Life Goes On

Brewery and Country of Origin: Green's Gluten Free Beers of 9 Briar Rhydding, Baildon Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD17 7JW, England, UK (Contract Brewed in Lochristi, Belgium)

Date Reviewed: 12-05-12

"We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and slipped the surly bonds of Earth to touch the face of God." On January 28th, 1986, as the world was watching the launch of the 25th flight in The Space Shuttle Program's history, tens of thousands of feet into the sky, a great tragedy which transformed and redefined such a romantic and passionate part of American history unfolded. That evening, during the time of a scheduled State of the Union Address, President Ronald Regan delivered a speech dedicated to the seven astronauts aboard the Challenger Shuttle, all of whom were killed in the loss. The entire program was suspended for 32 months, grounding all planned flights for the other shuttles. That day was one of the defining moments for 20th Century America, not just because of the disaster which struck, but because of our proud nation's ability to, as Regan put it: "pick ourselves up again and press on despite the pain." That was exactly what America did despite a suspension to the program. On July 31st, 1987, Congress authorized construction of the program's fifth operational shuttle OV-105, known to you and us as Space Shuttle Endeavour. This was the last shuttle constructed for the program. During its 19 year career with NASA, Endeavour flew 25 missions, covering 122,883,151 miles, or about a third longer than the distance between Earth and the Sun. Its final mission ended last year, June 1st, 2011, after delivering, among other things, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and the ExPRESS Logistics Carrier (both of which we have no idea what they do) to the International Space Station. On that second to last flight of the entire program, Mark Kelly was Commander. In another remarkable story of resilience, this mission marked the fourth and final flight for Kelly, whose wife Gabrielle Giffords, a Democratic Congresswoman from Arizona, was nearly killed by a gunshot wound to the head during a shooting in Tuscon on Junary 8th. Though she had less than an optimistic chance of a full recovery, Giffords and medical staff worked tirelessly for months, until she was able to walk, speak in fluent dialogue, and begin the process of living a normal life once again. In the wake of the shooting, NASA assigned the mission a backup commander if Kelly wasn't able to fly. But only five months after the shooting in Tuscon, Giffords was present at Kennedy Space Center to watch the launch of NASA's 165th Shuttle flight, with Kelly in Command. In some crazy vine-like way, this is all connected. As we've done before, we haven't had many good things to say about Gluten Free Beers. To say that this Belgian style Dubbel is markedly better would be close to lying. Indeed, it's the best gluten free beer we've had before, but that in and of itself isn't saying much. To be honest, there are many beers we still wouldn't really recommend to anyone that are rated higher. But still, we must confess: this beer is quite different. First and foremost, this is the only gluten free beer we've had so far that we actually would have again, and that's important. Because we can't imagine how much it would absolutely suck to find out you can no longer have gluten in your diet. Not even just beer, but real pasta, pizza, good bread, anything with flour, and just about every processed food in the market has some gluten in it. And to find out that all of a sudden, the thing that makes you sick is the food you eat? Well, that is life changing. But you know what? Like Endeavour, Giffords, and Kelly have shown, life will go on, and you have to make the choice whether you want to man up and go along with it, or mope about the past and go no where. Green's brews gluten free beers exclusively, and we have to applaud them for that. Because not only have they been able to produce a gluten free beer we actually find satisfying, they are also bound by self imposed obligations to crafting only those kinds of beers. At some point, gluten free beers will be as good as conventional beer, but like Solar Power, we're just not there yet. In fact, we're probably pretty far from it. But for those of you out there whose only option is a beer without gluten, at least there is Endeavour.
Date Sampled: 11-27-12 At: 7 Prescott Place, Allston, Boston, MA, 02134, USA
Beer Style: Belgian Dubbel
Alcohol by Volume: 7.00%
Serving Type: 500 mL Bottle, 16 oz Tumbler Glass
Rating: 2.68


Endeavour's appearance is mostly clear with a very rich, appealing dark ruby red color which is only really appreciated in a good light. This beer pours with moderate carbonation action producing a thick, dense, frothy foam head about one inch tall. The foam head has very good retention, and this beer demonstrates full lacing.


The large foam head gives off a fairly strong, but appropriate aroma with a bit of citrus with some clove notes. This beer has some grainy aroma mixed in, as well as a very small amount of hops. Despite a moderately elevated alcoholic content, there is no trace of alcohol in the aroma.


This is a medium bodied beer with an average level of carbonation and a medium low viscosity. This all makes the Endeavour a beer with a fair bit of substance and weight, but not enough to fill you up completely. This beer has a satisfying feel. A dry somewhat dry finish closes while a subtle warming effect lingers.


This beer has a very strong and pronounced (almost overpowering) flavor with a clove priority. This complex flavor contains some fuirty and citrus orange notes, as well as a somewhat sour undertone. There is a fair bit of malt toward the beginning, but this is short lived. The beer finishes with bitter hops at the very end with a slightly lingering aftertaste.

Our Take

To our more loyal readers, this review may actually sound a bit familiar to you. That's because we came to the same conclusion while we were writing about Lake Front's New Grist Gluten Free Ale. In that review, we stated that it was a step in the right direction, albeit the beer was still mostly unappealing. New Grist basically was a pioneering effort in tapping into an often overlooked and underappreciated market. This beer does much of the same, but better. And it does so by taking on tradition in one of its most established forms: Belgian strong ales. This is a strong, powerful, and bold beer with big tastes, and an alcoholic content to match. This attempt at a solid gluten free beer could have been yet another pale ale, or perhaps a grassy mess, but Green's was confident about their decision and brewing abilities, and we have nothing but respect for that. Like many innovative and world changing ideas, the concept of a reusable space orbiter which could land by itself was probably first laughed at, as was the idea of a good tasting gluten free beer. Well, thanks to brave heroes like Mark Kelly and pioneering breweries like Green's, no one is laughing anymore.