Reviewing Gluten-Free Beer: Coors Peak Golden Lager and Copper Lager

coors peak 6pack

Despite the science, the “gluten-free” movement still refuses to go away, so that sea of footnotes indicating glutenlessness continues to mar restaurant menus, and gluten-free alternatives to regular products continue to line grocery shelves. Including gluten-free beer.

Beer is traditionally made from barley, which is loaded with gluten, so making a beer without gluten presents some thorny issues. While you can use magic science to remove gluten from beer, if the raw ingredients ever had gluten in them, you can’t call the finished product “gluten free.” To get around that issue, Coors turned to our gluten-free friend, rice. The Coors Peak beers include brown rice malt, brown rice, protein from peas, hops, and caramel sugar. Pea-based protein? Well if that doesn’t sound refreshing, I don’t know what does!

Now, “gluten-free” anything does not have a major association with “great-tasting,” so even if Peak is the “best gluten-free beer,” that may be damning it with faint praise. That caveat aside, let’s find out where these brews stand. Note: Both are available only in Portland and Seattle. Sorry, Tennessee!

Coors Peak Golden Lager – Initially malty and fairly fresh, things quickly take a turn for the worse as that traditional, slightly sweet, lager body takes an acidic and unnatural turn, offering vegetal notes, some mushroom, and a weird Band-Aid character that lingers forever on the finish. 5% abv. C-

Coors Peak Copper Lager – While the Golden Lager could pass for a traditional beer if you squint your taste buds, the Copper Lager, a redder beer that seems to have more caramel sugar in it, is an entirely different monster. Caramel-heavy and quite sweet, it overwhelms with a saccharine faux-malt note then fades out with notes of stale popcorn, raw carrots, and ash. Awful. 4.7% abv. F

each $7 per six pack / coorspeak.com

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3 Responses

  1. Dawn P. May 24, 2016 / 3:09 pm

    It’s very sad that you refer to it as “the gluten free movement refusing to go away”. You must not have heard of the disease commonly referred to as celiac disease which a person like myself actually has a diagnosis of, will NEVER go away. A person like myself is thankful to the restaurants “indicating glutenlessness” on their menus, etc. My opinion is that since you obviously do not have celiac disease, than you have absolutely no business at all writing a review on anything the is gluten free. Furthermore, its pathetic that you would basically condemn any company for trying to produce anything gluten free. Clearly you have not tried many food items that are gluten free because there are many products out there that taste even better than the real thing. Stick to writing what you may know about (whatever that is), because celiac disease and anything gluten free certainly isn’t your specialty.

  2. Christopher Null May 24, 2016 / 3:48 pm

    Celiac disease is not the same as “gluten sensitivity”

  3. Kurt Sinclair June 21, 2016 / 10:53 pm

    Those labels that “mar restaurant menus” and clearly offend your overly delicate sensibilities are there to guide Celiac sufferers toward gluten free options. If you didn’t know or care, gluten destroys the intestinal lining of those with Celiac and can lead to osteoporosis, thyroid disease, and even certain cancers. While it is true that the media has turned the gluten free craze into something of a fad diet, it is essential that Celiac suffers avoid gluten entirely. Gluten hides in many places so those labels are critical information for Celiac sufferers, especially in restaurants where ingredient lists are not always readily available. Mocking them or implying that all those who avoid gluten by choice or by fate makes you look like an ass. Perhaps you should be counting your blessings rather than minimizing the plight of celiac suffers that would just like to have a slice of pizza and a beer. Perspective, that’s what you need, perspective.

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