Tuesday, June 2, 2015

First Draft: Coors Peak

By Chris Betz

Looking at a bottle of Coors Peak Copper Lager, you might not realize it's gluten free - and that's a good thing. Using a combination of malted brown rice, pea protein, hops and caramel sugar, MillerCoors has created a brew that smells and tastes more like a traditional lager. The sweet caramel and toasted maltiness flavors remind me of an Oktoberfest lager. There's little hop aroma or flavor and the pea protein is not noticeable.

I'm guessing the pea protein in the gluten-free-certified Coors Peak (4.7% ABV) was added to give the beer more substance and body, but this beer remains quite thin. The real key here, however, is what the brewers didn't put in the recipe: sorghum. When used in large quantities, sorghum can give beer an off-putting sour taste that overwhelms all other flavors. This beer tastes like a beer.

Unfortunately, Coors Peak is not yet available in the Philadelphia region; due to production constraints, it's only sold for now in the Seattle and Portland metro areas for about $8 per 6-pack. (Perhaps requesting East Coast distribution on the Facebook page for the beer will help?)

Coors Peak Copper Lager is without a doubt the best beer that Coors makes - gluten free or otherwise. With widespread distribution, I have no doubt that it would knock Redbridge from its perch as the nation's best-selling gluten-free beer.
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