Gluten Free – Ridgeway IPA (500ml, 5.5% ABV)
Coeliac disease affects around 1% of the UK population. It’s a reaction to gluten that can prove serious if not managed correctly.
A friend of ours (whose novel I will now shamelessly plug here) is coeliac, and it’s clear when out and about with her that ordering food is something of a minefield. But more pubs and restaurants are now offering gluten free options, and the Ridgeway brewery has decided to follow suit with three gluten free versions from their range: the IPA I’m reviewing here, plus the Bitter and Oxfordshire Blue (which should surely be a cheese).
Ridgeway are an outfit born out of the Brakspear brewery, and make use of their yeast.
Their IPA features a quadruple whammy of hops: Challenger, Styrian Goldings, Target, and a UK version of the US Cascade. It’s a golden beer with an aroma of fresh bread, orange, lemon, and a touch of something perfumed.
On the tongue it’s boozy, with a tidal wave of spicy marmalade, and that lemon and fresh bread make another welcome appearance. The aftertaste is powerfully bitter and very juicy.
I haven’t had the chance to compare this with the fully glutened-up version, but it seems to lack nothing for being gluten free. The gluten is removed during the boil and fermentation, so it’s possible that any critical taste-affecting chemical reactions have already occurred by this point.
Whatever the case, this is a classic British IPA and a hugely satisfying tipple.
Written by Richard Salsbury
You can check out the Ridgeway website here: http://www.ridgewaybrewery.co.uk/