Coeliacs Need Love Too: Estrella Damm Daura

11 Jan

Damm good for a gluten-free beer

I’ve got a thing for gluten.  Bread, pasta, beer – three of my favorite things in this world.  I can’t imagine what I would do if, one day, I found out I couldn’t have them anymore.  Too painful to even think about.  Unfortunately for many, the simple act of consuming these basic staples of the average Western diet is enough to send their digestive tract into fits.

Thankfully for the Coeliac beer lover, “beer” or beer-like beverages can be made from grains other than the main offenders barley, wheat, rye and oats – sorghum and millet are among the more popular. Unfortunately, most of these alternative-malt beers bear little resemblance to their glutened brethren in the taste department.  Daura, the two-time champion in its category at the World Beer Awards from Spanish brewer Estrella Damm, eschews exotic grains for science and uses proprietary technologies to create a beer with less than 6ppm of gluten from barley malt.  The real question is – does it taste like beer?

I was introduced to Daura at a local beer distributer event/trade show here in Madison a few months ago.  Pro-tip: stick around long enough and the beer reps will give you their leftovers rather than lug it back to their cars.

Estrella Damm Daura

Style: Gluten-free Euro-style Pale Lager

Vitals: 5.4% abv, 6ppm or less of gluten, ~$6.99/4-pack at Barriques Wine and Spirits

Company Line: “Estrella Daura is a 5.4% mainstream pilsner lager with a universal flavour and character.  The high quality of the beer is due to the fine selection of ingredients – ensuring that Daura has all the taste, but none of the gluten of a regular beer.”

My Take: Daura pours a pale straw yellow under snow white head typical of Euro-style pilseners.  Aroma hits all the Euro lager notes of light cereal malts, crisp, grassy hops, and a hint of  citrus and spice.  Hits the palate with dry, biscuity malt and faint, herbal noble hops, lending a crisp, spicy finish.  Body is light and bubbly, as one would expect.

Look, Estrella Daura is a pale lager.  It tastes like a hundred other pale lagers I’ve sampled from Europe, Latin America and Asia.  That’s what’s amazing about this beer.  It tastes like beer.  Most of the gluten-free beers I’ve tried taste like some Frankenstein mash-up of cream soda, tequila and Four Loko.  For a coeliac who wants nothing more than a beer that tastes like beer, Estrella Daura is a game-changer.  Hands-down the best-tasting, most beer-like gluten-free beer I’ve had.  I still hope I never see the day when there’s nothing but Estrella Daura in my fridge, though.  No offense.

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