Green’s Beer From FreeGo Review

7 Sep

A few months back I was offered the chance to sample a range of gluten free products from a new on-line retailer called FreeGo.  Their shop boasts a variety of GF sweet and savoury products, many of which were new names to me.  It is always good when a retailer can broaden your gluten free horizon and introduce you to something new.  Amongst the items I received were some fantastic flavoured marshmallows, an amazing Belgian chocolate orange biscuit bar and some lovely Smooze fruit ice which you freeze yourself at home.  The Smooze products are simply made from coconut milk and fruit juice so not only are they made with 100% natural ingredients they are also dairy free.

FreeGo2014-06-21 13.50.50

The lovely guys and girls at Freego, whom some of you may have met at this years Allergy Show, asked me if there were any other products that I would like to see stocked.  One area that I thought was lacking was gluten free beer and lager.  FreeGo took this advice on board and contacted me a few weeks back to say that they had chosen Green’s Belgian craft beers as their first gluten free beer to stock.  FreeGo have chosen to stock Green’s naturally gluten free beer, rather than a de-glutenised product.  I was lucky enough to be offered some samples to try out, and I managed to have my arm twisted to try some free gluten free ale ;-)  Readers may be familiar with Green’s if you’ve tried their gluten free pilsner which is available at Pizza Express.

Az keen to help with the beer sampling!

Az keen to help with the beer sampling!

Dry Hopped Lager

Dry hoppedPre-coeliac I was always a lager drinker rather than being in to ale, so this was naturally the first sample I went for.  I’d actually tried a small sample of this one at the Allergy Show and had been impressed.  This lager was a gluten free gold medal winner at the 2014 World Beer Cup so is claimed to be “officially the best gluten free beer in the world!”.  Naturally gluten free ingredients include water, sorghum, millet, buckwheat, brown rice and yeast, and brewed to a strength of 4%.  This lager is extremely fruity and refreshing, and would be perfect for drinking on a summers day.  If I remember rightly from the allergy show the “fruitiness” is in fact elderflower.  I sampled with a few colleagues from the Coeliac UK Plymouth group.  A few were unsure about the elderflower, and many felt it didn’t really taste like lager – though not necessarily in a bad way.  Personally I thought it was as good as I remembered from the Allergy Show, certainly different from a traditional lager but really enjoyable.

Discovery Ale

DiscoveryMade with similar naturally gluten free ingredients to the dry hopped lager, this ale is brewed to a rather cheeky 6%.  I’ve never really been an ale drinker but maybe my taste buds are maturing and I really enjoyed this one.  In fact this was generally the favourite amongst the tasters of the Coeliac UK Plymouth group committee, even being described as “bloody lovely” by an ale drinker amongst the group.  There was no fruitiness to this one and the taste testers generally agreed this tasted like a “proper” beer.  The experience of trying this would certainly lead me to trying more ales in the future.

India Pale Ale

IPAThe IPA was brewed to 5%, splitting the difference between the lager and the ale, but again made with similar ingredients.  I enjoyed it but I think the general feeling was this was perhaps the least favourite of the three amongst the group.  Again a bit of a fruit/floral taste to this one so almost a middle of the road between the two beers above.  This ale does have strong credentials though having been voted the best gluten free beer at the 2014 Free From Food Awards.

Overall I really enjoyed the three beers.  Since being diagnosed with coeliac disease I’ve very much become a cider drinker.  I don’t really miss lager, but when I get my hands on some now it always feels like a special treat.  I’d happily drink any of these beers again, and let’s hope in the future we might even see gluten free bottled beers in pubs.  Maybe we need to encourage one of the big chains like JD Weatherspoon to start stocking a gluten free beer and then others might follow.

As you might notice in the picture above, FreeGo also sent me some Kracklecorn, a sweet and salty popcorn made by Portlebay Popcorn down here in Devon.  My wife and I loved this and devoured a large bag over a couple of sittings, well worth a try.  The good news for Gluten Free by the Sea readers is that you can currently get £10 off your first order of £20 from FreeGo using the code “GFBYSEA10′ (exp 31/09).

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

Coeliac UK Torbay Group Food Fair, 6th September

31 Aug

The Torbay Coeliac Voluntary Support Group are having a gluten free food fair next Saturday 6th September from 10am to 2:30pm.  The event is being held at the Riviera International Conference centre, Chestnut Avenue, Torquay – which was the venue for last years successful event.  Exhibitors include national brands such as Juvela, Glutafin and Warburtons and a host of local companies such as Jackson’s Bakery, Kay’s Cakes and Born to Bake.  There will be plenty of free tasters, goodie bags, dietitians from Coeliac UK and Kids Korner.

Torbay Food Fair

I visited last years Torbay food fair and it was well worth a visit.  I believe that last year’s event was so successful that the event has been moved to a bigger hall this year.  I wish Torbay Group Organiser Wendy Smeaton and her team another very successful day!  Below is a photo of Wendy and I at last years event.

wendy and kev

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea.

Fun Day Out at Mount Edgcumbe – September 14th

28 Jul

Please see the details below of the upcoming Coeliac UK Plymouth Group event that will be held in conjunction with the Mount Edgcumbe local produce market on Sunday September 10th. Please note that the market itself is not organised by the Coeliac UK Plymouth Group so will not be entirely gluten free, but all traders are aware of the coeliac event and will be ensuring they have gluten free options where possible.  This is a re-arranged event following the postponement of the August due to severe weather conditions.

Kevin, Gluten Free by the Sea

Plymouth

When

14 September 2014

11am till 2pm, with many activities to enjoy on your own following the group activities

Where

Mount Edgcumbe House and Country Park
Cremyll
Torpoint
Cornwall
PL10 1HZ

Details

The Coeliac UK Plymouth Group invite you to join us for a tour of Mount Edgcumbe House on Sunday September 14th.  The standard ticket price is £7.20, but we have negotiated a special price of £3 for members and their guests.  We ask you to meet us for registration at 11am for 11.30 entry. Tea and Coffee will be available upon arrival as will samples of gluten free cake and savoury items. The house takes about 1.5 hours to explore.

All members and guests must register in advance, stating name and email address, or phone number. This is then to be checked off on the day. Any members needing assistance between the Cremyll Ferry and the house to notify us upon initial registration so we can ensure golf buggies are available. Meeting point for the buggy is at the lower gate to the park. Please be patient as once the buggies are full we will be back until everyone has been picked up.  Please email coeliac.plymouth@gmail.com to register by completing and returning this form; money will be collected on the day.  If you have any problems finding us on the day please visit the Let Them Eat Cake stall at the produce market where someone will be able to direct you or call 07743 792368.

After your time looking around the house please reconvene back at the Earls Garden for more refreshments, and a wonder around the produce market.  Those not wishing to take part in the house tour are welcome to meet us in the Earls Garden from 1pm to enjoy refreshments, where committee members will be available to give advice and answer any queries.

The market is a monthly event, showcasing the finest produce from within the Tamar Valley. Every trader at this market has been fully briefed on our event and all are putting a great deal of thought and effort into their offer for you.

You will be able to purchase goodies such as gluten free sausages, chilli jam, thai green curry, cider, apple juice, honey, fresh flowers, fresh Tamar Valley fruit and veg, jam, cake, pasties, pies, sausage rolls, bread (that doesn’t break down when you make a sandwich), everything you could need for a picnic, Sunday supper, or to fill the freezer.

Please be aware that the market is not being organised by the Coeliac UK Plymouth group, so do check with traders to ensure any purchases are gluten free.  There will of course be produce available for our non-gluten free family so please be careful.

After this please take the time to enjoy the stables courtyard where you can find weaving and whittling workshops, an up cycled store, art, spa treatments, new children play area, frisbee golf and segway.

This is a day out for all of the family, so please do bring them along and if the weather stays like this we will have the most wonderful time.

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