Estrella Damm Daura? Da…I mean Darn! That’s good beer!
My wife Lea and I have been drinking gluten-free beer for about a year now, and not surprisingly, some are better than others.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
By now, you’re undoubtedly asking “OK…How did all get this get started? Beer…from Spain??? And what’s with the funny name?”
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.
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.
So give Estrella Damm Daura a try. You won’t be disappointed.
Thanks for the great article on Daura. We’re glad you like the beer and if you have any other comments or feedback, we’d love to hear them.
Brand Manager, United States Beverage
email@example.com (Daura’s US importer)
My pleasure, entirely! Glad you liked the article, because we REALLY like ESTRELLA DAMM DAURA.
I’m a celiac and this beer made me sick. Recent articles suggest the current testing methods under-detect gluten in hydrolyzed beverages. My gut is more fine tuned and says this is not safe for celiacs.
I’ve read the same info about the testing methods and how they may not be accurate. I am also a celiac and quite sensitive. I haven’t had problems with this beer. But it is good advice that anyone who is sensitive should be really, really careful and it may be best just to avoid it entirely if there is any doubt about what it might be doing to you.
Just remember that level of symptoms doesn’t always correspond to level of damage! Be healthy!
I’ve tried the Redbridge and it’s ok but sweet and really light on flavor. I like a deep flavor such as Miller Genuine Draft, but with IBS and with being Paleo and losing weight I want a beer occasionally that ENT affect either one but still have good flavor.
I’m trying to locate Estrella Damm Dauer in or around the Nashville Tn area. Will let you know when I actually taste one.
Thanks for all the great info and recipes. You guys rock…in that caveman Paleo sort of way!
I have tried many many gluten free beers and this is hands down my favorite. We have traveled all over Europe and I have tried gluten free beer wherever I go and can find it. A gluten free beer from Prague was my favorite until I fell upon this life saver in Spain. I will never have to try another. (Unless this is not available). I get mine here in the states at Total Wine.