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Naturally gluten-free, Bitter. Aromatic. Zesty. Citrusy. The hop plant is often described in a lot of different ways, and the variety of ways it is described speaks well of its versatility. And while hops are grown all around the world, there are a few places where the flower does especially well. Given its revered place in the process of brewing beer, the different types of hops–and the characteristics they imbue on the malty libations–are worth exploring on their own. At New Planet Beer, we’re picky about our hops and scientific in our approach. Of course, all of the science in the world doesn’t matter if the beer doesn’t taste good, too, so we make sure to test every batch of New Planet Beer to ensure its hop character and flavor is on point every time!

Hops: A Lesson of Humulus Lupulus

At New Planet Beer, we’re not farmers, but we hold a special place in our hearts for the men and women who own, operate, and work hop fields. Hops are mostly grown for commercial (ie brewing beer!) purposes these days, and some of the hop fields with the best results are located at or just above the 48th parallel. The reason for this is that this latitudinal location is home to temperate, moist climates conducive to hop growth and ideal soil conditions. Areas such as the Pacific Northwest of the United States and Germany are well-known for their hop production. In the United States, the Willamette Valley of Oregon and the Yakima Valley of Washington are some of the most fertile areas of hop growth. Hallertau, Germany is also home to a healthy supply of hops.

A Very Hoppy History

Used primarily as a flavoring and bittering agent in beers today, hops’ place in beer hasn’t always been so obvious. As a matter of fact, before hops were widely used in brewing, brewers were known to add different flowers and bitter herbs to flavor beer. Flowers such as dandelion, marigold, and heather were just a few of those that made their way into beer.

Over time, though, as people began experimenting with hop additions to their brewing, they not only liked the flavor it imparted on their ales, but they also noticed the beers were less likely to spoil with the addition of hops. Just like today, the brewers–and drinkers–of yore liked their beer fresh…can you blame them!?

New Planet Hop Varieties

Here at New Planet Beer, we work tirelessly to ensure that our gluten-free and gluten-reduced beers taste great. That’s why we use the same hops that traditional brewers use in order to give our beers as much body and flavor as their gluten-full brethren have. Every hop we select is chosen for a reason, and these selections and combination of malt and grain bil are what make a New Planet Beer unique to usl.

Cascade Hops

One of the more popular and abundant hops used in the American craft beer world, the cascade hop was originally created by the good folks at Oregon State University. Its beauty rests in its warm aroma, reminiscent of flowers and citrus. Unlike some hops, the cascade hop is excellent for brewers because it not only adds a dynamic aroma to beers, but its unique flavor enhances an ordinary beer and gives it a stellar flavor profile. Since it is one of the most popular among American craft brewers, chances are good that if you’ve had a New Planet Beer recently (namely our Pale Ale or the Seclusion IPA) or a pale ale from any number of American craft breweries, you’ve tasted or smelled cascade hops.

Sterling Hops

This is one of our favorite hops out there! We love the nose it gives our beers as well as the flavor it lends to some of our favorite brews. This hop is just 20 years old, so by US drinking laws, it isn’t old enough to buy a beer flavored with itself, but in that short amount of time, it has become one of the best-known hops in the brewing community.

Popular for its floral, spicy, and citrusy qualities, this hop is ideal for American Ales, Pilsners, Lagers, and Belgian-inspired ales. It is so versatile, in fact, that we use it in our 5 core beers: Pale Ale, Blonde Ale, Tread Lightly, Seclusion IPA, and Tread Lightly Session Ale. We also love it because it pairs well with other hop varieties, meaning nearly endless possibilities exist for beers when using Sterling.

New Zealand Hops

It might be hard to believe that the Kiwis on the other side of the world from us are crushing the hop-growing game right now. After all, when you think of beer, doesn’t Germany and the United States come to mind before…New Zealand?! If you think so, you’re not alone, but then you’d be missing out on some amazing beers that are flavored almost exclusively with New Zealand hops!

The New Zealand hops we use are very fruit-forward, giving our beers a juicy, citrus-inspired flavor and aroma. They’re also harder to come by since New Zealand only produces a small fraction of hops for export compared to the USA and Germany. But not to worry! New Planet Beer uses New Zealand hops in our amazing gluten-reduced Seclusion IPA.

Whether you’re a hop-head or prefer your beers a little less bitter, New Planet Beer has something for everyone. This little flower has been central to beer brewing for over a thousand years, and if today’s brewing culture is any indication, it will be around for another millennium. So, wherever you find yourself this year, search out a six pack of New Planet Beer and raise a glass to this magnificent little cone!

Well, here we are. Thanksgiving 2017 is in the history books. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday (what, no love for the rest of the week!?) broke all sorts of records, and the rest of the holidays are right around the corner!

For people who have Celiac or a gluten sensitivity, the holiday season can be extra stressful. After all, travelling, family gatherings, and holiday meals aren’t always conducive to a solid gluten free diet. This year, though, you don’t need to worry about any of that, because you’re going to plan ahead and include some tasty selections from New Planet Beer in your holiday plans! Whether you or someone you know has Celiac or a gluten sensitivity, taking along some New Planet Beer is sure to raise your holiday spirits.

So, while Grandpa overindulges on eggnog (not recommended), you and yours can sit back, relax, and responsibly enjoy one of our great beers, knowing that it won’t leave your gut in agony when Kris Kringle makes his way down your chimney.

New Planet: Gluten Free Beer

At New Planet, we take pride in crafting both gluten free and gluten-reduced ales. For our gluten free line, we’ve got something for everyone, and let’s be honest: a beer always sounds great.

Our flagship Blonde Ale is as delicious as it is approachable. Whether you’re new to craft beer or you’re well-versed in the difference between Sterling, Galaxy, and Cascade hops, the Blonde Ale is light and refreshing, while staying crisp and clear…and gluten free. Over the holidays, this beer, which is brewed with grain-alternative millet and blue corn, pairs best with lighter foods, like white meat turkey, fish, and cheese.

If you’re looking for something a little bit more robust this holiday season, give the New Planet Pale Ale a whirl. A multiple gold medal winner (and not just in a gluten free category), this beer has a killer hop profile courtesy of the Sterling and Cascade hops, and when paired with some smokey foods like steak or ribs, the bitterness balances out the smokey for a party for your tastebuds.

New Planet: Gluten Reduced Beer

For you hop heads out there, New Planet’s Seclusion IPA is bold and begging to be imbibed this holiday season. Brewed with grains and then specially treated to remove gluten, Seclusion IPA is great whether you’re reducing gluten in your diet or just love a solidly brewed beer. If your holidays are warm like Colorado’s sometime are, hit the trail with this canned brew and enjoy the fresh air. Or, if your in-laws are visiting and you just need some “you” time, the aptly-named Seclusion IPA will keep you company while Aunt Mildred finds someone else to massage her feet.

When it is time to unwind and kick back, crack open the gluten reduced, awesomely drinkable Tread Lightly Ale. Easy drinking and supremely refreshing, this year-round staple delights around the holidays. It has an approachable ABV of 4.9% and just enough of a hop character to satisfy the “I only drink IPAs” guy while being inviting enough for those who are new to the wonderful world of beer. Perfect for an apres ski or night by the fire, wherever you find yourself this holiday season, don’t leave home without a six pack of these delightful cans.

As 2017 comes to a close, the team at New Planet Beer has so much to be thankful for this year. Namely, you, our customer and and good health and happiness. So, whether you’re traveling this holiday season or find yourself at home, we send you our warmest wishes for the same: health, happiness, and a wonderful holiday and New Year.

Cheers!

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!

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

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!

 

 

 

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.

 

Beer and Food Pairing Guide

beerandfoodgiude_5.4.16Beer tastes even better when you pair it with good food. In fact, we think beer is actually more food-friendly than wine. This is because of its ability to interact with many food flavors and the complexity of its flavors.

Not sure what type of beer to serve with your meal? Read on and we’ll tell you which brews will go well with your favorite meals.

Grilled food

Grilling season is upon us. Whether you’re making grilled salmon, bratwurst or grilled eggplant, you want to make sure that you stock up on some beers that are well suited for your grilled feast.

Grilled foods are complex. You have char bitterness, dripping fattiness and caramel roastiness. When pairing grilled food with beer, you can never go wrong with brown ale. You want to find a perfectly balanced black or brown ale – nothing too malty, too hoppy or too bitter such as our Gluten Free Brown Ale available on tap. Lagers or refreshingly balanced ale such as New Planet’s Tread Lightly Ale is great paired with pork and red meat burgers.

Pizza

Could there be any better beer and food pairing in the nation besides beer and pizza? If you ordered a large pepperoni pizza, then be sure to have a well hopped ale ready when the delivery guy shows up at your front door or the pizza comes out of the oven. Seclusion IPA is a balanced session IPA with both citrus and tropical notes. New Planet’s Gluten Free Pale Ale with its bright citrusy character would be another good choice.

Oysters

Oysters and stouts have been consumed together for a very long time. Brewers and beer drinkers have discovered that beer is a perfect accompaniment to oysters. It is a match made in heaven. The silky, salty, tender oyster is perfect with the pleasantly smooth balanced black beer. Our Oatmeal Stout on tap and available to take home in one of our mason jars or your personal growler would be a perfect match.

Cheese plates

You can’t just pair any beer with any cheese and expect bliss. Aged Gouda and our Imperial Red Gin Ale (on Tap in our Tap Room) pair well thanks to the Imperials deep caramel flavors, dried dark fruit character and rich malt. Tread Lightly Ale or our Gluten Free Blonde Ale is a great accompaniment if you want to sample a selection of fine fromage and mild cheeses, thanks to its palate-cleansing qualities.

 

 

 

Join us at the

Spring Flours – Gluten Free Gala

May 6, 2016

Chicago Cultural Center

 

Spring Flours Event BannerSince 2007, some of Chicago’s best bakers and restaurateurs have gathered each year for an evening featuring gourmet gluten-free cuisine to sell-out crowds. The event is like no other—it allows diners and chefs to interact directly in a shared appreciation of wonderful food and a great cause.

 

This year, New Planet Beer will be among the libations offered at Spring Flours. Be sure to give our gluten free beers a taste as you enjoy the evening!