I haven’t blogged about gluten free beers in over a year, but I’d venture to say I have noticed a growing trend this year in the brewing and availability of same. And now, Anheuser-Busch is throwing their offering into the gluten free ring: Anheuser-Busch now offering sorghum beer.
Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. on Wednesday introduced Redbridge, which the company called the first nationally available sorghum beer. Starting Wednesday, Redbridge is available in restaurants and stores carrying organic products.
Sorghum is the primary ingredient in the beer from the makers of the nation’s top-selling full-calorie and light beers, Budweiser and Bud Light. Sorghum is a safe grain for those with wheat allergies. Anheuser-Busch is also marketing the beer as an alternative for those who choose wheat-free or gluten-free diets.
Truth be told, I’m a bit surprised by this news; this is still a fairly specialized area of brewing that I would have thought A-B would have been slow to move on. The only breweries I know of that brew gluten free beers also get mentioned in the article: Bard’s Tale Beer Company, Ramapo Valley Brewing, and Lakefront Brewery. (There are others; postscript later.)
A-B’s full press release is here; according to that, Redbridge is a 4.8% alcohol lager, brewed with Cascade and Hallertauer hops. Since it’s from Anheuser-Busch, I would imagine that there will be a much wider distribution (national, but in specialized stores) than other specialized microbreweries can manage—which means suddenly, a lot more people will be exposed to alternative-grain gluten free beer. Hopefully this can only be a good thing—but let’s wait and see how good the beer actually is.