Brewdog have quickly developed a huge presence in the craft beer world and it was only a matter of time before they turned their attention to gluten free beer. Vagabond gluten free Pale Ale was voted the winning beer from a selection of small batches as part of BrewDog’s 2014 Prototype Challenge, beating three beers containing gluten. As James Watt, co-founder of BrewDog says “Gluten free products have become synonymous with underwhelming flavour and experience, so we wanted to prove that a gluten free beer didn't need to lack the bold taste and texture of a craft beer. With Vagabond, there is finally a gluten free craft beer that tastes like it should.”
The Scott’s however have some stiff competition from Ireland. Comeragh Challenger form Dungarvan Brewing is a traditional English style Pale Ale. Bitters as it is called in England is traditionally made with a hard water profile which occurs aroundBurton-on-Trent, the home of brewing in England.In West Waterford, a simularhard water profile means flavours of the English bitter style can be replicated.Hopped soley withChallenger hops making for an elegant and understated ale with a good malty profile.
Another Irish brewery producing a great gluten free option is Brú with their Brú Lager Gluten Free Lager. This a refreshing Czech style lager with a new world hop addition. This is a crisp, full bodied lager with Saaz and Cascade hops giving a refreshing finish. Also winner of a Gold award at the World Beer Awards.
Green's are dedicated producers of gluten free beers, craft brewed in Belgium. Their Pilsner is refreshing with hops upfront with a light fruitiness and a crisp finish. While their Golden Ale is more about caramel malt upfront but with a spicy hoppy finish.
Nick Stafford’s Hambleton brewery produces two gluten free options. Their Gluten Free Lager uses East Kent Goldings and Continental Styrian hops delivering a balanced fruit character finishing with citrus notes and a light hop bite. Their Gluten Free Ale, winner of the title of Europe’s Best Speciality Gluten Free Beer at the World Beer Awards, is a full bodied tawny ale with pronounced fruit and hop notes form the Cascade, Liberty and Challenger hops.