Tag Archives: gluten-free beer

Beer Review: Sufferfest Epic Pilsner

SUMMERFEST FROM SUFFERFEST: Epic Pilsner

sufferfest beers

There are far too many whale hunters looking for the booziest barleywines, most robust imperial stouts, and the juiciest triple India Pale Ales in the country, sometimes paying several hundred dollars per bottle.  It is absurd.  Although I can never turn down a whale when the opportunity presents itself, lately I find myself gravitating more towards lower alcohol by volume (ABV) beers.

I find this especially true in the summer, where the last thing anyone wants to be drinking out on the patio with the sun beating down on them is a big-bodied boozy brew.  My general rule of thumb is the higher the temperature the lower ABV I prefer my beer to have.  Perfect examples of summer styles for me include Berliner weiss, kolsch, and, of course, the almighty pilsner.

sufferfest premium beer

Epic Pilsner from Sufferfest Beer Company seemed true to style in every regard until I discovered that it was “crafted to remove gluten.”  Upon seeing this on the can I went to their website and I found that all of their beers are void of gluten.  I’ve had few gluten free beers that could stand on their own two feet, but this one doesn’t merely stand on its own but runs.

sufferfest epic

This beer is a crystal clear, pale straw in appearance with a light, fluffy white head.  The beer leaves lacing that coats the glass.  This pilsner looks like every golden beer you see on TV.  Epic Pils has a very subtle nose.  There are slight lemon and grass tones.  The palate follows the nose almost exactly as the earthy tones of the Saaz hops gently cut through the layers of the sweet biscuit malt.  This beer is thin and leaves your mouth dry, begging you to have can after can, and at only 5.1% ABV it is easy to throw back a few without having to worry about getting overly buzzed or trashed.

Epic Pilsner shines through with its subtle complexity.  The delicate nose and clean, refreshing qualities pair perfectly with an easy-going summer afternoon on the back patio, the nearest worry miles away.

sufferfest-beer-company-epic-pilsner-beer-california-usa-10881996

Do not be turned off by the gluten free warning.  Summerfest Epic Pilsner is well worth seeking out!

Highly recommended.

Ryan Moyer

Ryan Moyer, beer expert, is a graduate of Indiana University.

Note:  Sufferfest beers are brewed and canned in San Francisco.

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Beer Review: Omission India Pale Ale (IPA)

Omission-portfolio-3-brands

Generally, a taboo topic in the craft beer world is this notion of gluten-free beer. I mean, how could a beer brewed with barley and wheat substitutes honestly compete with counterparts using the real things?

Omission-IPA-six-pack

Well, Omission Beer doesn’t sacrifice their ingredients while crafting their beers. Omission is a brewery priding itself on creating beers with “traditional ingredients that everyone of legal drinking age can enjoy.” Recently I had the pleasure of trying Omission Beer’s IPA. I was told upfront that it was a gluten-free beer, and never having had one before I didn’t know what to expect.

Omission IPA crop

I poured this beer into a pint glass and was very pleased with what I saw. The IPA poured a deep golden color with a beautiful hazy-white, two finger-head with lacing to spare down the inside of the glass. Maybe I’m being picky, but my only complaint with the appearance is that I find a more copper color more appealing than gold. [Picky! Ed.] IPA receives a 4.75/5 on looks alone.

The nose on Omission’s IPA was wonderful, to say the least. IPA fills your nose with notes of fresh citrus and crisp pines; obviously influenced by its Pacific Northwest roots. This is just everything you could ask for – an IPA on the nose. The only thing lacking, for my preference, is a more juicy presence. Even though there is a pleasant citrus quality to the aroma, it does lack that juiciness I am fond of, and because of that its aroma gets a 4.25/5.

The lack of presence this beer brought to the mouth is what really hurts it. It is so thin that the moment you take a sip it is gone. Nothing lingers or coats the roof of your mouth like you’d expect and sometimes want from an IPA. I don’t know if this is the result of it being a gluten-free beer, but it just lacks some presence. I would have loved to get a longer taste out of this one, but it abandons the palate pretty fast. It’s not like this IPA delivers an unpleasant mouthfeel; rather, it does not give any mouth feel leading to its very neutral grade of 2.5/5.

The final piece of the puzzle is the beer’s taste. Omission IPA tastes exactly how it smells: fresh, bright, piney, and citrusy. But, just like the mouthfeel, that great taste dissipates immediately. Again, this does not mean that it is unpleasant, I just would have liked more out of it! Regardless of its short-lived life, it was very tasty and I believe it earns a respectable 4/5.

I didn’t quite know what to expect out of my first gluten-free beer. I’ve usually heard mostly negative reviews, so I was shocked and pleasantly surprised by how great this beer is. The only downfall to this beer is that it dies out pretty fast, but that is easily forgiven by its classic Pacific Northwest IPA taste. With a crisp pine and robust citrus nose and taste, IPA from Omission Beer easily receives a 3.88/5!

Well recommended.

Ryan Moyer

Ryan Moyer is a graduate of Indiana University, who works and pays taxes.

Omission IPA is brewed by Widmer Brothers Brewing Company and contains 6.7% alcohol by volume. Widmer Brothers is based in Portland, Oregon.

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