Monday, August 17, 2009

Give me a ‘B’ for Bard’s Beer! (Gluten-Free)

I just love these gluten-free beer reviews. Mike has asked me to do yet another beer, and you don’t see me complaining. Today’s featured beer is ‘Bard’s’ Gluten-Free Beer, The Original Sorghum Malt Beer – or so they say. I don’t know, is it the first? Well, perhaps I’ll figure that out in subsequent posts, so stay tuned for that trivial tidbit if I can locate proof of their claim. (image courtesy of Bard's home-page)

[by Nick Pacione - guest gluten-free blog author]

If you are just starting to follow these gluten-free beer reviews and opinions today, here are some quick links to my recent reviews of competing wheat-free / gluten-free products:

Ok, back on track. This bottled beer has a pretty good reputation as being a tasty brew in the gluten-free crowds, so Mike has asked me to put up an honest review. Well, let’s see how this thing ranks in aroma, body, flavor and aftertaste. Alright all you gluten-free beer freaks, here we go . . .

Oooooh, the Aroma isn’t too bad at all!

In between my expert software coding sessions (Mike would perhaps disagree), I have been asked to review these different GF beers, and today it’s Bard’s Tale! Well, when I popped the top off and poured her into a glass, there wasn’t much sign of a thick head, as the beer cohesively worked its way up the glass, where its amber hues finally rested comfortably under a thin head.

With that, the aroma wafted up into my schnozz and I was met with a pretty unique, yet familiar aroma that a beer like RedBridge would muster. Bard’s aroma is very similar to a RedBridge Ale, yet there seems to be a bit more of a molasses smell. Furthermore, it’s not as piney – as say a RedBridge, but seems to have a bit more sweetness to it. All in all, I would call the aroma pleasant and very sweet, in an aromatic sense.

Flavor, you ask?

Well, I tried the first sip and wasn’t surprised to find that it was a bit sweeter than the other gluten-free beers I have tried, but it wasn’t too sweet in the sense that it might deter a more traditional lager/pilsner drinker. This beer doesn’t have a sharp taste to it at all, but more of a sweet finish with a spicy undertone that is sure to please the pallet. Not too bad for a product that contains water, sorghum, hops and yeast. I’d give this a thumbs up for taste and could see a sharp cheddar and some gluten-free crackers going with this little number.


Ok. Don’t let the heading fool you, but the aftertaste is a bit like black licorice, so if you’re not a fan of that sticky-sweet treat, then you’re probably not going to like this beer. Now, it’s not like Sambuca or anything that extreme, but more subtle and subdued to the trained taste bud. I happen to really enjoy black licorice, so I must say that I am pleased with the aftertaste.


Bards is a great gluten free beer. It smells great and isn’t too bitter or sweet – hovering somewhere on the slightly sweeter side, its amber hues are dynamite and the flavor is tasty. If you enjoy beer and suffer from Celiac or gluten intolerance like me, then go ahead and grab yourself a few of these little gems.

It’s a pretty darn good beer and the only thing I could think of is that it might be a bit too sweet for some that like a drier, sharp beer or for those that don’t like black licorice, because there definitely is a bit of a strong molasses-like aftertaste to this one. All in all, I’d give this beer a solid 8 out of 10 for a gluten-free product. If you reach for a Bard’s beer, I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

Eins, zwei, drei – g’suffa! And, get ready for more... I have Green's Endeavor and a couple others on deck to render an opinion on yet.


brian from bard's said...


Thanks for your review. Bard's was indeed the first gluten-free sorghum beer on the market. Bard's is the only brand that malts the sorghum in its recipe like traditional brewers malt barley. The extra effort delivers the taste you describe.

Brian from Bard's

Scott-TheBrewClub said...

Nice review - I'm hoping to try Bards sometime soon to compare it for myself to the Redbridge stuff, which wasn't too bad.

~Melissa said...

Weeeee Danggggg! I love this beer! I don't like licorice and have never noticed that after taste.....if it wasn't 7am, I would check it out. Thanks for continuing your reviews of GF Beer.


Simply...Gluten-free said...

Hi, Sorry to have to leave this as a comment but I could not find a way to contact you. There is a blog that has been stealing material amd you are listed as a "contributor" I thought you might want to check to see if they stole any of your posts

Mike Eberhart said...

Simply GF,
Thanks for the heads-up. I'll take a look. Fact is, there have been a few places over the past years that have outright copied material from our blog, our recipe book, and any online content we post..., so nothing would surprise me. I do not know if the site you mention is doing anything or not.

A while back I was going to post screen-shots of one *commercial* gluten-free products web site / online store (smaller place I think, from the looks) that stole pictures from our online recipe-library and claimed that those pictures represented their bagged/boxed gluten-free products - breads and such. And, they stole pictures from other GF blogs and such too. I still have screen-prints of their website showing the offense in action. Unreal.

Well, here's hoping the plagiarism and copyright violations are kept to a minimum here on the web, since we all want credit for the work we do and we all feel it is not nice to claim others work as their own. Thanks again. mike

susie said...

Red Bridge has a gluten free beer and can be found at wal-mart. I came across it this weekend and am very happy with its quality.

Kimberly said...

Any clues as to where Bard's is sold? Thanks!a

Mike Eberhart said...

I have found the Bard's gluten-free beer at a variety of supermarkets actually. Here in Ohio, I have found it at Heinen's and Whole Foods Market and the Mustard Seed Market, as well as a few specialty "health stores" that cater to gluten-free customers. It seems to be available at a fair number of places, though I would expect you could call Bard's or check their website for a "where to buy" list. Hope you find it to try it. m

Anonymous said...

I've found Bard's at Liquor Mart in Boulder. Tasty!

Wendy Fitch said...

I have seen Redbridge at many markets and it is a Meijer, a large chain store in the American midwest. I have purchased Bards from the more "specialty markets". Two in my are are Nino Salvagio's and Vince and Joe's.

I know it isn't beer but I have recently been introduced to Woodchuck's Draft Cider when I was out at Boston's Restaurant. It is delicious and naturally gluten free. I'm a recent fan of your blog so I don't know if Woodchuck's has been discussed before. I also found it at Meijer.

no name in South West said...

I was so excited to find there was a gluten free beer and that a restaurant locally had it available that I just had to give it a try. I'm not that big of a beer drinker but this really was good. Light but with good flavor! :0)

GF in GF said...

Bard's is def a very nice GF option(RedBridge is un drinkable imo). The best for me(so far) is St Peter's, very good but very expensive.

James Morgan - Puritan Financial Advisor said...

It’s a pretty darn good beer and the only thing I could think of is that it might be a bit too sweet for some that like a drier, sharp beer or for those that don’t like black licorice, because there definitely is a bit of a strong molasses-like aftertaste to this one.

Zachary said...

Bards is a good GF beer but good luck trying to find one on the shelf that isn't past its expiration date. Most of the stores around me that sell Bards are carrying expired ones. Make sure you check the date on the bottle before you buy. Bards doesn't taste good past its expiration date.

Grace said...

I was just diagnosed with Ceilac's last week and I am married to a professional brewer- on the east coast.

Thank you for coming up with the solution in the beer industry. Now I can still enjoy the whole brewing process with him with out having to give up anything myself.
You don't happen to distribute in Virginia do you?

Anonymous said...

Having been told that I have a gluten problem I thought that I would never be able to have a cold beer again. I had read reviews on other gluten free beers and they all seemed to agree that they were awful tasting. We decided to try some Bard's and we will be buying more as they tasted wonderful. Thanks Bard's!