Wold Top Against the Grain

Reviewed by on June 13, 2014 in Gluten-Free Guide

The Details

  • Brewery: Wold Top Brewery

  • Origin: England

  • Rated On: June 12, 2014

  • Best Before: March 2015

  • ABV: 4.5%

  • Ideal Temperature: cool to cellar temperature

  • Style: English Pale Ale

  • Rating: GREAT !!

The Review

Against the Grain is the Wold Top Brewery’s reduced-gluten (< 20 ppm) English pale ale, made with barley and corn.  Best (and maybe only) gluten-free beer pun name I’ve seen yet, and it evokes memories of Bad Religion concerts in the 90’s…sigh.

This 500ml bottle pours a crystal clear, pale golden yellow colour, with one anemic finger of foamy, bubbly, and fizzy dirty white head, which hies it out of existence in no time flat, leaving some sparse microbial lace around the glass after the fact.

It smells of lightly bready, and crackery pale malt – a wee bit of citrus, some apple juice, and subtle ashy, earthy hops. The taste is grainy (so, actually pro-, then, heh), somewhat biscuity malt, a hint of toastiness, very subtle gritty corn notes, further ethereal citrus tartness, and with the same earthy, ashy, and now weedy hops, agreeable in their understated, but at least noticeable, bitterness.  The carbonation is moderate, with a mild bite to it, the body medium-light in weight, and plainly smooth, a minor flintiness edging its way in. It finishes flatly grainy (there it is again!), the toasted biscuit character on a slight upswing, and the nice bittering noble hops ceding no ground.

If you handed me this, and proffered no additional information about it, I would have to describe it as an above-average old-world pale ale, a tad weak in the malt, maybe, but generally well balanced and tasty. Now tell me that it’s gluten-free – swuhhh? Compared to all the other offerings out there for this diet-based sub-category, Against the Grain has no peer. Celiac imbibers with working taste buds, rejoice!

Brady White

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