Beer Review: Lakefront New Grist

IMG_0269_cropThe main reason I got this beer was because it contains sorghum, which came about purely from a conversation which ended in “I wonder what a sorghum beer tastes like?”. When I got the beer I saw that it had gluten-free plastered all over the bottle, which is great for people with Celiac disease, bur at a guess I would say that people with the disease are not the ones searching for it most often. Not too common in Western markets, sorghum beer is quite common in Africa and has been around for awhile, you can read more about it in these articles by Lyumugabe and colleagues and Edwards. This beer is brewed with sorghum and rice, but it gave the general idea of what a sorghum beer would be like.

The nose is sour with an earthy smell that must be the sorghum, but also with a faint sweetness that I remember from some Korean rice wine I have had before. The flavors in the taste are hard to pin down, they kind of taste a bit sweet and almost like buttery popcorn for some reason. The rice is also there as it was on the nose, and again with earthy notes. The finish is slightly fruity (probably due to the hops) and fleeting, but again with the buttery popcorn flavor. The whole experience is reminiscent of crisp cider without the fruit.

One reason sorghum based beers are not common in Western markets is because they don’t last as long as other beers. I had this beer about a month before its best-by date and the sourness was on the nose but the beer was well within its shelf life. The beer was light, but not unpleasant as I had in my mind before I tired it. There are other sorghum beers out there, and I would be interested to try those when I come across them, especially if they are a bit darker. In the meantime, at least I can say I know what a sorghum beer tastes like.

Who: Lakefront Brewery, USA

What: Pilsner

Nose: Sour, earth

Look: Very light clear yellow

Taste: Sour, earth

Finish: Slightly fruity

Form Tried: 355ml bottle

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