Bread to Bread: Gluten Free Lagers

It’s beer o’clock and I’ve got to get this written before the units kick in! I was never a big beer drinker in BC (before coeliac) days, however now I’m a proper grown up I often crave a tipple that doesn’t make my teeth hurt with the sweetness. It did mean that I needed the help of my Gluten Eating Husband to settle the question of ‘which is the best gluten free lager on the market?’ though. Luckily the beer market has improved at the same pace as the bread market and we now have the choice of some great drinks that actually taste of lager!

So after an uncharacteristic Jilly Goolden round of honking, sipping, cleansing palettes with GF crackers, and exclaiming “but can’t you taste the pears?!” (him: “no”) which did we prefer?

Editor’s pick: Estrella Daura
£8.00 for 4 bottles from Ocado 5.4% alcohol. Served with Honest Burgers in Brixton/Soho and La Tasca Tapas across London.
The first widely available gluten free lager that your friends might mistake for the ‘real’ thing is still one of the best. It’s very pale and extremely lightly flavoured compared to the other contenders with little aroma. It tingles rather than fizzes on the tongue. There really was a slight pear aftertaste (honest!) They’ve been putting the price steadily up at Waitrose, but with the whopping unit count it represents a high “lash to cash” ratio – hidden rocket fuel!
GF Nomability: 8/10

The ‘will put hairs on your chest’ award: St Peter’s Gluten Free Lager
£2.90 per (large) bottle from Ocado, 4.2% alcohol. Served at The Jerusalem Tavern in Farringdon
We’re not a blog to mince our words. To be honest, it looks a bit like medicine in it’s tincture bottle; and personally I thought it tasted a bit medicinal too.  The scent was somewhat musty and grapey, and the taste was very savoury and bitter compared to the other two. It didn’t produce much of a head. Not to my taste, nor his. We may be scientific in our approach, but are by no means connoisseurs so this wasn’t our favourite.
GF Nomability: 4/10

His favourite: Celia
£2.30 per bottle from Deli Divine 4.5% alcohol. Served in various venues around London. Check the Celia website for stockists.
Full disclosure: this was not widely available at the time of tasting, so this was kindly given to me by the Celia team to try. The GEH declared this golden-coloured drink a much more flavoursome option than the Daura as it had a more rounded taste and smooth mouthfeel. Definitely a grown-up option – we predict it will go far, despite the slightly cheesy name!
GF Nomability: 8/10

Other favourites:
You mean we should have tried more? This blog would never have been written! Unfortunately my order of Daas Blonde didn’t arrive in time for the competition, but I love it as a faithful, light blonde beer that makes me crave moules frites, plus Abel & Cole bring it with the veggies!  Similarly, Mongozo is served in my favourite Dovetail Belgian Bar in Clerkenwell and is a nice, quaffable pilsner that has the added bonus of being fairtrade.

If you have any other lager recommendations please let us know!

8 responses to “Bread to Bread: Gluten Free Lagers

    • Ah thanks for the tip- I hadn’t heard of that one before! Will have to order. I’m always put off by ordering online a little though as postage can be expensive and they often get shaken around in the post!

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  3. I’ve just discovered Hambleton Ales – they do a Gluten Free Ale (GFA) and Gluten Free Lager (GFL). Available direct or from some posh supermarkets like Booths. I really liked them both – I’ve have just stocked up for Xmas! Whilst I was in the supermarket I also noticed Wold-Top’s ‘Against the Grain’, another gluten free ale. I bought a couple of those to try but haven’t supped yet. Good that the choice is getting wider.

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