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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!

We know! We know! You still probably have leftover Halloween candy in the house, and here we are at New Planet Beer, already talking about Thanksgiving! But we’re doing it for you! If you’re anything like us, the holidays seem so far away and then BAM! your mother-in-law is ringing the doorbell with her “World Famous” fruitcake.

Take it from us: It is never too early to start planning for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving can be a tough holiday for folks with Celiac or who have a gluten sensitivity. There is so much excitement around classic family dishes and traditional staples that it is easy to forget that a friend or loved one might have a sensitivity or allergy. So, be the favorite person at the Thanksgiving Table this year, and follow the New Planet Beer guide to a gluten-aware meal!

Let’s Get it Started

Thanksgiving is a time to surround yourself with family and friends. Hopefully, you can spend the holiday with people you love. And if you’re travelling, well, we hope it is quick and painless! And if you’re the one doing the hosting this year, make sure that your road-weary travellers are taken care of when they step into your home!

For Thanksgiving, this means appetizers. Before you stuff yourself with turkey and pumpkin pie, get your guests primed and ready to go with some amazing apps. One of our personal favorites is shrimp cocktail. Not only is it delicious (because, shrimp!) but it is also a gluten-free solution that everyone can love. Pair it with a tasty cocktail dipping sauce and a spritz of lemon, and it’ll be gone before you know it.

Another great gluten-free Turkey Day appetizer is bacon-wrapped potatoes. Using small potatoes (think fingerling or golden potatoes), wrap them in a slice of bacon and bake until the potatoes are soft and the bacon is done. For the full recipe and cooking instructions, click here.

Side Dishes to Wow

Is it just us or should there be specialized “oversized plates” for Thanksgiving? After all, by the time the turkey comes around the table, you’re lucky if you can squeeze any on your plate with the abundance of amazing side dishes.

Here’s a side dish idea that is on the lighter side, which everyone will appreciate in between bites of mashed potatoes and gravy.

Arugula salad with peach and avocado. This one is simple, and the beauty of it is that not only is it gluten free, but it doesn’t require the stovetop or oven, which means you don’t need to sweat over a hot stove to make this delicious dish.

Take 2-3 ripe peaches and (optionally) remove the skin. Slice them up into crescents and set them aside. Next, take 1-2 ripe avocados and slice them into crescents, as well. Set aside. Slice one red onion into thin slivers, and also set aside. In a large bowl, add your arugula. Then, toss all ingredients together in the bowl with a light dressing (try olive oil, cracked pepper, and lemon juice for a light, refreshing dressing). This simple salad will be a hit and leave everyone feeling a little less full (maybe).

Imbibing and Feasting

Before we make it to the main course (the bird), chances are there will be plenty of wine, spirits, and beer at your Thanksgiving table. The words “Eat, drink, and be merry” come to mind! New Planet Beer is proud to be a staple at many Thanksgiving feasts, and the good news is that our gluten free and gluten-reduced beers pair great with a variety of dishes and meats.

Even if you aren’t Celiac or don’t have a gluten sensitivity, it is always nice to have a non-gluten beer on hand in case any of your guests are. They’ll be happy that they aren’t “left out” of the toasts, and it will make your event that much more seamless. Pick up our popular Pale Ale or Blonde Ale.

The Bird is the Word

Okay…now that you’ve got a New Planet Beer in hand at the table, it’s time to talk turkey!

Thankfully (pun very, very much intended), turkey is by its very nature gluten free. But depending on how you prepare it, you may introduce gluten to the mix. We’re huge fans of this recipe from the folks over at Food & Wine. Its straightforward (meaning you probably have most of the spices already, and the other ingredients are easily picked up at the supermarket), and it leaves the turkey with a just-crispy-enough skin and a tender, juicy inside.

It only takes about 4 hours, which includes time to let the meat rest, and needs just occasional basting. While that beauty is roasting, chow down on those appetizers, catch up with loved ones, enjoy the extra days off from work, and soak it all in.

No matter where you find yourself this Thanksgiving, we hope you have a wonderful holiday.

At New Planet Beer, we are truly thankful to have such a wonderful community of people who enjoy good beer and good company. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for joining us as we do what we love!

Cheers!

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!  

New Planet Beer will be pouring at the Niwot OKTOBERFEST

Saturday, September 30, 2017

12 pm – 7 pm

niwot oktoberfest new planet beer

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

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.

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.