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September 25, 2023

Australia’s Gluten Free Beers:

An Honest Review

With a rising number of Australians going gluten free, tasty food and beverage options has become essential. Restaurants have stepped up with food offerings, but beer? That’s a different story.

Enter the modern gluten free brewers — the unsung heroes reshaping the beer narrative. Using alternative grains, they are introducing unique and fresh flavour profiles. While these beers might be different for the seasoned beer enthusiast, they provide relief and optimism to those who’ve had to reluctantly set aside traditional beers for health requirements.

Considering the significance of the beer industry, it’s about time there’s something for everyone.

So, we rallied three team members with different gluten approaches in their diet for a blind tasting review. For science, of course. Be warned, no easy 10/10s here as that signifies absolute perfection; every point is earned.

Remember, it’s all in good fun and just our two cents! We hope you’ll be inspired to try these gluten free beers, enjoy responsibly, and chime in with your thoughts on our Instagram post below.

Our Beer Tasting Judges

  1. The Strictly Gluten Free: Medically diagnosed and adheres to a strict gluten free diet. Enjoys a quality gluten free beer when the mood strikes.
  2. The Gluten Minimalist: They limit gluten intake due to its adversarial effects, yet might brave the occasional symptom for a truly tempting gluten-packed beer.
  3. The Gluten Lover: No gluten issues here. They’re all about the beer — a genuine aficionado (and harsh critic!).

The Battle of the Gluten Free Brews

1. Two Bays XPA

Two Bays emphasises this XPA’s dominant hops, positioning it between their Pale Ale and IPA. With Coeliac Australia’s endorsement, it stands out.

Cost: $90 per case

ABV: 5%

Gluten Free

7/10

Describe in three words: Tart, Sweet, Heavy.

Drink again?: On the right occasion, perhaps.

While it presents as a refreshing, light yellow beer, the initial taste is sour but with a pleasantly surprising sweet aftertaste. It feels somewhat heavy and has an IPA-like character.

Gluten Minimalist

5/10

Describe in three words:
Fruity, Bitter, Unique.

Drink again?: When feeling adventerous.

It holds a certain sweetness in the aroma but the aftertaste is quite strong. Honestly, I don’t think it’s for everyone but definitely for people who like a kick in their beer.

Gluten Lover

4/10

Describe in three words: Crafty, Distinct, Rich.

Drink again?: Hm, maybe as a change of pace.

It feels like an adventurous, crafty concoction, blending a distinct bitterness with a slightly watery aftertaste. While it might not top the favourites list, it offers a unique take on the beer experience.

2. O’Brien Pale Ale

O’Brien’s Pale Ale boasts a unique blend of hops like Galaxy, Cascade, Citra, and Magnum, delivering a delicate balance of tropical fruitiness with slight sweetness.

Cost: $68 per case

ABV: 4.5%

Gluten Free

6/10

Describe in three words: Woody, Caramel, Nostalgic.

Drink again?: When in the mood for something familiar.

This amber-ish, light beer has an approachable appearance and brings back memories of my student days. While it’s got a faint aroma and a unique taste with mild caramel notes, it’s a fresh approach to the pale ale I remember.

Gluten Minimalist

5/10

Describe in three words:
Surprising, Smooth, Familiar.

Drink again?: Maybe, but not my first choice.

An unexpected aroma that gradually settles into a familiar taste, reminding me of some mainstream beers I’ve had.

Gluten Lover

3/10

Describe in three words:
Effervescent, Subtle, Quenching.

Drink again?: Only if offered.

A subtle take that hints at classic beer notes. It reminds me of a lighter international brews. It’s subdued flavour offers a refreshing drink akin to beer-infused sparkling beverages.

3. Hahn SuperDry Gluten Free

According to Hahns, this beer has been crafted over five years, and is a low-carb lager brewed with rice for a clean, crisp taste. Completely free from gluten-containing ingredients, it’s endorsed by Coeliac Australia, making it a prime choice for the gluten free community.

Cost: $52 per case

ABV: 4.2%

Gluten Free

5/10

Describe in three words: Refreshing, Mild, Shandy-esque.

Drink again?: When seeking something easy-going.

It’s a clear, straightforward beer that brings a mellow touch to the taste buds. Though not as strong in flavour as others, it’s easy to drink and reminds one of a casual summer drink.

Gluten Minimalist

6/10

Describe in three words:
Fruity, Unusual, Smooth.

Drink again?: Maybe on a lighter day.

While it might seem like a beer at first, it had a surprising fizzy apple juice feel to it. It’s a refreshing blend (maybe a bit on the watery side) that’s a decent choice for anyone looking for an easy beer experience.

Gluten Lover

4/10

Describe in three words:
Subdued, Woody, Straightforward.

Drink again?: No.

A beer that offers a straightforward experience, with a hint of hoppy flavour and a soft aftertaste. It could be a bit boring but good for those moments when you just want a simple beer, perhaps with a slice of lemon.

4. Two Bays Pale Ale

According to Two Bays, this pale ale is an easy-drinking American hopped beer with subtle, but beautiful citrus aromas. It’s also endorsed by Coeliac Australia.

Cost: $85 per case

ABV: 4.5%

Gluten Free

9/10

Describe in three words: Refreshing, Crisp, Summery.

Drink again?: Absolutely.

Its inviting blend of hops and citrus delivers a perfect balance for those warm days. It’s a refreshing reminder of traditional beers, being not just a good gluten free beer, but a commendable pale ale in itself.

Gluten Minimalist

8/10

Describe in three words:
Citrusy, Robust, Crafty.

Drink again?: Certainly, especially if opting for gluten free.

This beer is crafty in aroma, with a prominent citrusy flavour, and leaves a lasting impression. Almost reminiscent of some favourite craft beers.

Gluten Lover

6/10

Describe in three words:
Hoppy, Citrusy, Robust.

Drink again?: Yes.

A brew that starts strong and finishes with a fruity aftertaste. It’s like a crafty pale ale or a heavy IPA, reminding one of a homemade brew.

5. Wilde Pale Ale

Wilde declares this pale ale as an easy-drinking beer with tropical fruit flavours. It is made from ancient grains using gluten free sorghum instead of wheat or barley to create a mid-strength beer.

Cost: $69 per case

ABV: 3.5%

Gluten Free

7/10

Describe in three words: Herbal, Citrusy, Smooth.

Drink again?: Yep!

Its cloudy amber colour and blend of herbs and fruits offer a well-rounded beer experience. It’s an enjoyable mid-strength option, perfect for those looking for something a tad sweeter. No weird aftertaste, which is a plus. Feels like a proper craft beer.

Gluten Minimalist

4/10

Describe in three words:
Flat, Citrus-Overload, Harsh.

Drink again?: When I’m craving something distrinct.

With a strong citrus aroma, it might not align with everyone’s palate but is definitely unique. Those seeking an fruity flavour profile might appreciate this one.

Gluten Lover

4/10

Describe in three words:
Cloudy, Citrusy, Unconventional.

Drink again?: When feeling experimental.

A cloudy beer with an initial hit of citrus, leading to a fruity but somewhat unconventional aftertaste. An intriguing choice for those adventurous moments.

The Real MVP of Gluten Free Beer

Each beer we tested brought its unique taste and charm to the table, making it a challenge to single out just one as the winner.

But if we had to crown an MVP, it’d be the gluten free brewers. Their dedication to the cause make it possible for everyone to enjoy a pint without the gluten worries.

These beers aren’t merely a substitute for traditional ones. They stand on their own with diverse and new flavours brought out by alternative grains. Even our discerning “Gluten Lover” found some to appreciate! So, whether you’re gluten sensitive, beer-curious, or somewhere in between, these are commendable picks. And the best part? They’re widely accessible in local beer stores.

Explore these gluten free beer options for yourself. Try them, savour the flavours and share your thoughts with us. Cheers to a future of even more inclusive brewing!

Disclaimer: This beer review was conducted independently, and no part of it was sponsored or endorsed by any of the beer brands mentioned. The prices and availability are accurate as of 4th October 2023 and may vary with time and location.

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