Thursday, June 3, 2010

Daura: that's Spanish for "Good news for celiacs"

I'm drinking my first sample of Daura, from Spanish brewer Grupo Damm, best known for their Estrella Damm, and the folks who released the beautifully-packaged (and surprisingly tasty, for all the scarily mainstream-brewer hype around it) Inedit last year. Daura is decidedly mainstream: it's straw-yellow, has a wispy white head that doesn't last overly long, it's fizzy. In its favor, it has the body of a Eurolager -- fuller than American light beer -- it has a distinct bitter tang on the end, and it's not overly fizzy.

So what's the big deal? Daura is gluten-free, or as near to it as to not matter (really: not my opinion, celiacs say so). Which means that this is easily the best gluten-free beer I've ever had: it tastes quite close to a normal lager, which is revolutionary.

It's not that surprising, though: Daura is made with malt, like a normal lager. Now, malt is low in gluten, but it's not gluten-free. How's that work? Here's the brief from importer United States Beverage:
Daura is a beer made with barley malt that is certified and guaranteed to contain gluten content below 6 PPM. This is a result of a proprietary brewing process that breaks down the gluten protein during the production process. Research and product development was made by Damm brewmasters in cooperation with the CSIC and Coeliac Association.
Deglutenized barley malt. Nice. Which definitely explains why it tastes like beer: it is beer, and not mead, or a sorghum beer, or a millet beer, some of the usual end-runs around gluten...which just don't taste like barley-malt beer. This does.

Mostly. There's just a tiny bit of astringency to it, which makes me think of Kaliber, the non-alcoholic beer. Back when I did a taste-test of NA beers, I got almost exactly the same reaction on Kaliber from everyone who drank it: tastes fine...until you have something else. Daura tastes different enough from something like Heineken or -- for instance -- Estrella Damm that it might taste funny if you switched away from it. But celiacs aren't going to be doing that! Besides, Daura tastes more like Eurolager than any of the NAs I've had, too.

Celiacs: your beer has arrived.

5 comments:

Bob Batz Jr. said...

Thanks for noting this, Lew. I might eventually write something about it, too. We always get a good response at the PG to gluten-free stuff, and I just thank my lucky stars that I don't have to worry about gluten. Can you imagine?

Anonymous said...

Where could one find Daura in teh Philly area?

Anonymous said...

Just walk into any beer distributor
in phila or five counties and if it is not already in stock the owner will be able to order a few cases within a few days..

Anonymous said...

Please ship some to Minnesota and let us know what liquor stores we can buy it!!
I minnesota gal in need of a good gluten free beer!!

Anonymous said...

Just bought some at Heritage Liquor in Maplewood MN. Tastes great!