sweet and crisp and clean, maybe a touch tart. It’s not really my kind of beer as it drinks like a pilsner lager and that’s a bit light for my tastes. But still, for a gluten free beer it was really nice. Hope for my list is not lost! That’s the important part. I’ve still got a few gluten free beers waiting for me in the fridge, so, more to come!