Although this beer is not new to the gluten free beer scene, it’s new to me. My husband brought it home last weekend from HEB for me to sample. I have been 100% loyal to Red Bridge by Anheuser Busch for years as the only gf beer that is worthy. With a lime and a chilled mug, it’s been the closest thing to a Corona I’ve been able to achieve. Don’t get me wrong. It IS in fact worthy.
So to understand my feelings on Sun Eater from 4th Tap of Austin, TX, it’s necessary to understand my views on relationships. Every meaningful relationship in my life has stemmed from an understated, if not non existent beginning. Never a love at first site moment. There is a reason for this, I have only just now come to understand in my 40s. It is because people who come on strong are appealing only to my razzle dazzle factor, and I will eventually grow bored when I find out there is not much more there to support the facade. The whole package feels one dimensional.
I love the ones you never see coming. They creep in quietly with a subtle impact and are around you ten times before you even realize they’ve had an effect on you. The ones who are so multidimensional that you start to pay attention because you wonder what the next layer will reveal, and they always keep you guessing. And then the relationship starts to build because now you are receptive to it and the person, seeing that, shares more deeply. Eventually, you start to realize the significance of the impact and the void that would be left if they were not part of your life. And now a new friend has become and old friend, as if they’d been there from childhood. That’s substance.
My first impression of Sun Eater was “Holy Rosemary!” I could taste the rosemary so strongly and wondered how that had even earned a spot in the beer ingredient line up. But because I’m me, I still had to squeeze a lime off in there to test it out further. Although I was initially turned off a little by the massive herbal aftertaste, what I did notice was the lightness to the beer. Many other GF beers are heavy and leave you ready to pop after 1.5 beers. This one was somewhat of a throw back to light beers I used to enjoy before becoming strictly GF. So I told my husband, “I don’t know. I mean I ain’t mad at it, but it’s kind of…different.”
The next day I was thinking about it again and decided to give it another try. I froze my mug, squeezed fresh lime juice and this time, I didn’t notice the herbs as much as the lighter, fresh taste.
Finally last night, in a school-is-now-out-for-Christmas celebration moment while preparing for an ugly sweater party, I decided to have one before leaving. That’s when it hit me. I love it. I really do. It’s smooth, crisp and unique in flavor. It tastes light and does not weigh me down. And most interestingly, I don’t taste the rosemary anymore as a stand alone ingredient, but as a necessary participant in a marriage of flavors. I just taste goodness and sunshine.
Hello, old friend.