For two days I searched Manhattan supermarkets for Anheuser-Busch's new gluten-free beer but came up empty-handed. Then, just last night, I dined at Risotteria, where it was readily available!
Redbridge is an amber beer that, yes, comes across like a normal United States brew. Its website says that "Redbridge is a rich, full-bodied lager brewed from sorghum for a well-balanced, moderately hopped taste." That sounds valid, although based on my sampling (and clumsily attempting to use beer-taster lingo myself), I'd say it doesn't have a strong taste or aroma and its finish is also on the simple side, ending on a slightly bitter note. That might not sound as good as the company line, but the beer is really fine--I enjoyed drinking it!
My chief label reader quickly noted that the bottle is not labeled gluten-free; however, it does include the lines "Beer Made From Sorghum" and "MADE WITHOUT WHEAT OR BARLEY."
In the short run, this is another piece of good news for gluten-free beer drinkers. Anheuser-Busch, which is a mammoth beer producer, plans to boost awareness of celiac disease and make donations to the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness, which now includes Heidi Collins as its national spokesperson. However, I'm concerned that, over time, this development might prove challenging to other gluten-free beermakers, large and small, in the United States and elsewhere. Risotteria is currently selling gluten-free beer in six-pack samplers--I hope that we will continue to be able to choose among an assortment of gf brews.
Here is some information about celiac disease posted at the Redbridge website:
Facts about Celiac Disease
Celiac disease affects approximately one in one hundred thirty three Americans – most of whom are misdiagnosed due to atypical symptoms.
Celiac disease is twice as common as Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis and cystic fibrosis combined.
Celiac – left untreated – could lead to infertility, osteoporosis, lymphoma, depression & neurological disorders. Celiac disease is more common in individuals with type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease or anemia