Lakefront New Grist Pilsner Style

Reviewed by on April 4, 2014 in Gluten-Free Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Lakefront Brewery, Inc.

  • Origin: Milwaukee, WI, USA

  • Rated On: April 3, 2014

  • Best Before: Bottled Sept 30, 2013

  • ABV: 5.3%

  • Ideal Temperature: between cold and cellar temperature

  • Style: Pilsner

  • Rating: GOOD !

The Review

New Grist was apparently the first Gluten-Free beer to be granted label approval by the American government, making it among the pioneers for this type of beer.  The name, I gather, comes from the brewing term ‘grist’, which is the processed grain, at the point it is ready to be ground in preparation for the mash – using sorghum and rice, at the time, would have been considered a ‘new’ kind of grist.

This 355ml bottle pours a clear, very pale yellow, ginger ale-like colour, with two puffy fingers of thinly foamy, and somewhat bubbly dirty white head, which settles quickly, leaving a low coral ring of lace around the glass.

It smells of sweet, generically fruity, um, ‘grain’ (likely the rice and thankfully not the sorghum), pear cider, musty white grape juice, and a bit of soft fruity sourness. The taste is more thin, weirdly glutenous grain (rice pudding flitting in and out of mind), a sweet ‘n tart apple and grape fruitiness, which dovetails into cider and vinous territory as the slight booze warming takes hold, and a mild musty, dusty farmer’s field essence, the top-billed ingredient not to be totally denied the floor.  The carbonation is moderate, and a little sassy in its otherwise lulling frothiness, the body light, and fruity, natch, and much smoother than I was expecting. It finishes still sweet, and just a wee bit cloying, but lacking any strange off-flavours save the persistent fermented fruit notes.

While pale and light and thin…i.e. par for the course, I can’t help but think better of this offering, when viewing it solely as a fruit beer, instead of a pilsner, because that’s mostly what I’m getting. The tactile issues still matter, of course, but I appreciate the lack of odd vegetal essences that I’ve come to expect from these alterna-grain beers, so, overall, this is all right – I would not hesitate in recommending it to anyone with a gluten intolerance, who are cursed with simply wanting a beer.

Brady White

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