Photo: New Planet Beer
As a substitute, brewers have turned to the African grass sorghum to create beers such as Anheuser-Busch's Redbridge and Bard's Gold. These are great alternatives, but they're a bit like Xerox copies of beer: slightly different from the original.
"You're trying to create a traditional character that you can relate to in your palate with untraditional grains," explains Pedro Gonzalez, who founded Boulder, Colorado's New Planet after he was diagnosed with gluten intolerance. The brewery's 3R Raspberry Ale (the Rs stand for reduce, reuse, recycle; a percentage of each sale is earmarked for Colorado nonprofits) blends sorghum, corn, natural raspberry purée, orange peel and hops took a year to perfect, resulting in a clear, sparkling potion. It smells delicately of the fruit and drinks crisp and light. There's a smidgen of semi-sweetness, before the close arrives bearing a refreshing twang.