Stringers Micro Brewery Gluten Free Outlook Ales
StringersStringers is an independent microbrewery in Ulverston, Cumbria, with an award-winning range of real ale and a strong, up-front, environmental policy. Their attractive bottled-beers (all with beautiful labels) now include 2 new ales – both specially designed to be gluten-free.
Beer’s the thing we love,’ says brewer Jon Kyme, who, with bio-chemist Becky Stringers, makes the range of beer which first started as home brew in their Liverpool kitchen.
‘We are a small brewer; we like being small and we would rather be small,’ Jon says.
‘Small enough so that we can concentrate on quality rather than quantity.’
Stringers wears its environmental badge with pride too; the brewery is signed up to a company that provides 100% renewable energy, they offset all their CO2 and manage their waste in a highly efficient way.
So good green credentials - but what about the beer? Ordinary beer drinkers might already know about Stringers. Their eclectic range is well respected and they’ve just won 2 Global Craft Beer Awards for Stringers Damson, a glorious-looking damson beer that’s re-fermented with wild yeast. Sadly this one’s not gluten-free, but they’re certainly a brewery to watch, if only for the arrival of their gluten-free porter (the holy grail of gf beer) which will be ready in the New Year.
Asked about their foray into gluten-free brewing with two new ales, Outlook Golden and Outlook Amber, Becky says ‘We’d been brewing a cask beer that was already very low-gluten. We decided to work on the recipe to ensure that the beer was well below 20ppm as measured by modern, highly sensitive tests suited to beer.’ After six months of experimentation, they worked out the best method to produce a beer that typically gets ‘gluten results around 5 or 6 ppm.’
Stringers‘We decided to bottle this beer after talking with a beer lover (recently diagnosed with gluten intolerance) who said he was looking for a low-strength session beer. Encouraged by the resulting Golden Ale, we decided we would produce a GF range of bottled beers. The 'Outlook' range currently includes the “Outlook Golden” and “Outlook Amber”. We plan to add a GF porter ('Outlook Dark') in the New Year.’ Each batch of beer is tested to ensure its gf status.
With labels straight out of ‘The English Lakes’ by A. Heaton Cooper, Outlook Golden Ale and Outlook Amber Ale are fine examples of bottle design. Almost too good to drink, we thought, briefly.
Outlook Golden Ale pours a golden yellow, with an aroma of citrus hops; slightly grassy, with a little malt and unobtrusive honey. Quite inviting, we decided. It’s zesty with a hint of toast, and a pleasingly bitter, herbal finish.
Bitter 3.5/5; sweet 3/5
Outlook Gluten Free Golden Ale, 500ml 3.7%
Ingredients: water, malt (barley and wheat), honey, hops, yeast, hop extract.
Malts: Pale and wheat
Hops: Northern Brewer, Challenger and Mittelfruh.
Matches: Mussels, whitefish, crumbly Lancashire cheese
Outlook Amber Ale is copper-coloured with a gentle, fruity, slightly herbal aroma, and a touch of comforting malt. The first impression is a fleeting sweetness that’s soon replaced by orange peel, caramel, treacle and a long, lingering bitterness. We liked it on its own and it went well with the food pairing of Cheddar suggested on the bottle.
Bitter 4/5; sweet 2.5/5.
Outlook Gluten Free Amber Ale, 500ml 4.9%
Ingredients: Water, barley malt, hops, yeast.
Malts: Pale and crystal
Hops: Northern Brewer and Cascade
Flavours: Caramel, herbal, spicy
Matches: Roasted meats. Chilli. Cheddar cheese
We thought Stringers’ Outlook well-crafted beers, from a small, innovative brewer who we’re delighted to see has entered the gf market.
Stringers gluten free beers are available to buy online from Gluten-Free Shop and cost approximately £2.25 for a 500ml bottle of Golden Ale, and £2.40 for a 500ml bottle of Amber Ale.