Celiac.com 11/16/2012 - Many of the increasing number of folks who suffer from celiac disease and/or gluten-intolerance also happen to love beer. So, what to do? For those who are loathe to give up on one of their favorite beverages, there are a number of delicious, gluten-free alternatives that will help to keep the smiles coming. For those who prefer cider over beer, we've also included a list of some mighty tasty, gluten-free ciders to warm you on the dark nights ahead.

Here is a partial list of gluten-free beers and ciders that will take even the most discerning gluten-free beer drinker through the holiday season and beyond:

Gluten-free Beers

Photo: CC--sanbeijiHarvester Brewing Dark Ale
Harvester Brewing is a dedicated gluten-free brewery founded by James Neumeister in 2011, after his wife was diagnosed with celiac disease. Harvester's website says that every beer that they make is gluten-free, and "made in our brewery where no gluten containing items are allowed through the door." In place of wheat and/or barley, Neumeister uses chestnuts, which he roasts and brews specifically for each product Harvester makes.

Harvester's Dark Ale uses a very dark, near espresso-like, roasted chestnuts, which yields a brew that has hints of chocolate, coffee, dark fruits, and a rich chestnut finish.

Brunehaut Bio Amber
Brunehaut's hefty, certified-organic amber ale uses de-glutenized barley to produce a rich, copper colored brew with a beige head, and notes of caramel and fresh bread with hoppy accents of pine and citrus, along with hints of vanilla, toffee, butterscotch and ripe fruit. Alcohol is 6.5% by volume.

Estrella Damm Daura
In 2011, Estrella Damm's gluten-free Daura fended off entries from all over the globe to win Gold Medals at the World Beer Championships and the International Beer Challenge, and won the World’s Best Gluten-free Lager Award at the World Beer Awards.

Gluten-free beer drinkers consistently report that Daura is one of the best beers they have tasted. The beer has limited distribution in the US, and, for many gluten-free beer drinkers, finding it can be like finding the Holy Chalice. Here's a handy link to help you find Estrella Damm Daura in your area.

Green’s Quest Gluten Free Tripel Blonde Ale
For those who prefer Trappist style ales, but can't have the traditional malted barley, the folks at Green's use millet, sorghum, buckwheat, and rice, to brew a refermented tripel blonde ale that offers an herby, yeasty aroma, with hints of pear and apple, spice, and flavors of candied fruit. Alcohol is 8.5% by volume.

Green's Endeavour Dubbel Ale
Green's Endeavour is brewed in the classic dubbel fashion. The result is a brew that offers hints of dark-sugar and toffee flavor with a traditional Belgian yeast bouquet. Alcohol is 7.0% by volume.

Green’s Discovery Amber Ale
Green’s Discovery is a medium-bodied amber ale with subtle caramel and nut flavors, and a refined, herbal hop bouquet and finish. Alcohol is 6.0% by volume.

Since 2004, Green's beers have been brewed in Lochristi, Belgium at the highly-regarded DeProef Brewery. Inspired by tasty, full-bodied European beers and developed to a closely guarded secret recipe, these strong beers offer a crisp taste and a refreshing flavor, while eliminating allergens. Because they are bottle-conditioned with genuine Belgian yeast, all of Green's Beers have a full five-year shelf life.

According to Green's website, the characteristic tastes and aromas of their beers result from the specially selected de-glutenised barley malt and hop varieties and are brewed to age old recipes.

New Planet Tread Lightly Ale
For their gluten-free Tread Lightly Ale, New Planet uses sorghum, corn extract, orange peel, hops, and yeast to brew a refreshing, light bodied beer without the aftertaste of many sorghum-based beers.

New Planet Off Grid Pale Ale
For their Gluten-free Off Grid Pale Ale, New Planet uses sorghum and brown rice extract, molasses, tapioca maltodextrin, caramel color, hops, and yeast to produce a classically styled pale ale with a distinctly deep amber color and great character and body. Three varieties of hops impart a delightful citrus aroma and a spicy hop flavor.

Omission Gluten-Free Lager,
Omission uses aromatic hops to brew a refreshing and crisp beer in the traditional lager style. Alcohol is 4.6% by volume.

Omission Gluten-Free Pale AleBold and hoppy, Omission Pale Ale is a hop-forward American Pale Ale, brewed to showcase the Cascade hop profile. Amber in color, Omission Pale Ale’s floral aroma is complimented by caramel malt body. Alcohol is 5.8% by volume.

Their website states that, before shipping, Omission tests gluten levels in every batch both at the brewery, and at an independent lab, using the R5 Competitive ELISA gluten test, to ensure that the beers measure well below the Codex gluten-free standard of 20 ppm or less.

Sprecher Shakparo Ale
Sprecher's gluten free Shakparo Ale is a West African Shakparo-style beer brewed from sorghum and millet. An unfiltered, light, crisp ale with a cider or fruit highlights and a dry aftertaste.

For the more adventurous, Sprecher also brews Mbege Ale, which is an unfiltered ale brewed with bananas, yes, bananas, in the African style. Light hints of banana remain present in the aroma and flavor of this unique offering.

Steadfast Sorghum Pale Ale
Steadfast brewery uses Cascade-and Columbus hops and White sorghum syrup and molasses to brew their golden amber, Indian/American-style Steadfast Sorghum Pale Ale. Alcohol is 6.8% by volume.

Gluten-free Ciders

Crispin Browns Lane
Browns Lane by Crispin is a lightly sparking, crisply effervescent cider made with traditional English bittersweet cider apples sourced in the Malvern Hills of Worcestershire.

The result is a rich cider with a dark straw color, and an aroma that evokes an almost traditional farmhouse cider bouquet. Soft, subtle natural apple sweetness up front, with a slightly dry, woody, lingering finish.

Crispin Original Cider
Crispin Super Premium Hard Apple Cider is naturally fermented using fresh pressed apple-juice, not apple-juice concentrate, from a premium blend of US West Coast apples, with no added malt, grape-wine, or spirit alcohol. The crisp flavor of Crispin is polished with pure apple juice, with no added sugar, colorants or sorbate or benzoate preservatives and cold filtered for crisp refreshment.

Strongbow Cider
Strongbow uses a traditional English recipe to brew a crisp, refreshing premium cider.

Magners Cider
Magners uses 17 varieties of apples and ferments their cider up to two years to deliver a full-bodied, well-rounded traditional cider.

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