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!

Blonde Ale

We’re not sure what the weather is like where you are, but here in Colorado (New Planet’s home base), we’ve had an unseasonably warm fall. Only now is it starting to feel a bit more like winter.

If you’re familiar with the beer world, it will come as no surprise to you that lots of craft breweries and “the big boys” inundate shelves of your local liquor store with seasonal offerings for fall and winter brews. And we’re fine with that!

But, with all of those seasonal beers available, it’s easy to forget that sometimes you just want your “tried and true” Go To beer.

Enter New Planet’s Blonde Ale. Pouring a light straw color and clear as a summer day, this beer feels like summer in your glass, even if it’s snowing and -10 outside!

Our Blonde Ale is 100% gluten free and offers a crisp, refreshing alternative to some of the heavier, spicier offerings available this time of year.

Next time you have friends over and are sitting by the fireplace, surprise them by pouring this reformulated (more on this below!) bad boy. We’re willing to bet that they’ll not only appreciate the surprise palette changer, but wait before you tell them it is gluten-free. If you’re so inclined, take a picture of their first (or last!) sip and post it to Instagram with the hashtag #NewPlanetBeer.

Our new formulation is the real deal.  It starts with 100% gluten free Colorado millet grain (rather than sorghum extract), harvested and malted in Colorado by a family-owned farm and malter. It is then combined with fresh American hops to our pure Rocky Mountain water. Simplicity certainly has its virtues!

Happy Holidays and cheers to Blondes!

 

 

 

Gluten SensitivityIf you ask around, just about everyone has an opinion on “gluten-free,” Celiac Disease, or gluten-sensitivity. Often times, their opinions are misinformed and can be insulting, especially to people who have Celiac Disease (CD) or are gluten-sensitive.

For those of you (or your friends) who have CD or have gluten-sensitivity, you’ve probably heard the snide comments from friends or family saying that it’s “made up” or “all in your head.” The unfortunate reality is that many people are just under-educated on the matter and don’t have all of the facts.

Luckily, it seems many people are beginning to understand CD a bit better and do treat it as a “real” disease. The conversation can often veer off track, though, when the concept and condition of gluten-sensitivity is discussed.

Again, many people (incorrectly) believe that gluten-sensitivity is in your head. Thanks to a recent study published by Columbia University Medical Center, that perception will hopefully change very soon. While gluten-sensitivity varies greatly on a microscopic level from CD, there is compelling evidence that some individuals don’t digest wheat gluten, barley, or rye the same way others do. When blood samples and intestinal biopsies were taken from individuals with CD and those who were self-described as “gluten-sensitive” and analyzed, researchers found that those who reported a gluten sensitivity had leaky gut (whereby proteins and toxins actually permeate the intestine and make their way into the bloodstream).

So, what does this mean? It means that gluten-sensitivity is real. Unfortunately, it is much harder to diagnose than CD, which means many people may go through life eating gluten products and not understanding why they feel miserable.

However, the more the general public understands the distinct differences between CD and gluten-sensitivity, and the less taboo gluten-sensitivity becomes in society, the better off people who may have gluten-sensitivity will be.

Thankfully, brewers across America are beginning to educate themselves more about their patrons’ tastes and dietary needs. New Planet Beer has been offering gluten-free and gluten-reduced beers since 2009 and continues to be at the forefront of the gluten-free beer revolution. With beer that still packs all the flavor, characteristics, and all-around goodness that craft beer has to offer, look for New Planet Beer in a liquor store near you.

 

We came across this great overview of how to do a Beer Tasting from the Beer Advocate we wanted to share with you. Please click here to view the original post.

How To Do A Beer Tasting

When analyzing a beer, you can’t just swill it down, burp and say “it’s great” or “it’s crap.” And, even though tasting is an individual art, there are a few steps, which if followed, will take your beer tasting to a blissful level.

beer tastingLook
Take pause and marvel at its greatness before you partake of it. Raise the beer in front of you, but don’t hold your beer to direct light as this will dilute its true color. Describe its color, its head and its consistency.

 

 

beer tastingAgitate
Swirl your beer, gently in the glass. This will pull out aromas, slight nuances, loosen & stimulate carbonation and test head retention.

 

 

beer tastingSmell
90-95% of what you experience is through you sense of smell. Breathe through your nose with two quick sniffs, then with your mouth open, then through your mouth only (nose and mouth are connected in the experience). Let olfaction guide you. Agitate again if need be and ensure that you are in an area that has no overpowering aromas. Enjoy its bouquet.

 

beer tasteTaste
Now sip the beer. Resist swallowing immediately. Let it wander and explore your entire palate. Let your taste buds speak. Note the mouthfeel, the consistency of the liquid’s body, and breath out during the process of tasting. This process of exhaling is called “retro-olfaction” and will release retained stimulations at the mucus and mouthfeel level but at a higher temperature. At times this will be the same as the olfactory process if not different and complimentary. Try to detect any sweetness, salty flavors, acids and general bitterness. Explain what they are or what they are similar to.

Also, try tasting the beer after it warms a bit (just a bit mind you). Really cold beer tends to mask some of the flavors. As a beer warms, its true flavors will pull through, become more pronounced.

Amaze your friends with your beer tasting knowledge the next time you are out together and enjoy our New Planet Beers with a whole new sense of being

 

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.”
–Benjamin Franklin (maybe)

nutrition-facts1While the veracity of the above quote cannot be 100% confirmed to belong to Benjamin Franklin, one thing we can all agree on as Americans is that a crisp beer at the end of a long day is basically one of the best things out there. So, while we can’t be sure that Mr. Franklin is the person to thank for the above, we can certainly raise a glass to the sentiment.

Beer is the beverage of choice for most Americans. Despite our love affair with whiskey, our summertime flings with tequila, beer is our rock, our “one and only.” And let’s be honest, at New Planet, we love that. Its why we do what we do. But,we digress…

Today’s consumer, both for food and libations, is more informed. They are more concerned with where and how their products are produced than ever before. So, it should come as no surprise that 72% of consumers tell Neilsen that they want more information about what they’re consuming.

In order to bring more transparency to beer drinkers in the US, the Beer Institute, a trade group that represents companies which produce and import beer sold in the United States, reported that 4 of the largest brewing conglomerates, including Constellation Brands (think Corona), Heineken USA, MillerCoors and Anheuser-Beusch-InBev, have all agreed to start labelling their beers with nutrition facts.

Considering that these brands represent 80% of beer sales in America, this may seem like a huge revolution….

You’re waiting for the other shoe to drop, right?

Well, sorry to disappoint you. But here at New Planet Beer, we’ve been transparent about what goes into our beer since Day 1. Unlike the “Big Four” mega-breweries, we’ve always known that the folks who drink our beer care about what we put in it. That’s why we started out as a gluten-free beer company. We have since expanded our market to meet the demand for people seeking gluten-reduced beer.

Ingredients are still what make us, “Us.” So, while the FDA may begin asking (and, perhaps, someday require) all ingredients be listed on cans and bottles, we’ll still be doing business as usual, because what goes into our beer becomes who we are.

The Growing Trend for Gluten-Free Beer

growing trend gluten free beerIf you’re reading this blog, you’re probably a lot like us: after a long day, or when you’re ready to unwind, very few things sound as good as a great beer. If this describe’s you, don’t worry, you’re not alone: studies show that the average American drinks about 23 gallons or 9 cases of beer annually. Nice.

Like all good things, beer is great in moderation. For those among us who have gluten intolerance and those who are diagnosed with celiac disease, the simple act of enjoying a beer can have more serious consequences. This often includes digestive issues, abdominal pain, joint pain, skin rashes, and may eventually lead to intestinal damage. And that can be a bummer.

What isn’t a bummer, though, is that breweries are recognizing this and are filling kegs, bottles, and cans to provide suitable options to consumers.

As more breweries learn how to craft and produce quality, gluten-free or gluten-reduced ales and lagers, the number of choices of gluten-conscious beers is steadily increasing. In fact, if today you were to attempt to drink a different gluten-free beer every day, you’d be able to drink a unique brew for 60 days…not bad, right?

Here’s the best part: as brewers rise to the challenge of creating quality gluten-free beers, they challenge one another to make these beers as similar to “normal” beers as possible. This means that you can take your friends to one of these breweries and they may not even know that they’re not drinking a beer made with traditional beer ingredients.

New Planet Beer has been at the forefront of this movement since 2009. We strive to make beer that people love and want to drink. We offer a wide array of gluten-free and gluten-reduced beer, giving you a chance to choose something that suits you. So  pick up a six pack and enjoy. Cheers!

New Planet Beer’s Seclusion IPA

Seclusion IPAColorado is widely recognized as the Mecca of the craft brew industry. It leads the nation in terms of innovation and taste. One particular area in craft beer that people are noticing is that there is the lack of gluten-free or gluten-reduced options available in the market.

A large segment of the population is intolerant to gluten or is trying to reduce the amount of gluten in their diet. As a result, they avoid drinking beer that contains gluten. The good news is that New Planet Beer is offering both gluten-free and gluten-reduced beer, and seclusion IPA is the latter.

It is certainly not an easy task to brew gluten-free beer. What’s equally challenging is to produce gluten-free or gluten reduced beer that is the same malty, carbonated beverage Americans have come to love. New Planet Beer is passionate about providing everyone with a good brew whether they are gluten sensitive or not.

New Planet Brewery entered Seclusion IPA into the Denver International Beer Competition in 2015where it won a gold medal in the Gluten-Reduced Category.

Seclusion IPA is brewed with barley which does contain gluten. New Planet Beer uses a special process to remove the vast majority of gluten from the finished product, while still retaining its beer character.

The taste and mouthful is where Seclusion IPA really excels. It has a light breadiness balanced with tropical fruit, citrus and floral character. It is robust and aromatic with just the right amount of bitterness. The color is a light copper and has the perfect level of carbonation to aerate those complex flavors and aromas which it contains. It has a light and fluffy white head that persists to the end.

Because of Seclusion’s bold and complex nature, it is best paired with foods such as grilled steak with a caramelized crust, salty or fried snacks, Mexican fajitas or Indian curries.

 

Are Hops Gluten Free?

Are Hops Gluten Free?Are hops gluten free?  We will answer that question in a moment.

A lot of people may think that there isn’t anything special about a hop plant. It doesn’t have a lot of uses, it only pops out valuable flowers once a year and is susceptible to pests and diseases.

It turns out, this plant possesses many health benefits.  It is used as an aid for insomnia, anxiety and other sleep disorders. Because of its antibacterial properties, they are also used in skin creams and lotions. Most importantly, hops play a huge role in the production of one of America’s well-loved beverage . . .beer.

What are hops?

Hops are the cone-like flowers of a female climbing plant in the cannabis family. At the base of the petals, you’ll find a gland that produces tiny yellow globules called lupulins. These contain the resins and essential oils that are so prized by brewers.

Hops are one of the basic ingredients in beer. Beer wouldn’t be beer without hops. They are extensively used in brewing due to the bitterness, flavor and aroma they impart with in the beer. It balances the sweetness of malt with bitterness and provides complex flavors and a refreshing finish.

During the 18th century, brewers began transporting ales to India. After fermentation, hops were added directly to the cask to preserve the beer and keep it fresh over the several months of voyage to India. By the end of the journey, the beer had acquired the flavor and aroma of hops. This was how the India Pale Ale was developed.

 Are Hops Gluten Free?

Beer is made using yeast, grain, water and hops. In case you’re wondering, yes, hops are gluten free. The gluten in most beers usually comes from grains that are used in the brewing process such as barley, wheat and rye.

Gluten free beer is relatively new in the world of brewing. In fact, only a handful of brewers from around the world are producing 100% gluten-free beer – New Planet Beer being one of them.