Archive for the 'Lakefront' category
That time of the month has rolled around again, folks – the time when the nice folks at the Beer of the Month Club bless us with another 12-pack of goodness. This month we have a variety of styles and a variety of breweries, though skewed slightly towards the darker brews. Personally, I’m about ready for the season of lighter beers. However, it’s still pretty chilly around here – it even snowed a bit in NC – so I’ll let this pass as another seasonal shipment of darker cold-weather brews. But you can bet I’m jumping on the lightest of the month’s offerings tonight…
The only stuff I’ve ever had from Lakefront is their “New Grist” gluten-free beer. I personally have no problem with the gluten, but I am a friend and a relative of a few celiacs, so I understand their plight, and I’ve always lauded Lakefront for offering a tasty brew for those folks. Tonight, I’m happy to try one of their ‘glutenful’ offerings.
This white ale pours a very light golden color that is quite whitish with its dense debris and bright white fluffy head. The aroma of this is super yeasty with a pretty heavy light malt component and maybe just a smidgen of citrus. In the mouth, my initial reaction is “Whoah! That’s a lot of yeast!” – the smell and flavor of this is reminiscent of popping a vial of liquid brewer’s yeast and taking a big whiff. As this goes through the mouth, the yeast never backs down, but it is met by a lot of malt and some rather miniscule citrus zest flavors. This one is basically a Belgian witbier turned up to 11. The especially characteristic flavors of a Belgian wit (read – yeast) pops in a big way, and the lighter characteristics of spice and sweetness are also there. Frankly, I think the yeast overpowers the beer to a level that the other flavors are overly diminished. However, I did pour this as a FULL beer, including the yeast sediment, as that’s usually what I’m apt to do. I have a feeling that, if this was poured a bit more gingerly, you could diminish the yeastiness and end up with a well-rounded white. Altogether, it’s a decent beer, but I wish I had another one so I could test it with a gentler pour.
Recently, a friend of SevenPack was diagnosed with Celiac disease. This, for those of you who don’t know, is a disease that renders the person unable to ingest anything with wheat gluten. If this doesn’t sound rough to you, then you don’t realize that wheat gluten is in almost everything that hits your plate. Okay, I’m not being totally fair, Celiacs can eat any meat or veggie. However, it happens that almost all breads, sauces, marinades, pastas, cereals, desserts, and (sadly) beer contain wheat gluten. This makes it very difficult to eat out, and it quickly makes the Celiac an expert on cooking at home and knowing ingredients of various foods. Again, worst of all, it means that it’s difficult for the Celiac to drink, as the very nature of beer means that it contains wheat gluten. Fortunately, Celiac disease is beginning to gain a higher profile in the US and abroad (especially in the UK, where there is a higher percentage of Celiacs). Thus, we are beginning to see more restaurants offering gluten-free menus, more packaged foods at least acknowledging whether they are or are not gluten-free, and (best of all) more brewers brewing gluten-free versions of beer. I know a fair bit about Celiac disease, as it actually runs in my family. Fortunately, however, I have tested negative for the disease – if it had been otherwise, then this blog would contain about 3 entries instead of almost 500. Nevertheless, due to the situation that our friend, Jamie, now finds herself, we deem it necessary to delve into the world of gluten-free beer so that, if nothing else, we’ll know what she’s drinkin’.
The New Grist pours a light and clear orange-yellow color. There isn’t any head to speak of, and the carbonation is much less dense than most beers. Rather, the bubbles are large and almost soda-like. I’d wager that this is a result of the modified carbonation process as this must either be naturally carbonated via the yeast’s reaction with sorghum and rice (instead of traditional grains) or artificially carbonated via direct CO2 injection. The aroma of this isn’t terribly pungent or terribly definable. It’s quite generic with a light sweetness, almost reminiscent of a ginger ale, only with a subdued sugary note. In the mouth, this initially tastes quite smooth and doesn’t have any major bite. Across the tongue, some light sweetness develops that then blends into a slightly herbal note that reminds me slightly of a cold green tea. There is also a slight CO2 flavor that I’m picking up, which makes me believe that this probably is artificially carbonated. All in all, it’s not bad. It’s easy-drinking and quite refreshing and would probably make a good session beer, depending on the ABV, which isn’t listed. I’ve had much worse beer than this, and I would definitely choose this over any of the major domestic brews. It’s obviously a bit neutered when compared to more adventurous normal brews, but it does taste smooth and refreshing and well-balanced – much better than I expected, to be honest.