By Paul Barry | Assistant Buyer: Beer & Spirits
Are you looking for gluten free craft beer? It would be good if it tasted great, right? Even better if it was made in Ireland? Well 9 White Deer is here to help.
9 White Deer brewery was founded in 2014 by publican Don O’Leary and former marine engineer Gordon Lucey who set about brewing approachable full flavoured craft beers. It was when Don was diagnosed with a gluten intolerance within a year of opening the brewery he discovered how limited the craft beer offering was, and that’s when the focus for the brewery became creating great tasting gluten free craft beers across a range of styles.
This began with the release of their first gluten free beer simply named Saor in 2015. The warm reception this received encouraged the team to continue and after a lot of hard work and experimentation they now have a full Saor range offering greater choice for those with gluten intolerance and celiac disease.
Gluten is the name for a range of proteins naturally found in many grains including barley, the primary ingredient in most beers. There are two approaches to producing a gluten free beer, either by substituting the malt in the recipe with grains that don’t contain gluten such as sorghum or rice, or by removing the gluten from the beer after it has been brewed.
If you want to make a beer that more tastes like ‘beer’ you really want to start out with malt, brewers then use enzymes to denature the gluten in the beer. This is what 9 White Deer have done with their Stag Saor range with each batch independently tested to ensure that gluten levels are below the 20ppm threshold to be certified gluten free.
Of course, offering a range of gluten free craft beers is great but how do they taste? Thankfully these are great tasting beers in their own right. The IPA has a great balance of malt and hops bringing all those juicy citrus and tropical fruit notes but with restrained bitterness. The Pale Ale is softer and lighter than the IPA but still brings great fruit hop character with a soft fruity finish.
The Stout, Ireland’s first gluten free stout for that matter, is again smooth and approachable with chocolate and vanilla notes over rich malt while the Kolsch lager is light, crisp and refreshing with a gentle hop bitterness to the finish.
9 White Deer have to be applauded for creating great range of craft beers with something to suit all palates, whether you are avoiding gluten or not.
You can pick up each of these great craft beers for €3.00 in your local O’Briens.
Please note prices are correct at time of publishing. Please check our website or stores for the most up-to-date pricing.