>>consumers and buyers give their views on the latest launches

From: Hambleton Ales

GFB from Hambleton Ales, launched in February, is the first gluten-free beer to be brewed in Britain. The Yorkshire brewer developed the newcomer for gluten and wheat-intolerant drinkers.
Price: £2.79 per 500ml bottle
Total score: 35/50

Consumer’s verdict
Jacob Lyngsaa,
Key account manager,
35, Petworth, Sussex

I like the packaging of this ale. It looks interesting and clearly says what it is. Ale drinkers can be adventurous by nature and I would probably try this one if I saw it on shelf, even though I am not gluten or wheat-intolerant. The fact that it comes from an independent brewery is also appealing.

GFB has quite a good flavour but it is slightly too sweet for me. However, it leaves a nice strong citrus aftertaste. When poured into a glass, it has a rich colour, but only a delicate aroma, which is a shame.

I think the price is a bit high and above what you would expect to pay for this kind of product.

I am sure the ale will appeal to those with gluten and wheat concerns, but I can’t see repeat purchases from those outside that niche market.
Score: 15/25

Buyer’s verdict
Andrew Hargreaves,
Trading Controller - off-licence, Landmark

The initials GFB stand for gluten-free beer, although the product is also wheat-free. By November 2005, products will be legally required to carry an allergy warning for gluten and wheat content. This beer is free from both those two elements.

This is a 4.2% abv tawny ale that provides a full-bodied beer with an initial sweetness that gives way to a pronounced hop character, with no loss of fullness of flavour.

It’s a great performance beer, although it has a greater degree of effervesence than I would normally expect from an ale.

GFB is a first-class product for those whose beer drinking is limited by associated allergies, and it’s not bad for those who can drink standard ales, either.
Score: 20/25