Gluten-free beer seems to be where it's at these days. More and more brewers appear to be going after a slice of the intolerance dollar and, whereas once gluten-free beers were very much a compromise option not tasting convincingly like beer, more recent offerings like Wold Top Against The Grain and the quinoa beer UCC presented at Franciscan Well last Easter, have been closer to the mark.
The latest exhibit is Celia, a lager brewed in Žatec with, predictably, Saaz hops. Organic barley is high on the ingredients list and no other fermentable is named so I don't quite see how the claim of under 0.5mg of gluten per 100ml at 4.5% ABV was achieved, but there you go.
It's an enticing red-gold colour and smells like a proper Czech výčepní: gently grainy with a seasoning of fresh mown grass. The texture is light and smooth though pleasantly prickled, and the flavour perfectly clean. The hops are on the down-low and there are some additional soft fruit esters: a bit of peach, maybe.
Really it's quite an unremarkable-tasting beer, delivering everything that most consumers of 33cl bottles of lager want. Good news for any of them that have found they aren't able to handle gluten, then.