Image providedAs the incidence of celiac disease increases across the country, the demand for gluten-free beer rises with it. I assembled a quartet of intrepid souls to try some prototype brews from an Arkansas company named Dark Hills Brewery. Their rice-based, gluten-free brews are expected to hit the market late this year.
• Sweet Stout: "A caramel nose, something like burnt brown sugar." ... "Really full-bodied." ... "I don't know if I'd drink a lot of it, but I can see how it would be a substitute if you have a celiac problem."
• Amber Ale: "Reminds me of some good ciders I've had." ... "Lingering aftertaste instead of just disappearing, which I like." ... "I could have a few of these." ... "Goes really well with food."
• Lemon Ale: "This one makes me think of summer -- like a lemonade-style drink, but a little more syrupy." ... "Limoncello, that's what it's like." ... "I could drink this over ice like a liqueur."
Co-founder Leigh Nogy notes that she still is negotiating with the state government agency that regulates what you can call various brews since such words as "lager," "stout," "ale" and "porter" have long-established criteria as far as ingredients are concerned. It's something she needs to get worked out since one brew, with the working title "Iron Age Lager," is her lone lager, the rest of the brews falling into the ale category.
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