Beer Review 0109: Dogfish Head Tweason’ale (gluten-free)

Tweason’ale is the newest beer from Milton, Delaware’s Dogfish Head, and there are two special things about it. As the name suggests, Tweason’ale is a beer the company will be putting out between their seasonal releases. And the other big thing about this beer is that it’s certified gluten-free.

A disclaimer of sorts before I get started: As you might be able to tell from the large amount of beer reviews on this website, I do not suffer from Celiac Disease nor do I have to eat or drink gluten-free products. I am, however, very interested in how gluten-free beers taste, because it is a growing trend in the craft industry, and rightfully so. So as you read this review, please remember that I’m reviewing it based off of being able to drink any and every beer imaginable, whereas someone relegated to a gluten-free diet probably doesn’t get to enjoy beer on the regular.

Alright, so what is gluten-free? Well, nothing is actually “gluten-free.” Tweason’ale is certified gluten-free, meaning that it contains less than 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten. The bottle also carries nutrition facts.

Tweason’ale replaces the barley foundation normally used in beer with a sorghum base. There is molasses added, along with strawberries and buckwheat honey — to create an “off-centered” gluten-free beer.

You might remember that I reviewed my first gluten-free beer a couple of months ago; New Planet’s Off Grid Pale Ale received 59 points. I normally don’t publish reviews that score lower than 70, but for gluten-free beers, I am making an exception. I certainly hope this one is better!

The pour produced a small and frothy head that quickly diminished without a trace. The beer was golden in color and extremely clear, with a ton of bubbles zooming to the surface. There was no particles or sediment, nor was there any lacing clinging to the glass as I sampled.

The aromas were quite pungent and simple; there was a big note of strawberry, sweet and candy-like. Then there was a slight graininess, and a touch of the honey advertised on the bottle. I noticed the gluten-free twang in the aroma, too. Not bad.

In the mouth, this one has a thin texture and lively carbonation, greeting the palate with initial notes of light strawberry that reminded me of the strawberry candies that come wrapped in the red and green plastic. The middle of the taste has an ever so slight grain, finishing on some sweet honey and the gluten-free twang. It’s hard for me to describe what “gluten-free twang” is; it’s slightly medicinal and reminiscent of the finish of a light lager beer.

Alright, so if you’re looking for something complex, Tweason’ale isn’t your beer. But it is a decent beer, and is without doubt the best gluten-free beer I’ve had to date. I’m thinking our gluten-free friends will dig this one, so long as they also like strawberry. I won’t return to this beer, but I didn’t find it terrible, either.

Dogfish Head Tweason’ale, 75 points. Price: $9.99 US for a four pack.


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