Brunehaut, founded in 1890, is a brewery from the French-speaking portion of Belgium. Today, they produce 2 lines of beers that can be found in the United States: St. Martin and Brunehaut. St. Martin is a stellar line of Belgian Abbey beers with a truly exceptional Brune (I’ll review these beers sometime soon.)
Their Brunehaut line includes a blonde ale and an amber ale that are unique in the fact that they’re organic, vegan, AND gluten-free. Gluten is a naturally occurring protein that can be found in wheat and barley and thus in beer. While most people have no problem at all consuming gluten, people who suffer from Celiac Disease can’t consume gluten because it causes considerable health problems. While there aren’t a lot of people who suffer from Celiac Disease, there is a larger segment of people who are gluten intolerant, including some people who simply choose not to consume too much gluten.
In the past, these people either had to avoid beer or suffer through a sorghum beer.Today, there are many good gluten-free beer options for people. The two best, though, are made by Brunehaut. They brew the beer normally then use a proprietary organic process to filter out the gluten to less than 5 parts per million (ppm). Most groups set the safe threshold at around 20 ppm.
Appearance: Light gold with a white head. Great head retention.
Aroma: Spicy, clove, pepper, straw/grass with touches of floral hop notes, possibly geraniums.
Taste: This is a very balanced and refreshing beer with creamy mouthfeel. It’s a veritable spice cabinet.
Overall Impression: This is hands down the best Gluten-Free beer in the world. In fact, it’s so good you can choose to ignore the fact that it’s gluten-free and just drink it as a top-notch Belgian Blonde Ale. The mouthfeel is absolutely exquisite. Just let it sit in your mouth and the carbonation will carry the spice to your nose.
Availability: Increasing nationally. Look for it in better beer stores and specialty groceries. Occasionally on draft!
(Please note, the American labels don’t include the gluten-free badge because of various government labeling laws. The beer is still the gluten-free product.)