Gluten-Free Irish Beer Doesn’t Have to Be Green
Guys, if you are thirsting for a more traditional Irish-style gluten-free beer this St. Patrick’s Day you don’t have to add food coloring to our Session IPA (unless that’s your thing). Many different styles, flavors, and colors of beer have roots in Ireland but green beer isn’t one of them. The most prominent of the Emerald Isle born beer styles would be Irish red ales and dark stouts, an adaptation of early porters. Want to celebrate St. Patrick’s day like a true Irishman? Say “sláinte”, fill your glass to the brim with an Aurochs Porter and learn more about these brew styles born of Erin.
Irish Red Ale
Dating as far back as the 8th and 9th centuries, “red ales” have been mentioned in Irish poems being drunk in “Dorind” in Kerry. How exactly they made these beers so red a thousand years ago, we may never know, but today we have a much better idea thanks to a little Irish brewery called Smithwicks. This ale focuses heavily on a good ol’ Irish malt and gets its ruddy color from a small amount of roasted barley. This deep red beer has notes of caramel and toffee, medium body, moderate carbonation, and a clean medium-dry finish. A gluten-free red ale would heavily feature sweet, caramel millet malt with support from a mix of millet and buckwheat malts kilned at high temperatures.
If you are craving that sessionable, easy-drinking, and well-balanced Irish red, consider our Aurochs Amber Ale. Although a smidge darker in hue, as the name Amber would suggest, the Aurochs Amber features the same caramel and toffee notes similar to red ales. Our gluten-free Amber Ale is slightly hoppier than a traditional Irish red ale, thought it is not a prominent attribute. All of the beer you are looking for with none of the none of the gluten - start to finish.
Porter & Stout
Next is the iconic beer of Ireland, the stout… or is it the porter? The history of these two beer styles is intertwined and still today, many people have a hard time discerning the two. Traditionally, the word “stout” was used to signify a stronger version of a porter, thus you had “stout porters”. It wasn’t until Guinness - you may have heard of Guinness - started brewing their own “stout” in 1840 that the two became their own unique styles.
World famous, Ireland’s Guinness, is considered a dry Irish stout. Specifically, they are an “extra stout”. This distinction usually means that it’s dark, dry, and has strong coffee and roasted barley flavors. The creamy mouthfeel most associated with the draught version of the beer comes from tiny nitrogen bubbles infused post carbonation.
Both porters and stouts get their unique inky color from dark roasted malts. American and English versions of stout vary from Irish stout - specifically milk stouts brewed with lactose. Other adaptations of porters and stouts include more dessert-like flavors of almond torte, peppermint, or chocolate.
The Aurochs Porter is a fan favorite and perfect for celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. As mentioned, the traditional porter was the forebearer of the Irish stout or “stout porter” and a popular beer in Ireland after the style immigrated from England in the 1700s.
Available to order year-round, our gluten-free Aurochs Porter is a beautiful blend of dark roasted grains, long on dark chocolate and roasty espresso flavors. Not too sweet and not too boozy, it’s an absolute ‘go-to’ when donning the orange and green.
This year, for the first time ever, we released a unique specialty series beer in advance of St. Patrick’s Day - Boondock Sláinte, an Irish Breakfast Stout. Brewed in collaboration with PA-based coffee roasters, Richbarn Roasters, this limited edition stout is bold and rich. Weighing in at 8.3% ABV this big beer is brewed with millet, buckwheat, vanilla, American oak chips, lactose, and a custom, cold-brewed Richbarn Brazillian coffee.
An amalgamation of sorts, this Irish stout became a breakfast stout with the addition of Richbarn’s artisanal roasted coffee. The dark roasted grains pair beautifully with the rich, chocolate tone of the coffee beans while vanilla and oak add depth and complexity to a full sensory experience. The best part? With every order, we’re donating 12% to Richbarn Roasters in their pursuit to provide homeless shelters with free coffee
If you’re in the Pittsburgh area, you can pick up your beer at our taproom. If you live elsewhere in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia, Vermont, New Hampshire, or Washington DC, we can have it delivered right to your door in time for your St. Patrick’s celebrations. Don’t forget to head over to our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages and share your “sláinte” for a chance to be featured. This St. Patrick's day, celebrate with a true gluten-free Irish-style beer and leave the green for your t-shirt.