It’s available on tap at both their Bend and Portland pubs, and though the website currently lists “Gluten-Free Golden Ale”, it is in fact an ESB (Extra Special Bitter) right now. They make their gluten-free beers with sorghum as the base (of course), and the Golden Ale also included brown rice and roasted chestnuts. The ESB is the fourth version of a gluten-free beer they’ve offered.
The good news with this beer is that it (or something similar) will always be on tap at both pubs, year-round. The bad news is that there are no plans in the immediate future to bottle it.
More good news? It received a really good review (the Portland version) from the “Gluten-Free Gourmand” blog earlier this month:
I took one sip of the beer and thought, “Oh, no! She gave me the wrong beer!” This beer did not taste gluten-free. It only took a few seconds for me to realize that the mistake was mine. I had the right beer, but this new gluten-free beer was even better than the previous one, and by a long shot. It’s a new brew called the Gluten-free Golden ESB, and it may be my new favorite gluten-free beer. It is a bit darker gold in color than their previous GF Golden Ale. It was somewhat less bitter, and also managed to avoid the harsh chemical overtones that sorghum usually lends to a beer. They don’t have it posted on their website yet, but the recipe involved sorghum, molasses and brewer’s gold hops, among other ingredients.
I do have to confess, while I’ve been unable to make it down to the Pub this week to review the beer, I did get a small sampler awhile back out of curiosity. I think it may have been the end of the keg, I don’t remember; but what I do remember is that it was very light, with that sorghum-sweet character I’ve noted this week, and there was a strong plastic aroma to it—not quite solventy, not quite band-aid, but… plastic.
I really need to get back in there and try a proper glass, and with the good review above, I’m looking forward to it.