Sometimes timing is just serendipitous. As it happened, a collision of events led to a very enjoyable, if not especially scientific, evening. These were: the World Cup, a collection of entirely random one-off bottles and cans of lager left over from various parties; and some gluten-free lagers that I wanted to try.
I decided to get some friends over and blind-taste the two award-winning gluten-free lagers – not to find out if they were nice (which they were) or which one we preferred, but instead to find out which standard lager they most resembled!
Leading Group A was CELIA - it's made from malted barley, water and hops, but it contains less than 0.5 mg/100 ml (< 5 ppm) of gluten. Leading Group B was Estrella's Daura Damm, based on malted barley and rice, also with very low gluten content, in this case < 3 ppm.
Their opponents were (and this just illustrates the randomness of my left-over lagers): San Miguel, San Miguel Fresca, Becks Blue alcohol-free lager, Carlsberg Export, Budweiser and Stella Artois.
It was a tough match! Though one of my friends did say he thought the CELIA was "potentially the nicest one among them" and indeed we all thought both the CELIA and the Daura held their own extremely well among such an illustrious crowd. In the end (and it was a surprisingly difficult task), we though CELIA tasted most like.... Stella! And Damm tasted most like... San Miguel Fresca!
Meanwhile, it was Brazil 0, Mexico 0. Well, you can't win them all...