Dark Ale. Need I say more? Oh yes - it's gluten-free.
I stopped by Belmont Station last evening to meet the brewers, James and John, of Harvester Brewing, which has its base right here in Portland, Oregon. I had to fight my way through a throng of admirers just to get a taste, but it was worth it.
Harvester Brewing just started distribution of their Pale Ale in December, and already they are available in quite a few local markets. Last night they introduced two new beers, the Dark Ale and the Experiment Ale, a red ale.
I had tried the Pale Ale when I first heard about it, maybe a month ago. When I tried it again last night I noted a change, and I asked James about it. Has there been a distinct difference between batches?
He granted that he's always improving his recipes. He noted humbly, "I think I'm just becoming a better brewer." We talked about how the chestnuts they use influence the taste. I thought the most recent batch of Pale Ale had a really great balance between the citrus aromatics of the hops and the nutty base flavor.
All of the beers have the same basic makeup, made with sorghum, GF oats, chestnuts, cane sugar and hops. James and John were explaining that they play with the yeast, the hops, and the roasts of the sorghum to achieve the distinct flavors of each brew. These ales are a lot more full-bodied and hoppy than your average gluten-free beer, so be prepared for a new taste experience. If you have been craving some variety in your gluten-free beer selection you should pick up a few of these tasty new ales.