Saturday, 25 April 2015
Mongozo Premium Pilsner
I had a 400mL glass of Mongozo Premium Pilsner, a gluten-free, organic, and fair trade pale lager, on tap at Toronto's Town Crier Pub. This stuff is produced by Mongozo BV, out of Venray, The Netherlands. According to the Mongozo website, it's the world's first lager to combine gluten-free, organic, and fair trade. It's a fizzy, pale golden brew and arrived mildly hazy and capped with an elegant white head. The beer list at the Town Crier informed me that the stuff contains the standard 5% alcohol and brewed using barley malt.
I've been burned by gluten-free beers in the past, which accounts for this one being the first I've reviewed, but I had 30 minutes to kill before a movie and decided to take a risk.
Aroma-wise, this beer is all pilsner, with a grainy, cereal-filled, and decently hoppy. This doesn't entirely translate in terms of flavour or mouthfeel. The beer is pretty thin, and lacks the crispness that I've come to expect from the pilsner style. It has an alright enough flavour, though it's unusually mild and has a bit of a gluten-free funk that manifests in curious, corn-syrupy sweetness. I wish it tasted more like it smells.
While this beer was far better than some other gluten-free efforts that I've tried, against quality European pale lagers, it comes up a bit short. I'm inclined to give it a fairly favourable rating, owing to its pedigree as an enigmatic bière sans gluten, but it can't be too high, since it didn't offer the pilsner satisfaction that I was after. Consider my rating accordingly.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10.