WDEL Blog: Rick Jensen's World Famous Thirsty Thursday Blog
Friday, January 10, 2014
Gluten Free Beer and a Pregnant TT Member! What?!
Big news hit the airwaves this week on Thirsty Thursday with the announcement that I, Thirsty Friend Sabrina, am expecting my first child! Good news, and bad, as the drinking of beer and all things alcoholic for that matter, has been suspended for the not near enough future. However, this life change allows us to appeal to our Non-Alcohol drinking Thirsty friends (why do you like this show?) as we begin to delve into the world of "near beers". Stay tuned next week for the first of many beers that are sure to confuse, baffle and tantilize our taste buds.
From one life change to another, we visited the world of anti-glutanite, Thirsty Friend Gina. Gina was diagnosed with Celiac disease (the allergy to all things gluten)in August of 2012. She has had to give up many yummy things and modify her lifestyle to reflect this new dietary restriction, but luckily brewers have become hip to this anti-gluten jive and have developed tasty beers to help those like Gina enjoy a cold one with friends.
We tried one gluten free beer on the show (well, I smelled it... so deeply I got some on my nose) and would have tried more, but Thirsty Friend Gene (Gina's husband) left New Planet's Raspberry Wheat in the fridge. He undoubtedly slept on the couch last night.
So, we tried New Planet Brewing Company's Belgian Ale that uses Sorghum, Brown Rice Extract, Honey, Orange Peel, Cinnamon Powder, Vanilla Extract, Hops & Yeast. Gina smells Styrofoam on the nose. I got a light citrus scent. The mouth feel is light and has the consistency of a cheap sparkling wine. There is also no head. After polling brewers I learned that this is because what causes head on a beer is proteins from the barley. Gluten free beers use 0% barley, hence the lack of head (thank you, Geoff Wenzel of Keegan Ales in Kingston, NY). Gina and Laurie agreed that the spices are missing from the flavor. I felt that I could smell vanilla, but the ladies said that it did not come through on the mouth.
The Thirsty crew was not a fan of New Planet's Belgian Ale, but Gina does recommend DogFish Head's Tweason'ale and Daura Estrella. Links are below.
Gene's Wicked Ale Trivia
Q: In 1962 Iron City Beer was chosen to be the test brand for a new beer-can technology that would become a standard of most beer companies by 1970. What was that new beer-can technology?
A. The tab opening.
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