Schoolin’ Lesson 2: Gluten Free vs Gluten Reduced Beers
In the immortal words of Matthew McConaughey, “Alright alright alright.”
School’s back in session! Last month, we started class with some “Lesson Plans” to educate you, our beloved beer drinkers, on matters relating to how we do things at New Planet Beer. Today, we continue the lesson plans!
Are there any styles of beer that are harder to make gluten-free or gluten-reduced?
Not so much. Just about every style you can think of is brewable whether it is crafted to be gluten-free or to remove gluten. In other words, there isn’t much standing in our way when it comes to making the best beer styles accessible to our hop-head, gluten-conscious consumer. If you truly want a wheat beer…you are out of luck.
Speaking of hops…What’s the difference between adding hops to traditional brews and gluten-free or gluten-reduced ones?
Great question, Grasshopper. Hop utilization (how well the hops have imparted their taste and aroma into the beer) is different in gluten-free grain (what we use) versus barley grain (traditional beer grain). What this means for New Planet Beer is that managing bitterness in gluten-free is a harder task than in conventional beer. Our beers that are brewed with gluten-free grain take on bitterness at a higher level than those of traditional grains, so we need to be really careful when adding hops to get it just right.
Do you feel that there is a stigma around gluten-free or gluten-reduced beers?
Definitely. But like many things in life, the best way to cure stigma is through education, and we’re happy to be educating the masses on just how awesome gluten-free and gluten-reduced beers (especially ours!) are. Luckily, though, we at New Planet see a positive shift in perception as gluten-free and gluten-reduced beers keep getting better and better.
We still believe that the best education is to sample the beers at craft beer festivals, local liquor stores, and restaurants. We know that when folks get a chance to taste the beers themselves, a lot of those preconceived notions melt away, and they’re walking away with a new six pack in tow!
What are you brewing right now?
Right now, we’re brewing our new Blonde Ale that just won Gold Medal at the Denver International Competition ( April 2017) made from Colorado Millet, 100% gluten-free grain. This is a recipe that we’ve been refining and perfecting for a while now. This marks our third batch, and we’re excited for everyone to try it!
Without sounding braggadocious (not something Matthew McConaughey is known to say!), we really believe that this is a game-changer. As we mentioned before, there is still a stigma around gluten-free and gluten-reduced beers, and if education is the best cure for that, then this is our PhD thesis…thought, time, care, and passion has gone into this beer, and we see it competing with traditional craft beers like no other gluten-free or gluten-reduced beer has ever done before.
Alright. Great. But how much is this game-changer gonna cost me?
Ha! Fair question. Let us put it this way: when we set out to craft New Planet’s Blonde Ale, we wanted to create a beer that reminded us of the beers we were loving before our Celiac diagnosis. In other words, we wanted a beer that had character, flavor, and personality in spades. A true craft beer. With our Blonde Ale, we’ve got it dialed in. We also wanted to make it affordable, so we’ve priced it competitively in our home market for just $8.99 per six pack. Good beer does not need to cost $16.99 a four pack if you know what I mean.
That concludes class for another day. Please recycle your New Planet Beer homework bottles. Track down our Blonde Ale or Seclusion IPA for your next take-home exam!