Estrella Damm Daura? Da…I mean Darn! That’s good beer!
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Estrella Damm Daura
My wife Lea and I have been drinking gluten-free beer for about a year now, and not surprisingly, some are better than others.
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Beer-lovers who drink gluten-free beer usually do so because…well, because they want a beer, right? Well, yes and no. Undoubtedly, there are some folks who prefer gluten-free beer to traditionally brewed beer. I mean, some people like wine coolers…but I digress. Anyway, many beer-drinkers reach for gluten-free beer because like my wife, they have Celiac Disease.
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Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine that occurs in people of all ages. It’s caused by a reaction to gluten protein that is commonly found in wheat, barley and rye. Additionally, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation (http://www.celiac.org/), approximately 1 out of ever 133 Americans (about 2.5 million people) have some degree of intolerance to gluten, so it’s not surprising that the market for gluten-free food, including beer, is growing.
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As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, the biggest difference between gluten-free beer and traditional beer is…drum-roll, please…the taste! Gluten-free beer tends to be sweeter due to high sugar content. That’s because gluten-free beer is often brewed with sorghum, a type of grass used for a variety of purposes, like making syrup for pancakes or feeding livestock. Speaking for myself, some gluten-free beers taste pretty good, and I don’t mind drinking them, but others do NOT. Bottom line: if you like beer but have Celiac Disease, adjusting to the taste of gluten-free beer is pretty much a priority.

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Or, at least it was…until Estrella Damm Daura came along. This delicious gluten-free beer from Barcelona, Spain (or “Bar-thay-LOH-na”, as the natives say) is truly a revelatory experience for beer-lovers with or without Celiac Disease, so it’s a brew that everyone will enjoy.
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And what makes Estrella unique? Why the taste, of course! Estrella has won numerous awards for beer excellence, including a Gold Medal at the 2011 World Beer Championships in Chicago, a Gold Medal at the 2011 International Beer Challenge in London, and the title of World’s Best Gluten-free Lager Award at the World Beer Awards in London…so you KNOW it tastes good! In fact, of all the gluten-free beers I’ve sampled,I can honestly say that Estrella Damm Daura tastes indistinguishable from traditional beer! The overly sweet taste I described that is commonly associated with gluten-free beer? You won’t find it here…period.
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By now, you’re undoubtedly asking “OK…How did all get this get started? Beer…from Spain??? And what’s with the funny name?”
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Well, I’m glad you asked…
Estrella Damm Daura
In 1872, France and Germany were (again!) fighting over the much-disputed Alsace region on the Rhine River, and August Kuentzmann Damm had enough! So August (“Augie” to his friends) and his wife Melanie packed-up their things and headed for the warmer, more laid-back environment of Barcelona on Spain’s Catalonian coast. Augie and Melanie were blissfully happy in Spain, but they missed their traditional Alsatian beer! So in typical German style, Augie decided that if he wanted something done right he’d better do it himself! So in 1876 he founded Damm Brewery, and “Estrella” (or “Star” beer) was born.
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Estrella Damm Daura still uses the original 1876 basic recipe. But unlike other gluten-free beers, which use sorghum as a substitute for wheat or grain, DAURA uses barley-malt. A proprietary brewing process strips the gluten protein from the barely malt, leaving only the “real beer” taste. The result is a gluten content level less than 6 parts per million (ppm) which is below the 20 ppm required for gluten free products. Despite their numerous awards for excellence, Estrella Damm Daura isn’t marketed as a beer just for people with Celiac Disease (http://www.estrelladamm.com/en/). It’s marketed as an excellent beer that just happens to be gluten-free.
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So give Estrella Damm Daura a try. You won’t be disappointed.
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Salud!
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