From the review archive: Glutenberg Rousse (Red Ale)

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From the Brandon Sun - February 6, 2015


Last year, I wrote about the various gluten-free beer options available in Manitoba because I had friends who were looking for beer without gluten as they are coeliacs.
Frankly, it’s pretty difficult to find gluten-free beer in Manitoba, but it’s going to be easier now thanks to Montreal’s Brasseurs Sans Gluten — or better known to beer geeks who have been to Quebec recently, Glutenberg.
When I was in Montreal last year, the folks over at Dépanneur Peluso beer store were showing me the hundreds of different beers they had, all of them were from la belle province. They kept mentioning this one brand, Glutenberg, because that was one of the newest brands they were selling.
In fact, it was selling really well because it was craft beer for the beer geek, and not only that, it was gluten-free.
I picked up a can of their India Pale Ale, and really wanted to pick up a bottle of one of their Série Gastronomie beers, seeing as they were aiming for Belgian and various tough styles of ales with a gluten-free theme. However, I only bought the IPA as the Belgian-inspired ale was too expensive for my tastes.
As soon as I got back to Manitoba, I tried the India Pale Ale — it was more bitter and piney than your standard Quebecois IPA, but after the hoppy notes, it was lacking in flavour from the malted millet and buckwheat.
Brasseurs Sans Gluten now has their popular Glutenberg beers available here in Brandon. The starting lineup includes their India Pale Ale, American Pale Ale, Blonde (Lager) and Rousse (Red Ale).
The fact that MLCC brought not one style of Glutenberg but four impresses me, as we all have different beer tastes. Some of us like a bitter beer, some of us like a nice caramelly ale, while some just want a lager.
The only beer that the MLCC didn’t bring in from their staples is a Belgian double ale, which I would’ve reviewed in a heartbeat. Instead, I’m trying Brasseurs Sans Gluten’s Rousse.
I’ve liked Rousse (red) ales for a long time. I remember visiting SUDS at Brandon University 10 years ago and savouring lots of bottles and pints (and perhaps pitchers) of Rickard’s Red — to me, that was a good pub-style Red Ale growing up.
This Rousse pours a bit darker than your Rickard’s Red, more of a nutty brown ale, with a bit of caramel hue, clear with just a smidge of a light beige head on top to give it a classic British ale look.
The aroma is more of a roasted malt than I expected. I was hoping for more caramel, but I’m getting lots of buckwheat, lemon, and quite a nutty profile. There’s a hint of sweet caramel, but more roasted than sweet.
The flavour has a nice light caramel taste that hits right at the beginning, which is quickly followed by a recurring theme of nuttiness, a medium amount of bitterness that gives it a hint of a roasted coffee zing.
It has some notes of toffee and a mouth-feel that’s a bit tinny, but after you drink it for awhile, it feels a bit creamy on the tongue.
The buckwheat is very present in this ale, which gives it a bit of bitterness, yet bites you right in the middle of the tongue.
I haven’t had any amazing gluten-free beers yet, so how did this fare? Actually, it’s a very solid ale. I would consider it more of a nutty brown ale than a standard red ale you see at pubs.
If you didn’t read the label, you would not think that this was a gluten-free beer. This has nice malt-forward notes of toffee, some nuttiness, medium amount of hops and would go well with a rack of ribs (with a gluten-free barbecue sauce).
For now, the only Liquor Marts carrying Brasseurs Sans Gluten’s Glutenberg beers are the 10th and Victoria and the South End outlets.
Five per cent ABV and $3.98/473mL can.
Rating: 3.5 pints out of 5