Many People from different parts of the country have been complaining for a couple of months that they can’t find Redbridge beer in stores anymore. In some cases, that is due to the fact that the local distributor dropped the beer from it’s line up. In the case of Publix stores, the grocery chain dropped the only gluten-free beer they carry system wide, even though their local distributors still sell it. Reportedly, this was due to poor sales. They got rid of poor performing gluten beers as well.
Rumors about Anheuser-Busch discontinuing the only mass produced gluten-free beer in the U.S. have run rampant for a while now. Finally, last week the company admitted that the beer might not be available temporarily because it was being reformulated. However, no estimated time line was given for the reformulated Redbridge. That news wasn’t comforting for fans of the beer – or the people who drink it because it’s the only gluten-free beer option in their area.
Finally, someone from the corporate communications office of Anheuser-Busch contacted me with good news for Redbridge fans. The newly reformulated, slightly lower alcohol content version of Redbridge has rolled out of production facilities and is on the way to a store near you. At least, it has if your distributor carries it. Even if your distributor stopped carrying it, you might want to contact them and suggest they give the new beer a try. It is said to have a smoother taste that might appeal to more beer lovers. According to the AB representative I spoke to, the beer is still gluten-free and safe for people who can’t tolerate gluten. It can also be sold in more states now that the alcohol content has been slightly lowered.
Since all major sports stadiums that offer gluten-free beer sell Anheuser-Busch products, there should not be any shortages for Redbridge for the MLB season this year. If your local stadium does not sell Redbridge yet, they should be offering it soon. At many parks, you have to find out where the beer is sold because it’s not stocked at every beer cart. Calling to get this information before you head out to a ball game is encouraged. Many people told me that there was no Redbridge at Turner Field last year, even after it was stocked there at several locations. You have to know where to find it and can’t count on a seasonal employee at a beer cart to know where that is.
Who knows? If the new Redbridge performs better than the old version, maybe Publix will add Redbridge back to their beer schematic for 2011!