For a long time beer was a thing of the past for me, as the irritable bowel I struggled with for years turned out to be gluten intolerance. The gluten free beers I tried were uniformly poor, so I limited myself to wine. However things are improving now and decent GF beers are starting to appear as the brewers realize the size of the market and start to experiment.
This is my favourite GF beer of the moment, but it's very hard to find. I ended up visiting the wold top brewery near Filey in North Yorskhire to secure a supply. It's smooth, but quite heavily hopped, not unlike Harviestoun's Bitter and Twisted in character. Very drinkable, and deservedly popular even with those who aren't of the GF persuasion - my next door neighbour loves it.
This is my second GF choice, Wellington Bomber Porter from Glebe Farm (Huntingdon). Very nice.
But there is an issue: price. This little bottle (it's only 330ml) cost 2.65GBP at Brayton Farm shop in Yorkshire. That's around a fiver a pint. So this porter remains a sadly rare indulgence I turn to on odd occasions, not a regular tipple. Pity. Here's a clue: order it direct from Glebe Farm's Website and save yourself a bundle.
This is my third GF choice, also from the Wold Top range. But... not like any porter I've ever drunk before, being much more bitter than you'd expect a porter to be. Wold Top do love their hops.
I'm really hoping someone will import that north american oat-based GF cream stout I keep reading about online but cannot get here in the UK.
Smooth and with a lovely finish, this oaked ale was Morland's finest to date. Stupidly expensive, so I only drank this when it was on special offer at Sainsbury's.
A nice all-rounder, and quite easy to find. Wychwood also make a very fine stout called Black Wych, which is - sadly - much harder to find.
My bottle of choice when all humanity was against me and the world was ashes in my mouth. That would be Tuesdays, then.
Other good bottled beers to try are:
This is a bottle-conditioned ale, brewed to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Fuller, Smith and Turner breweries. It's 6.3% alcohol by volume. Can be a little too bitter for some people.
A good all rounder. I first had this (draught) at the Granta pub near Queens college, Cambridge in the 1970's - happy memories. Getting fairly easy find retail now - Sainsbury's sell it.
A lovely fruity beer. I used to live in the South of England and drank this all the time, at the Victoria Arms in Binfield village - which is probably one huge suburb of Bracknell by now.
Another good all-rounder.
Named after the hop variety, presumably. A very nice light summer ale.
Favourite draught beer of all time is this:
A winter warmer brew from the Moles brewery in Wiltshire, this is 6% ABV (Alcohol By Volume), and 100% ABM (Absolutely Bloody Marvellous).
It's extremely smooth, and goes down very quickly and easily. All very nice. Until you try to stand up :-)
I found this at the Sun Inn, in the village of Lydiard Millicent, just south-west of Swindon. Well worth a visit if you're in that part of the world. They also have Wadworth's 6X on tap, and Flowers original. They do food as well - so I'm told.
The second time we went, I was the designated driver :-(