Nouvelle France La Messagère

Reviewed by on June 10, 2014 in Gluten-Free Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Microbrasserie Nouvelle-France

  • Origin: Saint-Alexis-des-Monts, QC, CA

  • Rated On: June 9, 2014

  • Best Before: April 17, 2015

  • ABV: 4.7%

  • Ideal Temperature: cold to cool

  • Style: American Pale Ale

  • Rating: POOR

The Review

Microbrasserie Nouvelle-France is a brewery from rural Quebec, near Shawinigan, who have been making gluten-free beers for over 10 years, and thus were, for a while, among the few options on the shelves in Canada.

This 341ml bottle pours like ginger ale, i.e. a clear, ridiculously pale straw colour, with one finger of very loosely foamy, and mostly fizzy dirty white head, which leaves a few specks of mitochondrial lace around the glass as it quickly blows off.

It smells of sweet, gritty rice, musty, somewhat sour and vegetal buckwheat, metallic mineral water, faint stale apple, and an ethereal dryness, that one might attribute to leafy, grassy hops, but I’m not that one. The taste is more semi-sweet, filmy and husky rice, lightly acrid and acetic pseudo-grain, a skanky wannabe cider-adjacent fruitiness, soft plastic phenols, and pretty much no hops to speak of. The carbonation is fairly weak, barely a burble or frothy note to be found, the body a decent medium weight, but syrupy, cloying, and clammy, precluding any sense of smoothness. It finishes off-dry, with a weird, earthy graininess, and further overripe apple cider ‘fruitiness’.

Not really an appealing beverage, let alone a decent beer. The rice makes it too sweet, and the buckwheat makes it odd and astringent – a one-two punch to my better sensibilities. Deep are my sympathies to any and all gluten-allergic beer lovers out there, if this is their only choice.

Brady White

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