New A-B sorghum beer to be brewed in Merrimack

People with wheat allergies who have stayed away from beer will have a new option – and it will be brewed in New Hampshire.

Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. on Wednesday introduced Redbridge, which the company calls the first nationally available sorghum beer.

Named Redbridge, the beer is described as a hearty, full-bodied lager brewed using imported Hallertau and domestic Cascade hops, and has a well-balanced, moderately hopped taste. It will be brewed at the company’s Merrimack brewery.

The grain sorghum is grown in the United States, Africa, southern Europe, Central America and Southern Asia. Sorghum beers have been available internationally for years and are popular in many African countries, according to Anheuser-Busch.

Redbridge will be marketed as an alternative for those with allergies to wheat or gluten, or with celiac disease — a digestive disease that damages the small intestine, interferes with absorption of nutrients, and intolerance to the protein gluten, which is found in wheat, rye and barley — common ingredients found in many beers.

“We set out to create a fine, hand-crafted specialty beer made without wheat or barley,” said Angie Minges, product manager for Anheuser-Busch. “We’ve made Redbridge nationally available to make sure adults who experience wheat allergies or who choose a gluten-free or wheat-free diet can enjoy the kind of beer that fits their lifestyle.”

She said Anheuser-Busch worked with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness during the development of Redbridge to get “a better understanding of the needs of consumers who are leading gluten-free or wheat-free lifestyles.”

Redbridge contains 4.8 percent alcohol per 12-ounce serving. It will be available starting this week in specialty food stores, the specialty food aisle in most major grocery stores as well as in restaurants. — CINDY KIBBE

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