Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Battle Brewing

One of the things Dan misses most on his wheat-free diet is his beloved Newcastle Brown Ale. In the last year since his celiac disease diagnosis, our good beer-swilling friends Mary, Harry and Ellen have been on the alert for wheat-free replacements and turned us on to Ramapo Valley Brewery's Honey Passover beer, which despite its excellent provenance (I am a Rockland County, New York native too!) was disappointingly weak in taste.

Really wanting to like beers from smaller breweries, we also sought out Bard's Tale Golden Dragon Lager, but were unable to find it in our region. We did find a beverage center some miles away which stocked New Grist Beer, a sorghum-based brew. It was a better tasting beer, reminiscent of a weiss beer, and was markedly improved with a slice of lemon in our opinion. A good summer beverage, but not quite the treat Dan was missing.

We then heard about Budweiser's new Red Bridge beer and went to their website to see where it was being sold locally. As of a month ago, there was no information about local distribution, so imagine my surprise when I was at the local grocery store, browsing the gluten-free section and stumbled over a stack. I was actually rooting around vainly seeking out a palatable wheatless cookie and was annoyed that this stack of crates was in my face, when something about that covered bridge logo penetrated my synapses and I gleefully snapped up a six-pack to bring home to my love.

Well, the Big Boys got it right. Red Bridge is a nice, darker ale and I got a lot of kissin' and huggin' for my beer retrieval. It is inexpensive ($7.00 for a six-pack) we don't have to drive more than five miles to obtain it, and it simply tastes the best. Much as Dan and I like to support the microbreweries, this simply won the Battle of the Brews hands down. Maybe Red Bridge will make it to the refrigerated section of our supermarket soon.


Sea said...

How sweet of you to procure the latest GF beer for your DH! I've been looking for it in CA myself, but haven't found it yet. Apparently there's some stupid law in the state that forbids alcohol companies from listing distribution on their web sites- weird, huh? Anyway, I hope to try it soon. The other GF beers just didn't impress, unfortunately...


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Rachel said...

Hope you get some Red Bridge soon on the West Coast. It reminds me of a Killian's Red-type ale.

Now, let's throw down the drinkable brew challenge down to our local micro-breweries. I know there must be cross-contamination issues and all kinds of manufacturing challenges, but if the Bud Boys can do it, the local brew crafters must be able to produce something even better!