HEY! Hey you, scanning the pages of the newspaper between classes! Yeah, I’m talking to you. Why don’t you stay and hang out here a while. Let’s talk beer. Or rather, I’ll talk beer and if nobody is around, I suppose you can talk back. Weirdo. Anyway, this week’s topic is going to be interesting beers. Different kinds. Special kinds.
Today’s beers hail all the way from Suffolk, England! That’s right, I’m studying abroad this week. Well not really, but just go with it.
The brewery I took my selection from is St. Peter’s. As such, I have to assume that this beer is blessed by some holy entity. I mean, he may not be one of the patron saints of beer, but even if the beer itself isn’t blessed, its creators must have been blessed with a desire to be different and have some creativity.
In a world of super technology and “new and improved,” St. Peter’s brewery chose to return to the simpler times of beer. Their Web site, though poorly made (perhaps it’s just showing how unmodern they are), communicates their desires to make more traditional beers. Even their really cool-looking bottle is a replica of one that was made in 1770.
That being said, the two beers may not be what you think of when you think traditional. Today’s tastes are for the niches. The first is St. Peter’s Organic English Ale and the second is St. Peter’s Sorgham Beer. Read on to figure out what this actually means.
I’ll begin organically. The Organic English Ale is an odd one to see poured. With very little carbonation, there is nearly no head on the beer. It is also dark amber in appearance and slightly cloudy.
Upon getting a whiff of this unique beer, one finds it to have a very citrusy aroma. Its taste is along the same lines with a citrus hop flavor. It really reminds me of that half lemon soda, half beer that I tasted from Stiegl. Remember, the Radler Lemon? It’s not quite as weak in alcohol content, but it’s still refreshing. Oh, and this one doesn’t have any soda in it. Anywho, both citrusy and refreshing, enjoy this beer when we finally get some warm weather again. It’s freakin’ cold.
Next up is another special beer out of St. Peter’s brewery. This beer is called Sorgham Beer and it is made from sorghum. What does that mean? I have absolutely no idea. Rather, I didn’t have any idea before I met with my old friend, Google. Turns out it’s a genus of some grass species, some of which can be raised for grain. Not quite as exciting as I had hoped.
Still, there is a hidden fun fact in here: This beer contains no wheat or barley! Nuts. That means this beer is gluten-free. If you suffer from Celiac Disease, then this beer is safe for you. Of course, if you have an adverse reaction to wheat or gluten, you’re probably not reading this beer column. So I should probably stop saying “you.”
Back to business. This beer also has little carbonation, though noticeably more than the previous. It is more of a light gold in color, and it’s clear. As far as a style goes, it has both the color and feel of a lager (a pilsner according to the bottle), though it is in fact an ale.
Upon letting the beer hang out in my mouth before it trickles down into my stomach, I also detect a subtle toasted flavor. It is another refreshing, citrusy beer; or rather beer-like drink since it has an altered set of ingredients. This one is a bit more crisp, so if you typically enjoy a light lager style beer, this one may be for you.
This, of course, isn’t the only gluten-free beer out there. There are many gluten-free alternatives, even one by Anheuser-Busch called Redbridge. If you are one of the many who suffer from Celiac Disease or have a friend who has recently been diagnosed with Celiac and misses the taste of beer, check out BellaOnline.com and search “guide to gluten-free beer.” This is one of the more extensive listings of gluten-free beers I was able to find.
As I wrap up, still thinking about Celiac Disease, I realize that every once and a while we all need to sit back and think about the little things in life. We’ve got to take pleasure in life and in living. What are the little things that make you happy? For me, it’s enjoying my final quarter of college. Or having an excuse to taste beers every week, and learn and write about them. Or, as I sit here watching The Bachelor with my roommate and his girlfriend, the joy of being able to go into my bedroom and shut the door. Yeah … the little things.
And as we’re enjoying the little things in life, don’t forget to enjoy the big things in life — like actually being alive, or not being in prison. Keep enjoying these things. Whether you’re discovering that there is still beer after Celiac Disease with Sorgham Beer, or you’re taking your health and environmental responsibility into your own hands with Organic English Ale, maintain that responsibility on the roads. Don’t drink and drive.