Green's endeavors to make a gluten-free dark beer. It's drinkable, but it's not beer. Without malt to mellow out the alcohol (7%), it tasted more like liqueur (maybe Kahlua?) than beer. Unlike most dark beer, the body was very thin. I probably would't buy Endeavor again, but I would try other beers in Green's gluten-free line.
Toleration, brewed by Hambleton Ales: an ironic name for an intolerable beer. When poured into the glass, large chunks of sediment resembling blood clots floated throughout the beer. 20% of the bottle was solids. Am I supposed to shake it before opening? The flavor was sickly sweet and metallic, with an unpleasant aftertaste of rubbing alcohol. The mouthfeel was thin and drizzly. This is the first and only beer I've ever poured down the drain. I would not drink this if someone paid me.
After the Toleration, St. Peter's Sorghum Beer was a relief. It looks, tastes, and feels like Bud Light. Ordinarily, that wouldn't be a point in its favor, but the fact that it's gluten-free and not disgusting goes a long way. The mouthfeel is thin, like a light beer, and the flavor is watery and floral with a respectable hoppy bitterness. If I really wanted beer for a football game, I would buy this, but it's nothing to jump up and down about.
My first sip of bright, fruity New Grist by Lakefront Brewery was encouraging. It had that rice aftertaste common to gluten-free imitations of real food, but it wasn't so bad. The beer had no head and little carbonation, with a medium body. There were hints of nutmeg. As the beer warmed, the flavor turned more toward sour apple, and it began to smell strongly of rice and (was I imagining things?) onions. Ice cold, this was the best gluten-free beer I've tried so far. Closer to room temperature, when its true colors came through, it was a struggle to swallow.
Finally, Red Bridge by Anheuser-Busch. This is probably the most widely-available gluten-free beer; it's the only one in the refrigerator at my grocery store. Red Bridge tastes an awful lot like Budweiser. This is not a good thing. It's coppery and thin with no aftertaste. It's just a background lager: it gives you calories and alcohol, but doesn't make a statement. This is no replacement for Sierra Nevada or Sam Adams Boston Lager, but while it is not good, it also is not gross, and that makes it the best of the gluten-free beers I tried. If you really, really want a beer for the tailgate party, Red Bridge is drinkable, but it's nothing to get excited about.
I don't like wine very much and I'm not going to switch to hard liquor, so until somebody comes out with a worthwhile gluten-free beer, I'll be drinking more tea in the evenings. Seriously, brewers, the field is wide open. There is no widely-available, enjoyable gluten-free beer, and there are a lot of Celiacs. The first brewery to corner the gluten-free market will make a boatload. Hell, I'm tempted to buy a bag of sorghum, head out to the garage, and give it a try myself.
Here I am, brewers, with beer money. Please, please make something worth buying.