Rocky Mountain Brewing News October/November 2012 : Page 1

Give Up! or go with the Growing Gluten Free Option s Imagine facing the prospect of never again sitting down with friends and drinking your favorite beer! Fear not, as there’s ever increasing hope for beer fans with Celiac dis-ease — and there are plenty of them out there. Statistics indicate that up to 1 percent of the U.S. population, or over 3 million people, may have celiac disease. Celiac disease is a digestive disorder that makes it impossible to consume the protein gluten. Gluten is found in common grains like barley, wheat, rye, spelt, triticale, kamut, and oats, to name a few. Also note that gluten can See Gluten-Free page 3 Colorado By Jim Denier Gluten Intolerance By John S. Adams Lewis & Clark Brewing Co. taproom regulars Jeff McDermott, left, and Gary Parisi, right, enjoy a few pints. PHOTO BY JOHN ADAMS Owners of New Planet Gluten Free Beer, Pedro Gonzalez and Seneca Murley, enjoy their creation. PHOTOS COURTESY OF NEW PLANET Calendar .......................2 Calendar ........................................2 Business of Beer.........3 Homebrew .....................................7 Homebrew ....................7 Beer Directory ........................10-12 Beer Directory ..... 10-12 Upper Front Range ................................................... 13 Montana ....................................................................... 4 Central Peaks ............................................................ 14 Idaho ............................................................................ 6 Western Slope........................................................... 15 Utah .............................................................................. 8 Denver ....................................................................... 16 Wyoming ..................................................................... 9 Four Corners ............................................................. 18 Lower Front Range ................................................... 19 Colorado Upper Front Range ................................................... 13 Central Peaks ............................................................ 14 Western Slope........................................................... 15 Denver ....................................................................... 16 Four Corners ............................................................. 18 Lower Front Range ................................................... 19 On August 25, the Lewis & Clark Brewing Company in Helena, Montana marked an important milestone, celebrating its first full-year of business in its new location: a cavernous former paint factory. Hundreds of beer lovers packed the huge new taproom to listen to live music and sample some of the dozen beers, including a barrel-aged Weizenbock head brewer Sean Tobin crafted especially for the event. Great craft beer, live music and a wide-open tap room are the key-stones in Lewis & Clark Brewing Co.’s ambitious expansion under owner Max Pigman. "People like craft beer because they like a story behind their beer,”Pigman said. “This building oozes with history and character and I think it’s all part of the experience that people like about drinking craft beer.” The fact that Montana recently surpassed Oregon to lay claim to the second highest number of microbreweries per capita shouldn’t come as a surprise to craft beer connoisseurs in the Northern Rockies. But what Lewis & Clark Brewing Co. is working to build in addition to a new space is a strong bond with the community and its beer-loving con-sumers. Lewis & Clark goes to great strides to not only please their customers, but to engage them. Each year hops-growing beer lovers are invited to bring their home harvest in for the seasonal Neighborhood IPA . Hops growers then get 50 cents off each glass of Neighborhood IPA in addition to the added satisfaction of knowing they played a role in making their beer. The brewery also regularly hosts com-See Lewis & Clark page 4

Give Up

Jim Denier

or go with the Growing Gluten Free Options

Gluten Intolerance

Imagine facing the prospect of never again sitting down with friends and drinking your favorite beer! Fear not, as there’s ever increasing hope for beer fans with Celiac disease — and there are plenty of them out there. Statistics indicate that up to 1 percent of the U. S. population, or over 3 million people, may have celiac disease.

Celiac disease is a digestive disorder that makes it impossible to consume the protein gluten. Gluten is found in common grains like barley, wheat, rye, spelt, triticale, kamut, and oats, to name a few. Also note that gluten can be found in personal toiletries like shaving cream, Play-Doh, and even communion wafers! As luck would have it, nearly every commercial ale and lager happens to use barley and/or wheat as a base ingredient (no Play-Doh that I’m aware of), which takes beer out of the mugs of those with celiac.

Many foods become a poison, and even extremely small quantities of gluten can make celiacs ill. Without a restricted diet, the gluten that finds its way into a celiac’s digestive system damages the lining of the small intestine so it can no longer absorb necessary nutrients for basic health. Short-term, this can lead to bloating, diarrhea, anemia, bone and joint pain, and infertility. Over the long haul, a celiac’s exposure to gluten can lead to autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis, dental enamel defect, cancers, thyroid issues, and Type 1 diabetes. Eating out can be painful, holidays a nightmare, and travel a crapshoot. Realistically, consuming gluten-free (GF) food is the only medicine for a celiac. It’s the only thing available and it’s essentially a cure.

Gluten-Free Standards

Around the world, standards of “gluten free” vary. For example, in the United Kingdom a beer with less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten is “gluten free,” while in Australia only beers with no detectable gluten can be described as GF.

On May 24, 2012, the U.S. completed a multi-year process for determining its GF labeling standard when the United States Department of the Treasury Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) issued its ruling that will be sure to complicate things in the burgeoning GF beer market and become a marketing battle regarding labeling of GF and low-gluten beer brands. According to the TTB, wine, beer, or distilled spirits “made from ingredients that contain gluten cannot be labeled as gluten-free.”

Before this ruling, beers in the U.S. that were labeled as gluten-free could still contain small traces of gluten (less than 20 ppm) since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had adopted guidelines set forth by organizations within the World Health Organization. Some brewers use glutenous ingredients to make their beer and then process it later to remove most of the gluten. These brewers argue that the proteins from barley are converted into non-harmful amino acids and feel confident that their product is non-harmful to those who are gluten intolerant. However, there is some concern and evidence that the claim is not true.

Although most celiacs should be able to drink beer with less than 20 ppm without causing themselves any harm, each person displays a different level at which an autoimmune response will be activated. As such, there is ongoing debate about acceptable gluten levels to celiacs. Since the FDA and TTB haven’t found a test that accurately determines the gluten content of fermented beverages, beers that are made with ingredients that contain gluten must be labeled as such.

Gluten-Free and Low-Gluten Beer

In the U.S., GF foods have become very popular in supermarkets with $2.6 billion in sales - a 30 percent increase over the last five years. So, there’s big money at stake. And since some estimate that 95 percent of celiacs are not yet diagnosed, while GF products already sell like rice flour hotcakes, it’s clear why breweries want a piece of the buckwheatcrust pie. GF beer is becoming increasingly available, and there is now a range of ales and lagers to choose from, although recipe experimentation continues to develop more commercially acceptable versions.

When asked how GF beer evolved in the brewing industry since New Planet Gluten Free Beer opened in 2009, owner Pedro Gonzalez said that he has seen the GF beer fan get more and more involved in demanding better quality beers. “This has helped stretch the boundaries of what can get done with GF fermentables.” He has seen “many brew pubs and smaller production breweries developing different types of beers, thereby making the category more attractive. Unfortunately, the supply chain in the US continues to lag behind as we have not seen new grains come into the market in a meaningful way. My prediction is that when the GF grains supply chain takes the next step, the conventional consumer will not be able to taste the difference between a GF beer and a barley based beer for most styles of beers.”

Whereas, malted barley provides the backbone of beer’s color and flavor, its absence is noticeable in beers without it. The typical GF beer has a cidery sourness, especially as the beer warms. Grains employed to craft GF beers include amaranth, buckwheat (not related to wheat), corn, flax, millet, quinoa, ragi, rape, rice, sesame, sunflower, sorghum, soybean, teff, and wild rice. Sorghum has been used for centuries to make beer and other alcoholic beverages in Africa and Asia.

A fast-growing range of commercial ales and lagers is becoming widely available. GF beer brands include Bard’s Tale Golden Dragon Lager, Lakefront Brewery’s New Grist, Redbridge by Anheuser-Busch, Ramapo Valley Gluten-free Honey Lager from NY, Tweason’ale from Dogfish Head, St. Peter’s Sorghum Beer, Schnitzer Bräu Gluten-Free Organic Millet Beers, Chinquapin Butte Golden Ale from Deschutes Brewery, Green’s Beers from England, and Brasserie Brunehaut Ambree and Bio Blonde.

Many of the current GF beers are coming from breweries where the owner or owner’s spouse has celiac. Bard’s two owners have celiac, New Planet owner Gonzalez has celiac, and co-owner of The Alchemist Brewpub in Vermont, winner of a gold medal in both the 2010 Great American Beer Festival (GABF) and World Beer Cup for their Celia Saison, has celiac. Most recently, Strange Brewing Company here in Denver brewed a Lemon Pale Ale after one of the co-owners discovered his wife has celiac. He proceeded to win gold at the 2011 GABF for this GF offering!

Earlier this year, Widmer Brothers Brewing Company, part of the Craft Brew Alliance (CBA), unveiled its Omission GF beers, a pale ale and a lager. Terry Michaelson, the chief executive of CBA has celiac, as does the wife of Joe Casey, brewmaster at Widmer. “My wife missed the flavor of beer,” Casey says. “She tried a wide variety of GF beer, and they were missing what she described as beer character. It helped drive me to keep looking for a solution.”

"We want to continue to give people with gluten sensitivity the option to try different craft styles, which hasn’t really been an option for them,” says Michaelson. “The great thing about Omission is you don’t have to be a celiac to enjoy it."

New Planet, a dedicated gluten-free craft brewer, has offerings including the fruity 3R Raspberry Ale, Tread Lightly Blonde Ale, and the hoppy and crisp Off Grid Pale Ale. For IPA and pale ale lovers, Off Grid is your clear choice! Owner Gonzalez was happy to report that New Planet is now a national brand with distribution in 37 states and that they recently opened their own brewery in Boulder, Colo. When asked what he has learned and thus changed about the beer he’s brewed since opening in 2009, Gonzalez said, “I think our biggest lesson is that we can make great beer from GF grains. We have learned that sorghumbased beers need to be balanced with other grains and that brown rice, sugar cane, molasses, honey, and other fermentables can make it a more complex and richer flavor. We have also learned that the hop additions have a stronger impact on a GF base than a malt base.”

Green’s Beers, another dedicated GF brewery, was started by a celiac in England, and its beers have been brewed in Lochristi, Belgium at the highly-respected DeProef Brewery since 2004. It has eight beers in its lineup, including Endeavor (Belgian dubbel), Quest (Belgian tripel), and Discovery (strong amber ale). Two other Belgian-inspired GF beers scoring high marks are the Brunehaut Bio Blonde (Belgian Tripel) and Ambree, both less than 5 ppm of gluten.

Recently, GF blogger Pete Bronski of “No Gluten No Problem” did a blind taste testing of New Planet Off Grid Pale Ale against barleybased strongly hopped beers. The results revealed that the ‘taste testers,’ regardless of their gluten intolerance, picked Off Grid Pale Ale over more traditional beers. Bronski held a similar blind tasting pitting Bard’s Gluten-Free Lager against other barley-based lagers. The summary of both taste tests is that on the matter of taste, the GF beers held their own and were even ranked higher than barley-based beers.

So, there is no reason anymore why you can’t sit down with your friends and drink a few pints of your favorite pint of GF beer!

Read the full article at http://rmbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Give+Up+/1201146/129285/article.html.

Explore Montana's Lewis & Clark Brewing Company

John S. Adams

On August 25, the Lewis & Clark Brewing Company in Helena, Montana marked an important milestone, celebrating its first full-year of business in its new location: a cavernous former paint factory. Hundreds of beer lovers packed the huge new taproom to listen to live music and sample some of the dozen beers, including a barrel-aged Weizenbock head brewer Sean Tobin crafted especially for the event.

Great craft beer, live music and a wide-open tap room are the keystones in Lewis & Clark Brewing Co.’s ambitious expansion under owner Max Pigman. "People like craft beer because they like a story behind their beer,”Pigman said. “This building oozes with history and character and I think it’s all part of the experience that people like about drinking craft beer.”

The fact that Montana recently surpassed Oregon to lay claim to the second highest number of microbreweries per capita shouldn’t come as a surprise to craft beer connoisseurs in the Northern Rockies. But what Lewis & Clark Brewing Co. Is working to build in addition to a new space is a strong bond with the community and its beer-loving consumers.

Lewis & Clark goes to great strides to not only please their customers, but to engage them. Each year hops-growing beer lovers are invited to bring their home harvest in for the seasonal Neighborhood IPA. Hops growers then get 50 cents off each glass of Neighborhood IPA in addition to the added satisfaction of knowing they played a role in making their beer.

The brewery also regularly hosts community fundraising events. Recently they raised $1,000 for victims who lost their homes in a local wildfire. In the past they’ve also held fundraisers for local efforts to shelter and feed 130 abused malamutes and programs that take disabled veterans on fly-fishing trips. “It’s important to us that we be a part of our community,” Tobin said.

Lewis and Clark Brewing Co. Started out as Sleeping Giant Brewing Co., which was founded in 1995 in the basement of a popular restaurant called the Brewhouse Pub and Grille. Pigman, a longtime home-brewer, bought the brewery in 2002 at the urging of his buddies. Like most home brewers, Pigman found he couldn’t make enough beer in his basement to satisfy his desire for hand-crafted ales, so he often frequented Helena’s craft breweries. When he found out that the Sleeping Giant brewery was struggling, the wheels began to turn.

"I found out about the brewery having financial difficulties during a poker game. A buddy said, ‘Hey Max, you should buy it,’” Pigman recalls. Pigman got a loan and did just that. Around that time Montana was gearing up for the bicentennial celebration of Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery expedition. Pigman, a Lewis and Clark buff himself, thought it was the perfect opportunity to re-brand his new brewery. After all, the brewery is located in the county seat of the nation’s only Lewis and Clark County, and the Lewis and Clark Trail came right through Helena’s backyard nearly 200 years ago. Thus Lewis & Clark Brewing Co. Was born. “We chugged along under the Brewhouse and it was seven or eight years of just making ends meet,” Pigman recalled.

The taproom was rustic, with particle board lining the walls and ceilings. Because there was nothing separating the actual brewery from the tap room, brewing operations had to stop during taproom hours to allow people to walk through the brewery in order to reach the taproom. Meanwhile, many Helenans were confused about the relationship between the brewery and its upstairs neighbor.

"We didn’t have our own identity. People thought we were owned by the Brewhouse when really we were our own separate entity,” Pigman said. “We had been looking for a place for a long time. During that time I met Sean and tried to convince him to come work for us.”

Then Pigman laid eyes on the brewery’s unlikely new home: a 30,000 square-foot industrial behemoth on the north side of the train tracks a block away from one of the capital city’s busiest intersections. Parts of the building date back to before statehood. Portions of it were a smokehouse. Another portion of the building was an old three-story ice house, where huge blocks of ice would be stored during the hot summer months. Later it became a paint factory, its last incarnation before becoming Helena’s newest craft brewery.

Within two and a half years Lewis & Clark went from a 4,000 square-foot brewery and taproom to a 30,000-square-foot brewery and taproom. The brewery alone is two and a half times larger than the entire previous location. The taproom is a multi-room, multi-level affair with a second-story balcony, a huge sunny atrium, and an industrial-sized game room with foosball, shuffleboard, dart boards and a pool table. The brewery floor is surrounded with windows where patrons can view the brewing and canning process up-close.

Tobin, who spent six years as head brewer at Helena’s other popular brewery, the Blackfoot River Brewing Co., said he was attracted to Lewis & Clark by the promise of a new challenge. “Folks at the Blackfoot treated me really well for plenty of years, but I felt I wasn’t growing as much as I wanted to as a brewer,” Tobin said. The lure of a full canning line, a bigger production facility and knowing that he’d be on the ground floor as a small business grew into a much larger businesses attracted the experienced brewer.

Meanwhile, Pigman was excited to hire a brewer who wasn’t a stranger to larger-scale production. Prior to working for Blackfoot Tobin spent nearly a decade working at Deschutes Brewery in his hometown of Bend, Oregon, where he worked in the pub as well as on the production line. Tobin said when Dechutes was running at full production capacity it was producing as much beer in one week as Lewis & Clark hopes to produce in one year.

Even so, Lewis & Clark has greatly expanded its production thanks to the new facility, which continues to grow. “The increase in production is hard to get my head around,” Pigman said. Pigman said they are now shipping almost as many cases of beer in two weeks as the brewery had shipped in an entire year back when they were bottling the beer. The brewery produced 1,500 barrel of handcrafted brew last year. This year they expect to double that. They could produce between 5,000 and 6,000 barrels next year, Tobin and Pigman said.

The six flagship bears include Miner’s Gold Hefeweizen, Yellowstone Golden Ale, Lewis & Clark Amber, Backcountry Scottish Ale, Tumbleweed IPA, and Prickly Pear Pale Ale. All of the flagship beers except Prickly Pear are also available in cans, but Pigman said they soon plan to begin canning the popular pale ale as well. In addition to the flagship beers that are always available on tap and for growler fills at the taproom, Lewis & Clark also typically features three or four seasonal beers at any given time. It’s not rare to walk into the taproom and find all 12 tap handles up and running.

All told Tobin has close to 20 beer recipes knocking around in his beer-crafting brain. “I haven’t brewed a beer yet that people haven’t raved about,” Tobin said. “Recently we had a Summer Session IPA that people just loved. It was one of our fastest-selling beers.” Tobin and Pigman credit the diverse line-up of beers as one of the key factors drawing larger and larger crowds to the new location.

Read the full article at http://rmbnonline.brewingnews.com/article/Explore+Montana%27s+Lewis+%26amp%3B+Clark+Brewing+Company/1201147/129285/article.html.

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