Category Archives: beer

July 4th Taste Test…Beer and Brownies!

An Independence Day celebration and a good friend’s house seemed like the perfect time for a GF beer tasting. I rounded up the guys and asked them for their opinion (along with mine of course.) Daughter, unfortunately, didn’t get to participate, although she tried. Being 14 means you have to wait just a few more years.

The tasting was a blind taste test for all the guys. I knew which was which but I wanted an honest opinion from some serious beer drinkers.

 Jim, Matt, Jeff, and Al give the first beer a try

First up, Bard’s. It’s made from malted sorghum, the company’s site says it consists of sorghum, yeast, hops and water. It’s light in color, something like a Budweiser in color. Although it starts out with a nice beer taste, it ends with a very metallic/medicine finish that the guys picked up on right away. I made sure both beers were cold and that didn’t seem to help this one. Bard’s Tale Beer Co. has a great story of how the founders were Celiacs and wanted to enjoy beer with their friends. Makes sense and I so wanted to like this one, but the finish was just too metallic for my taste.

 Second verse, same as the first…Redbridge this time.

On to number two, Redbridge. Brewed by Anheuser-Busch, it’s a little darker in color than Bard’s. The company site says it’s made from sorghum, yeast, water, hops and corn. The flavor is a little stronger, less watery, and no aftertaste to speak of. In terms of beer, it has a more decent beer taste. The flavor comes off as a beer with a little more kick.

There are a lot more barbecues in our future this summer and it looks like Redbridge will be joining us. Now if someone would just make a nice, dark, GF beer, I’d be in heaven. But for now, I’m sticking with Redbridge. Thanks for your help, guys!

Since we were in the taste-test mode, we happened to have two versions of GF brownies at the barbecue. On the left, Pamela’s Chocolate Brownie Mix. On the right, Betty Crocker’s version. As you can see, or maybe you can’t, the Pamela’s version of the brownie is more cake-like and held together well. These were made by our hostess and were quite lovely, light and cake-like in texture. The cocoa flavoring was not overpowering, but the texture did have a bit of a grainy feel.

The other brownies, which I made, were made using Betty Crocker’s GF brownie mix. I added a TBS of virgin coconut oil and a tsp of blood-orange olive oil. These were much more moist in texture and more gooey in parts. They were also much more chocolaty since the mix comes with small chocolate chips that give it a more intense chocolate flavor. The olive oil gave it a slight citrus flavor that was quite good, although I think I would use one or the other, not both oils next time. I usually use just the coconut oil but I was trying to be festive.

All in all, great brownies on both plates. I would take either one. I tend to use the Betty Crocker mix since I like the more gooey version of brownies, but this was the first time I had Pamela’s version and they are great for a light dessert. Give them a try. We ate our brownies with Almond Dream vanilla ice cream, which happens to be gluten and dairy free. Yum!

I wonder what’s next on the taste test front? Waffles anyone???


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