Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Gluten-Free Beer : Sprecher Shakparo (Nick's Review)
[Mike] I reviewed this Sprecher Shakparo gluten-free beer back in May of this year (2009), and thought it would be nice to get another person's opinion of the product. When I reviewed it, I just did not have the recent experience with "real beer" (i.e., the standard wheat and barley malt containing formulas) to adequately describe how gluten-free beer(s) compare to regular beer.
So, our guest gluten-free blogger Nick Pacione is now going to share his insights and opinions of Sprecher Shakparo gluten-free / wheat-free beer, and he will followup in the coming days with reviews of Anheuser Busch (AB) RedBridge as well as Green's Discovery and perhaps a couple more (depending what we can locate at local markets for review).
One thing you will quickly notice is that Nick writes in a completely different style than I do, and he lets his personality and passion for creative writing show quite a bit. I hope all you readers enjoy Nick's style and presentation as he contributes some gluten-free product reviews to this blog...
[Nick - guest gluten-free blog author]
GF Beers: Shakparo vs. Redbridge and others
Ah, the special relationship between man and his beer has been around for countless ages. When one thinks of beer, what typically comes to mind? Well, one thing that doesn’t come to mind (at least for me) is ‘gluten-free’ beer products.
Upon drinking my first GF beer this evening (Sprecher Shakparo), I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of aroma, flavor and body that has otherwise – to this very evening – eluded me.
Recently, Mike E. asked me to sample two of his favorite GF beers and blog about them. Well, I really didn’t know what to expect after popping the tops of these two beauties (Shakparo and Redbridge), but what I found was an incredible amount of color, aroma and flavor that you would typically find in more top-of-the-line, non GF micro-brewed beers.
For starters I sampled the Shakparo Ale, which is naturally brewed from sorghum and millet. Upon pouring this beer into my glass, what struck me almost immediately was its beautiful color and powerful, yet pleasing aroma, which – to my surprise – smelled just like a spicy, pumpkin ale. Having sampled my fair share of finely crafted beers in the past, I can tell you that this beer impressed me in more than one way.
First, the color is just beautiful, which mimicked your typical pumpkin-like ale – with its beautiful deep, amber hues. Subsequently, the aroma was very similar to pumpkin ale – and had quite a strong, thick aroma.
How’s the flavor? Well, upon taking the first sip, the head mellowed, the aroma was pleasant and the flavor was – to my very surprise – fantastic. The beer leaves a fairly strong aftertaste but don’t let this discourage you because it’s something which your taste buds are prepared for . . . the residue isn’t too strong or overpowering; rather, it leaves an ironic freshness to your breath that most beer drinkers would find surprising. If you’re picky, this could be a deal breaker, but for the most part, the aftertaste is quite refreshing, if you can believe that.
All in all, Shakparo is a very tasty beer and I must say that for my first GF beer experience, I was more than impressed: I was elated that there is something out there for people with Celiac Disease or who, for whatever reason, are allergic or hyper-sensitive to gluten.
I give the Sprecher Shakparo two thumbs up!
Ah, but wait! What is this? Another GF beer to sample (AB RedBridge)? Hmmmmm. Do I hear a taste-test and comparison coming? Stay tuned . . .