Best Gluten Free Beers

Otherwise Brewing Calrose Crisp Rice Lager

gluten free beer brands 2023

Calrose Crisp Rice Lager by Otherwise

Gluten Free Rice Lager

This is only my second review ever posted for Otherwise Brewing, a fairly new gluten free brewery located in San Francisco, California. I recently reviewed their Western Addition Pale Ale, and tonight I’m back to taste the Calrose Crisp Rice Lager. Like their other beers, The Calrose Crisp is packaged in pint-size cans.

This gluten free lager is brewed on rice malt alone, and features Hallertau Tradition hops. Single malt, single hop! Like their pale ale, the Calrose Crisp enjoys a 5% ABV. This rice lager appears to be the lightest offering in their flagship series, and it stands beside an IPA, pale, stout, and sour ale. I will share a bit more about Otherwise Brewing’s other offerings at the end of the review.

Otherwise is not the first California brewery to commit to gluten free ingredients, but they are the first one that’s based in San Francisco. I’m very excited for my central California readers and I can’t wait to see how this gluten free lager tastes.

Below is the video of the beer’s pour. By the way, if you like browsing beers by beer pour, I have an entire gallery (aka playlist) of them here on the blog. Directly below the pour video is my full review of the Calrose Crisp Rice Lager. Be sure to add your thoughts in the comment section if you’ve tasted this beer yourself!

The Taste Test

Calrose Crisp Rice Lager

This gluten free rice lager pours with a crispy clear straw yellow hue. Just like the Western Addition Pale Ale, the Calrose Crisp Lager’s clarity is off the charts. It forms a fantastic head and it has yet to fully disappear as I type this review. The aroma carries quite a bit of herbal spice.

This is one of those lagers that tastes exactly like it smells. The earthy spice that lingers on the nose after the pour is present all the way across the palate as I sip. The Calrose Crisp has a dry mouthfeel and a light body, although the hop flavors kind of push my perception of it half way towards medium with the soft qualities they impart. This gluten free lager is quite hoppy, without being too bitter.

When I take a drink of the Calrose Crisp, I first observe the body and carbonation. It has a crisp, light texture at the front of the palate, but the beer’s mouthfeel becomes smoother and the flavor profile becomes more herbal as it moves through the middle and back palate. The hop profile is very earthy, but more in a grassy way than a forest way–which is pretty typical for Hallertau Tradition hops. A warm spice character lingers on the tongue after swallow.

All in all, this is an incredibly flavorful rice lager. I also feel it’s a pretty unique one among the gluten free lagers on the market today. I would certainly drink it again! I’m also excited to try some of Otherwise Brewing’s other flagship brews, including a Dessert Stout, a Guava Sour, and a Juicy IPA. If you want to read up on the pale ale that I reviewed earlier this week, check that out here!

If you have an opinion about which of the above mentioned beers I should taste first, please comment it below! Here are your choices again: (All are brewed with 100% gluten free ingredients.)

  • Hella Nibs Dessert Stout
  • Guava Fresca Kettle Sour 
  • 30,000 Feet Juicy IPA

P.S. Like what I do for the gluten free beer community? Consider buying me a beer for my efforts! ;)

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