The Brew Site

Gluten-Free Week: Redbridge

Redbridge is Anheuser-Busch‘s gluten-free beer offering, and, because it’s A-B, is the one that is most widely available. This is an all-sorghum malt beer brewed to the style of an American Amber Lager, and is 4.8% alcohol by volume.

Redbridge was introduced in 2006 and for the past two years brought home the gold at the Great American Beer Festival in the relatively new Gluten-Free category.

Now, I know there will automatically be detractors because this is an Anheuser-Busch product—that sort of thing goes with the “beer geek” territory, after all—but this is definitely a case where you need to forget the company and focus on the beer. A-B has managed something remarkable here: they’ve made a sorghum beer taste almost completely like a barley beer.

No small feat, as I can attest to this week.

Appearance: Honey-brown in color and very clear; thin off-white head fizzed out quickly.

Smell: Very “beer”-y with a sweet note; husky grains and a touch of grass.

Taste: The most mainstream “beer” flavor of all I’ve thus far tried; grainy malt and slightly spicy, mild hops. There’s an undercurrent of cloying, frosting sweetness, similar to the Bard’s Gold—must be an inherent character of sorghum (but there’s no solventy stuff going on here).

Mouthfeel: Crisp, slightly gassy, medium-light bodied. Minerally and a clean finish.

Overall: Very well done in that it’s very close to a barley beer, and quite drinkable.

Would someone with Celiac disease like it? Yes, and the availability and the very good “beer” character will make this a preferred brand.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores an overall grade of C+. On RateBeer, it scores 2.26 out of 5 and is in their 10th percentile. In my opinion, this is a better beer than those scores would indicate.