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RAISE A GLASS.

Byline: WITH JANE CLARE

NOW and again a beer is just what it takes to hit the spot. But for some people hitting the spot with a beer is the last thing they need. For them, either through medical necessity or a lifestyle choice, only a gluten-free beer will do.

My pal Ed is fed up of trying to source GF beers. So I did a tiny bit of research and mustered a bunch of experts - ie. friends - to put some GF beers to the taste test.

Lawless Village IPA (4.5% abv, bellfieldbrewery.com, PS31.80 for 12) was the first pour for my pals.

Bellfield's motto, Born of Grief - Brewed with Love, rings true as the owners are coeliac and so to enjoy beer they created their own. Our taste test buzz words included "parma violets", "floral" and "citrusly refreshing".

Green's Discovery Amber (6% abv glutenfreebeers.co.uk) was developed by Green's Beers in 2003 as the first European GF beer and now there are eight styles in the range.

I enjoyed the Dry Hopped Lager (4% abv, Ocado) with its citrus and malty vibe; and the Glorious Pilsener (4.5% abv, glutenfreebeers.co.uk) was a winner with my chums. The woody and herb notes of Green's India Pale Ale (5% abv, Ocado) were fab with a slice of mature cheddar. All have an RRP of PS2.17 for 330ml with some of the range available at Sainsbury's.

Elsewhere on the high street, Morrisons sells Brewdog Vagabond (4.5% abv PS1.65, 330ml, or PS6 for four). My guinea pigs said of this pale ale: "caramel", "liquorice", "citrus" and "peach".

Morrisons has another choice in Estrella Damm Daura Gluten Free Lager (5.4% abv, PS5.96 for four 330ml bottles).

Over at M&S you can find Gluten Free Belgian Golden Ale (4.8% abv) and Gluten Free Belgium Premium Pilsner (4.8% abv). Both are PS2 for 330ml.

Some Co-op stores sell the First Chop Brewing Arm Ava (3.5% abv, PS2.19, 500ml, or three for a fiver). It is a pale malt made with fruity Australian hops.

PS: I also came across the glutenfreebeerstore.co.uk which bills itself as having the largest selection of gluten free beer in the world.

ALSO IN MY GLASS...

I OFTEN enjoy Crabbie's Original Alcoholic Ginger Beer (4% abv) as I watch the Saturday footie scores and bemoan the fact that my team has lost. And yes, it's gluten free.

You can buy four in a PS6 deal at Tesco. I love its spicy lift of ginger with a mingle of citrus (there's a Scottish Raspberry version, too).

| WHILE on the look-out for GF beers someone said 'Ah! beer!' and told me about Alhambra Reserva 1925 (6.4% abv, 330ml, PS9.99 for six, at selected Majestic stores). This premium Spanish lager isn't a GF tipple - but I'm glad I found it. As my guinea pigs were to hand, I asked them what they thought. They said "amazing", "strong", "lip-curling", "woody" and "a serious drink". I caught aromas of citrus and orange. It was mighty fine.

| I'm happy to clarify that the Most Wanted Sauvignon Blanc I mentioned last week is PS8.99 and available in Booths, Nisa, McColls and www.tesco.com/wine | Email jane@onefootinthegrapes.co.uk

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 1, 2016
Words:551
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Next Article:Cottage industry; AS HUGH FEARNLEY-WHITTINGSTALL AND HIS TEAM PRESENT A NEW FOODIE BIBLE, ELLA WALKER TRIES HER HAND AT COOKING THE RIVER COTTAGE WAY.
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