I haven’t had beer for several years due to developing an allergy to barley. Now, while I was never a heavy beer drinker (I regularly go months between alcoholic drinks and haven’t had more than two in one sitting for over a decade now) I used to really enjoy the occasional brew with dinner.

Well, about six months ago I heard about sorghum beer, which contains no barley and no wheat (wheat’s OK with with me, but all the ads I’ve seen seem to emphasize the lack of either). I didn’t have an occasion/reason to have a beer for most of that time, but I had a Superbowl party last weekend and nothing goes with Superbowl commercials and munchie trays like a brewski.

So I bought a six of Redbridge, a barley and wheat-free sorghum beer. I selected Redbridge mainly because it was the sorghum beer available at my local grocery store, not from any great affection for its producer, Anheuser-Busch.

It tastes like… beer.

Let me clarify - it doesn’t taste like pale lager such as the Budwieser/Miller/etc types that are cheap and plentiful and consumed in vast quantities by people who value those qualities.

Just as dark beers, and stouts, and homebrews, and microbrews all taste different but are still in the “beer” family, this tastes like beer. But yes, it is a bit different from barley-based beers.

Is it good?


Of course, the answer to that depends in part on whether or not YOU like it, but yeah, I found it good. It’s a little harsher than a lot of other beers I’ve had, but not in a way I mind. At least it has a flavor, which is more than I can say about some Clydesdale pee I’ve had. Back when the beer territory was wide open for me I favored dark beers and I didn’t mind some bitter, so take that into account

Anyhow, it was nice to have a brew with the 'Bowl. The rest of the six is in the fridge awaiting the next occasion to crack one open.

When that one is gone I think I’ll try to find a six of other varieties of sorghum beer, but it may be quite awhile before I get around to it.

Get on that. Beer doesn’t keep as well as people tend to presume.

YES. My father in law is gluten intolerant, and that Redbridge is a pretty good beer that we can drink together.

Just curious - what were your allergy symptoms for beer? I can no longer drink most beers because I have a sneezing fit when I do!

There are some great rye beers out there-- can you do rye? Buckwheat?

Since you think wheat may be okay with you, there are a lot of awesome wheat beers out there. There aren’t any awesome gluten free beers. One of my favorite breweries happens to be in your home state- Three Floyd’s. They make a pretty good wheat beer called Gumballhead. Hefeweizens are German wheat beers and a favorite style of mine. My favorite is Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier and they distribute to Indiana.

There is only one left - I had friends over and shared.

Wheezing, hives, itching, sneezing, swelling of lips, tongue, palate, eyes followed by a couple days of diarrhea and some very nasty skin rashes. It’s not pretty.

Probably - I think there are millet beers, too. The problem is that some beers are mixed grain. I really, really can not risk anything with any barley in it. (Which is sad, because I used to really like barley - I’d cook it and eat it like rice)

So far, every wheat beer I’ve found ALSO contains barley. I went through this last time I posted a thread about my inability to tolerate barley beers. I was willing to try Redbridge because they were sooooooooo clear about there being no barley whatsoever in the brew. Particuarly since I have no health insurance at the moment due to loss of employment, I simply can NOT risk landing in the ER with a severe reaction.

I will keep it in mind, though. More research…

I’m not positive, but I don’t think that witbiers have barley in them.


A Belgian Style ale that’s very pale and cloudy in appearance due it being unfiltered and the high level of wheat, and sometimes oats, that’s used in the mash. Always spiced, generally with coriander, orange peel and other odd ball spices or herbs in the back ground. The crispness and slight twang comes from the wheat and the lively level of carbonation. This is one style that many brewers in the US have taken a liking to and have done a very good job of staying to style. Sometimes served with a lemon, but if you truly want to enjoy the untainted subtleties of this style you’ll ask for yours without one. Often referred to as “white beers” (witbieren) due to the cloudiness / yeast in suspension."

I’d probably steer clear of Blue Moon just to be safe, since it’s an American “Belgian style White beer” and go with Hoegaarden, Wittekerke or St Bernardus Witbier for a first try. Tastes sort of like a hefeweizen, but a little less yeast and a bit more citrus and spice notes.

Witbiers are traditionally around 50-50 wheat and barley. I can’t think of any beers off the top of my head that are 100% wheat, and I seem to recall reading something in one of Charlie Papazian’s books about why 100% wheat is either not practical or not a good idea.

Yeah, I just looked up clone recipes for the beers wheats I mentioned and they have barley in them. Sorry for tryin’ to kill ya, Broomstick. :smiley:

AIUI,wheat lacks enzymes capable of converting starch to sugar in the mash phase.
Six row barley has more diastatic power than two row and helps convert other grains,though I’m not saying that all portions of the grain charge lead to fermentables.

OP,that would be a bummer allergy for me.Glad you found an alternative.