This past weekend we had the privilege of pouring New Planet Beers at the Niwot Oktoberfest. For those of you who have never heard of it, Niwot is a small town just northeast of the New Planet headquarters in Boulder, Colorado. Each year, the local Rotary Club hosts the Oktoberfest event, and despite sporadic bad weather, we had a great turnout!

We had a blast pouring Tread Lightly, Seclusion IPA, and our Blonde Ale. As is pretty typical anytime we’re pouring our beers at cultural events or beer festivals, we were the only brewery pour gluten-free and gluten-reduced beers. People are always curious to try the beers, especially those folks who don’t have a gluten allergy or sensitivity. The main thing we hear is, “I’ve gotta try this…there’s no way it can taste like ‘real’ beer!”

Then we wait.

After that first sip, they look at us incredulously. “Holy cow!” Is a pretty common refrain.

But, I digress! In the spirit of a successful Oktoberfest event, we thought we’d explore this very German holiday in more detail. So, crack a beer, settle in, and let’s talk Oktoberfest!

Historical Roots

Oktoberfest really began in 1810, in Munich, Germany. The first celebration was actually a gathering to celebrate the marriage of the Bavarian Crown Prince, Louis (who would later become King Louis I of Bavaria) to Princess Therese von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The celebration was held in the fields, later named Theresienwiese (ie “Therese’s Fields”) and the royal family held horse races at the end of the event. The horse races were held around all Bavaria that year, though the royal family was present at the Munich events with Munich citizens.

The first party was such a hit that they decided to repeat the horse races again in 1811. 1811 also heralded the introduction of an Agricultural Fair at Oktoberfest, meant as a boon to the region’s agricultural contributions. By this time, a few enterprising Münchner (Munich citizens) set up beer stands at the festival, and the idea caught on in subsequent years.

Finally, in 1896 the now-iconic first beer tents and beer halls replaced the beer stands, and the rest is history.

Oktoberfest Today

Nearly 200 years later, Oktoberfest lives on in cities across the world, though the Munich Oktoberfest is still the largest, attracting over 6 millions visitors from around the world annually.

Each Oktoberfest is a bit different, but many of the cornerstones of those first celebrations can be found in even the smallest Oktoberfest event. Games and events for kids of all ages are still prominent in today’s celebrations, while the horse racing is largely a historical footnote now. Classic Bavarian music and cultural dress such as lederhosen for men and dirndl for women are prevalent and popular, though by no means required attire.

No matter where you find yourself celebrating Oktoberfest, we encourage you to take it all in. Dress in whatever makes you feel comfortable, dance to some traditional polka, grab a liter of bier, and toast to this most awesome holiday! As always, please drink responsibly, and next time you fill your bierstein with beer, reach for a New Planet Beer!

Prost!  

While it may not be an age-old question, it is certainly one that we at New Planet Beer get a lot: What is the difference between gluten-free and gluten-reduced beer?

Grab a pint and let’s dive in! Also, be sure to check out our sweet new infographic at the bottom of this article. Whether you’re Celiac or unsure if you have a gluten intolerance, the infographic is designed to help you understand a bit more whether gluten-free or gluten-reduced is the right choice for you!

Gluten-free beer is brewed with ingredients that are naturally gluten-free, such as millet, sorghum, rice, corn, quinoa, gluten-free oats, and cane sugar. If you’re not sure if a beer is truly gluten-free or not, know that all gluten-free beer labels must adhere to specific FDA standards.

Gluten-reduced beer is brewed with traditional ingredients such as barley and rye, which is then given an enzyme that specializes in breaking down the gluten-containing proteins. Gluten-reduced beers are technically called “crafted to remove gluten” and, similar to gluten-free beer’s need to adhere to FDA standards, must adhere to the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) standards. To obtain a “crafted to remove gluten” label the TTB requires that the beers pass a laboratory test at less than 10 ppm (parts per million) of gluten. When choosing a “crafted to remove gluten” beer, be sure to look for the TTB language on the package (the can or bottle) as there are many breweries that claim their beer is crafted to remove gluten despite it never being tested to TTB standards.

The key to brewing gluten-free beers is to start with 100% gluten-free ingredients and to develop a consistent process to eliminate cross contamination. As far as the actual brewing process is concerned, ensuring that your equipment is absolutely clean is an essential step for creating gluten-free beers. Cross contamination from gluten grains can completely ruin a gluten-free batch. That’s why at New Planet we only brew gluten-free beers after a scheduled CIP (clean in place) of the equipment and a deep clean of the surrounding areas. This way, we can ensure our equipment is 100% clean and free from possible gluten contaminants.

When brewing “crafted to remove gluten” beers, it is best to incorporate friendly grains like oats, non-gmo blue corn, and cane sugar into the grain build and start the brewing process with less gluten than a traditional barley craft beer. Also, we have tested and calibrated the enzymatic process over the last three years and have developed a proprietary process in dosing the enzymes to ensure the best possible outcome. (If you can’t tell, we nerd out about this, because we love making beers for everyone!)

No matter where you fall on the gluten-free or gluten-reduced spectrum, there is promising news: more and more breweries are seeing the opportunity that these beers present. As more people begin to ask about what’s in their beer, breweries are adapting and making tasty brews with this market in mind. For you, this means more choices will be available for you to drink gluten-free or gluten-reduced beers.

Below, explore our helpful new infographic to get a better understanding of whether gluten-free or gluten-reduced beer is best for you.

If you’ve already been diagnosed Celiac, the answer for you is simple: Drink gluten-free beer!

For those of you who haven’t been diagnosed Celiac, a few options exist for you. If you have already tried gluten-reduced beer and you still react to it, it is best that you stick to gluten-free beer altogether. Afterall, a beer is only good if you enjoy it during and after!

Lastly, if you’ve had both gluten-free and gluten-reduced beer, and the gluten-reduced beer doesn’t seem to give you any issues, we’ve got good news for you: drink both gluten-free and gluten-reduced brews!

At New Planet Beer, we’re proud to be brewing gluten-free and gluten-reduced beer. Not a group to settle, we continually improve our recipes to give you the highest quality beer that fits your dietary needs and your wallet.

So, next time you’re in your local liquor store and reach for a gluten-free or gluten-reduced beer, check the packaging so you see what we’re talking about…and keep supporting your local brewers by picking up a New Planet six pack for your next adventure.

Cheers!

There’s just something about a warm summer day that begs for an easy drinking beer to accompany your adventures. Put a beer like that in a light, hassle free, pack-in-pack-out can, and you’re well on your way to a great day.

This summer, we can’t get enough of Tread Lightly Ale. Clocking in at just under 5% ABV (4.9% to be precise), this beer is about as sessionable as they come. We love that we can have a few of these refreshing libations throughout the day without worrying that we’ll end up passed out under a table before dinnertime.

We’re obviously partial to Tread Lightly, but if you’ll allow us to indulge ourselves (pun intended), here’s why Tread Lightly is perfect for Anytime Drinking.

Tread Lightly Session Ale

It’s the Hops, Baby!

Crafted with Sterling hops, Tread Lightly lends a delicate, subtle citrus character to the overall profile of the beer. The beauty of the Sterling hop, too, is that it doubles as an aromatic. So if you’re not taking Tread Lightly with you as you backpack and camp the Rockies, do yourself a favor: pour this bad boy into a tulip glass. Once the beer has settled, dip your nose into the glass and take a deep inhale. If you pay close attention, you may get a whiff of some of the spicy notes that Sterling is also known for.

All. Day. Long

Session beers. Not familiar with this term for beer? Don’t worry, not everyone is, but at New Planet Beer, we’re pretty sure session beers are here to stay. While there is no tight rule as to what really defines a session beer, the typical brewer school of thought is anything under 5% ABV qualifies for a session beer. The key difference between this and, say a Big Brewer Lager, is a session beer’s ability to stay true to the style of the beer that is being made. In other words, a “normal” amber ale could clock in at 6.5% ABV. A session amber could be well below that ABV, but it is critical to ensure that the flavor, nose, and mouthfeel are all in line with what makes an “amber” an Amber. Still with us? Great!

A beer’s sessionability means it is great for lawn games at the park on a weekend day. It means you can put a few of these away and still remember to reapply that SPF 50!

A Beer for the Foodie

Tread Lightly’s drinkability and light, refreshing profile goes great with a variety of foods, too. Mild seafood dishes like shrimp scampi or pan seared scallops are an especially nice combination with Tread Lightly. Once again, it isn’t necessary, but pouring Tread Lightly into a glass will reward your tastebuds with another layer of goodness when paired with a food you’re particularly fond of.

Salads of mixed greens with strawberries, almond slices, goat cheese, and a light vinaigrette go great with Tread Lightly.

Tread Lightly is not only approachable in its flavor and nose profile and characteristics, but it is also crafted to remove gluten. This means that it is something to be enjoyed by everyone. We’ll drink to that!

Summertime is a great time to make memories and catch up with friends and family. No matter where your adventures take you, be sure to check out your local liquor store to pick up a six pack. If you don’t see it, it’s because we sold out of it at the distributor level…but don’t worry: We’ll have more if it for you in September. In the meantime, check out other liquor stores in your area for supply if you just can’t wait until September!

Waiting for summer is always bittersweet. Here in Colorado, a late-May snowstorm was quickly followed by 90°+ heat and before we knew it, the kids were out of school! And here we are, just days away from the beginning of July, figuring out how to best spend those precious days and weekends of warm weather. At New Planet Beer, we love the outdoors, and in that spirit, we’ve compiled a list of outdoor themed activities for you and yours to tackle in the last few months of summer.

Camping

Everyone has a different definition of camping. To some hardcore enthusiasts, it isn’t “camping” unless you’re backpacking 10+ miles into the wilderness with nothing but dried beans and a water filter for survival. If that’s your MO: good for you! We’d just encourage you to pack in an extra 12 ounces of our mountain-ready Seclusion IPA to keep you company and reward you once you set up camp!

For others, it isn’t camping unless it is “glamping.” That’s right: the combination of glamour and camping. Why leave behind the comforts of showers and running water if you don’t have to? For those of you who prefer the RV, bring the whole family with you to our amazing National and State Parks. These gems are perfect for families to explore the best of what mother nature has to offer.

Lastly, you may be an inbetweener, and you don’t mind sleeping on the ground in your tent, but you don’t want to hike for miles and miles to get there. Many weekend warriors are more than happy to car camp: break out the tent, sleeping bag, and lantern, and just sit by a campfire telling stories with friends as you listen to the nearby water and look up at the cloudless, star filled night.

Fishing

Another summertime favorite, fishing is a great way to while away the summertime hours. Bait fishing or fly fishing? People swear by both, so we’re not going to choose sides here! Whatever your passion, grab your rod and reel or pole and tackle box and hit the rivers and lakes near your home.

If you’ve got kids, fishing is a great way to teach them about local ecosystems, aquatic animal life, and (if you dare!) the peace and quiet that comes with being silent trying not to “scare the fish.” (Author’s note: I’m a lot older now, and I still don’t know if noises actually do scare fish away or if I just talked too much as a kid and it was a trick my dad invented to get some silence out of me…)

Water Parks

Getting away for a night or two or even a long day to fish or camp isn’t always feasible for everyone, so on those hot days, find a local swimming pool or water park. With waterslides and  rides, kids of all ages can cool down and have a ball splashing through the parks. Before you go, call ahead and ask if they have group discounts or see if local grocery stores offer any coupons for the parks. You’d be surprised how many offer deals to families in the summer time. Most places also let you bring in food for snacks and lunches, but be sure to leave those glass bottles at home!

Craft Brew Festivals

It wouldn’t be summer (at least in our minds) without one or two craft beer festivals! Summertime offers an endless array of brew fests, both large and small. We’ve seen advertisements for Belgian Beer Fests, festivals for breweries 5 years old or younger, local neighborhood fests, the list goes on.

Why do we love them so much? It combines two of our favorite things: beer and being outside in the sunshine. There is something really fun and unique about walking around from tent to tent with a small tasting glass and shooting the breeze with brewers and festival attendees. Friendships are made, people have smiles on their faces, and the beers are flowing! So hitch a ride and find a beer fest that interests you this summer!

No matter what you decide to do with your summertime hours, we hope that you enjoy the most of it with the people you love and with a cold beer in hand. And if you do find yourself in the Great Outdoors this summer, don’t forget New Planet Beer’s insanely portable six-packs of Seclusion IPA and Tread Lightly Ale!

New Planet Beer summertime getaways

The 2017 Denver International Beer Competition results are now announced!

The competition took place on April 1 & 2, 2017 at the Omni Interlocken Resort in Broomfield, Colorado.

Over 270 beers and ciders were judged double blind by 12 BJCP certified and national judges.

We are honored to have not just one, but THREE beers receiving awards.

  • New Planet Beer Blonde Ale Gold
  • New Planet Beer Tread Lightly Ale Silver
  • New Planet Beer Seclusion IPA Silver

New Planet Beer wins Denver International Beer competition

Summer is just around the corner, and that is getting the brew crew at New Planet Beer really excited! Don’t get us wrong, we love a fresh blanket of snow on the Rockies, but there’s just something about a cloudless blue-sky spring day that gets us going!

But, as any parent with a kid will remind you: It isn’t summer yet. School’s still in session. In that spirit, we’ve developed a few “Lesson Plans” we wanted to share with you. Below is Lesson 1. Stay tuned for more lessons over the next few weeks!

Alright, class: Pay attention!

Gluten Free vs Gluten Reduced Beers

At New Planet Beer, we brew only gluten free and gluten reduced beer. In fact, we’re the only brewery around that has that claim to fame. There are other breweries who brew gluten free or gluten reduced beers, but not both.

Please raise your hand if you know the answers to the following questions.

What’s the difference between gluten free and gluten reduced?

Easy. “Gluten Free” is defined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and it gets even more in depth when discussing gluten free beer.

The definition from the FDA is long and boring, but in truth, those details makes a world of difference to our customers and how we brew our beer.

In short, in order to call a beer “gluten free” (and be labeled as such by the FDA), it must be brewed with ingredients that test out less than 20 Parts Per million (PPM), and the brewing process itself must mitigate cross-contamination with gluten. Finally, the resulting beer must be less than 20 PPM, too.

Long story short: Any gluten free beer will have a label saying it is 100% gluten free. No label? Not gluten free. Simple as that!

Okay, so what about Gluten-reduced?

Gluten-reduced is a bit different. It is a brewing industry term and isn’t regulated by the FDA, but is a category created and tested by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Trade Bureau (TTB)…try to say that fast five times after a few beers!

While the TTB may not be the FDA, it is still strict! Just to give you an idea of the testing the TTB puts a gluten-reduced beer through: New Planet’s Seclusion IPA and the Tread Lightly Ale both went through the TTB testing process. And it took 12 months to get approval!

Why so long? Well, the TTB performs lab tests, formula ingredient reviews, as well as tests the beer for PPM of gluten. We’re proud that our beers that are gluten-reduced test out at less that 5 PPM…that’s pretty awesome.

Using Gluten-free or Gluten-reduced ingredients is one thing, but how do we ensure that our beers stay that way?

This is a question we get a lot. Gluten, after all, seems to be everywhere.

We have incredibly strict policies at New Planet that guides how we brew our beer. For example, we only brew gluten-free beers on Mondays. Why Mondays? Because our brewery undergoes a deep clean on Sunday. This eliminates any traces of gluten that could remain from when we brew our gluten-reduced brews.

By doing it this way, we ensure that our equipment is in pristine condition, and no other beers are brewed during this time. Our adherence to this policy, among many others, ensures the integrity of our beers.

Alright class, that’s it for today. Your homework for the week is to crack open a New Planet Beer and kick your feet up. Good luck!

Raspberry Grapefruit Millet Ale Gluten Free Beer2017 People’s Choice Awards
Saturday, April 1, 2017, 6 to 9 p.m. Omni Interlocken Resort, Broomfield, Colorado

  • 120 passionate beer lovers will have the opportunity to sample from a selection of more than 150 beers from the 2017 DIBC
  • Attendees will get to cast their votes for the favorite beers. These votes will be tabulated and used to determine “The People’s Choice Awards (1st, 2nd and 3rd place)
  • Light snacks and appetizers will be offered at the tasting

Be sure to check out New Planet Beer’s selection at the 2017 People’s Choice Awards!

 

Break is over and school is back in session. Wynkoop’s First Annual “Day of Dorks” is set for Saturday March 4th and we are calling all beer geeks to help us celebrate some of the world’s nerdiest brews!!

We will be encouraging attendees and reps to dress up as dorks, geeks and nerds and will be having a school supplies drive to donate to local schools.

As we nail down more specifics I will be forwarding them along to all of you.  If you have any other questions or concerns, please phone text or email me but below will give you the initial timeline.

Event from Noon to 4:00 pm

day of dorks

Every so often, people ask me, “How did you get into brewing?”

It seems like a simple enough question right? I always thought of myself holding a sign that said, “Will brew for beer” or something like that.

But like many things that are special about this industry, I didn’t go about this alone. When my wife, Seneca Murley, and I opened New Planet Beer in 2009, craft beer was seemingly everywhere we looked. From our homebase in Boulder, Colorado, there were dozens of craft breweries within biking distance, and even more within a 30 mile radius.

interview with pedro gonzalez of new planet beer

As we were getting started, we had a helping hand from some great people at amazing breweries. These folks not only helped us accomplish our dream by being invaluable resources, but some, like John Legnard at Blue Moon, even lent me equipment “back in the day.” Thankfully, Mike Bristol from Bristol Brewing, Tom Hennessey at Colorado Boy, and Bob Baile at Twisted Pine were there to get us through some of the more difficult aspects of opening a brewery, too.

One thing Seneca and I noticed when we looked around our fellow breweries, though, was a lack of gluten-free beers.

Since I was diagnosed Celiac, I’ve been a Gluten Free Advocate. That means I work to spread awareness around Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. So when we started brewing, it was a natural fit for us to aim to craft delicious ales that everyone could enjoy. We settled on the name New Planet Beer, because for many, when they’re diagnosed with a gluten allergy, it’s like they’re living in a new world. We also feel strongly about supporting Mother Earth…and New Planet Beer was born!

Of course, brewing without “traditional” grains provides its challenges, as you can imagine! Early on, our biggest challenge was working with non-traditional grains like sorghum. We were convinced we could concoct craft beer with traditional character without the “usual grain suspects.” After some tweaking and countless “Quality Assurance” taste tests, we felt we’d made some beers that would stake our ground.

Now that our Flagship beers (Tread Lightly Ale and Seclusion IPA) seem to be hitting their stride, our current challenge is growing our company responsibly and sustainably so that we can share our beer with even more people. After 8 years in business we’re also facing more competition in the gluten-free and gluten-reduced space. But as the saying goes, “A rising tide lifts all ships.” We see this competition as a good, healthy thing. It means we’re doing something right. It also pushes us to make sure we don’t get complacent. It reminds us that we’re in this for the long-haul.

New Planet Beer New gluten Free Blonde Ale RecipeThe other most-asked question I get is, “What are you brewing now?”

Right now, we’re brewing our reformulated Blonde Ale. I’m a tinkerer by nature, and until something is just right, I’m not satisfied. This is a recipe that I have played around with quite a bit over the years, but I can say now that if I didn’t tell you, you’d have no idea it was gluten-free. This new combination takes advantage of a different millet, and it really complements the Blonde’s already-notable characteristics. A light lemon-grass color with a crisp, clean taste, this Blonde Ale is it! I’m excited to share it with you, so make sure to look for it in your local liquor store. And, if you don’t see it, be sure to ask them to reach out so we can stock their shelves!

That’s a long-winded answer to why we started New Planet Beer, but I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoy brewing beer for you.

-Pedro Gonzalez, Founder

Can you imagine a gluten free Hefe style beer?

Sometimes it is easy to forget what an amazing time we live in. The technological advances that seem to come out on a daily basis are absolutely staggering. Video calls. Self-driving cars. Civilian travel to space…it all seems like something out of Star Trek or The Jetsons.

With all of the hype around these sorts of advances, revolutions in farming and other agricultural pursuits often find themselves overshadowed. Fear not! We’re here to bring you some exciting news regarding groundbreaking discoveries in wheat production that may just help those of you living with Celiac disease.

In a recent article published by Food Chemistry, scientists shared the results of an ongoing study that “analyzed various kinds of wheat from several countries, all produced in the same agronomic year (2013-2014)… in order to assess what relationship there was between various kinds of wheat and their toxicity.” Specifically, a gluten protein called gliadin is known to be more toxic to Celiacs than other proteins. Within gliadins, the researchers then focused on T-lymphocytes (T-cells) that are also found within the human immune system.

The entirety of the article can be found here, but at its core, the research indicates that there is the possibility of removing some of these toxic elements within wheat, which could eventually lead to the safe consumption of specific genetic strains of wheat by those who suffer from Celiac disease.

While we wait for this science to become more sound and prevalent, we wait patiently. In the meantime, we’re happy knowing that we at New Planet Beer are creating tasty ales for our fellow gluten sensitive friends!

So, next time you’re Facetiming with family or friends around the world, crack open a New Planet Beer and toast the scientists, farmers, and dreamers…they make this world an exciting one to live in!