Washington state residents following a gluten-free diet now have a new beer option beyond the light-flavored, mainstream brands currently available such as Bard’s, Green’s, New Grist, and Anheuser-Busch’s Redbridge. Boulder, Colorado-based New Planet Beer Company recently expanded its distribution to select stores in the state.
Gluten is a general term for a mixture of proteins found in common grains such as wheat, rye, barley and oats, all of which are commonly found in beer. People with Celiac Disease are not able to digest these proteins and, currently, the only effective treatment for the disease is a lifelong, gluten-free diet.
For the estimated 3 million people in America who suffer from Celiac Disease, plus those with wheat allergies or those who avoid gluten-based products for dietary reasons, gluten-free beer, which is typically made from sorghum and rice instead of barley and wheat, is a welcome option.
“Finding out that I had Celiac Disease answered so many questions and provided instant relief,” says Pedro Gonzalez, who started New Planet with his wife Seneca Murley in 2008. “But the road to recovery was hard. You would be amazed by how many products contain gluten. As a natural progression I started drinking gluten-free beer, and so my desire to make a tasty gluten-free beer arose.”
After making numerous test batches of gluten-free beer with his friend and master brewer Roy Emmons, Gonzalez finally found one that he really liked. And in September of 2009, Tread Lightly Ale finally hit the shelves of Boulder County liquor stores.
“We named our beer company New Planet as a way to express our desire for a new and invigorated planet,” Gonzalez explains. “It is our core mission to make great gluten-free beer and to donate a portion of its proceeds to conservation efforts.”
New Planet’s certified gluten-free beers are crafted at the Fort Collins Brewery in Fort Collins, Colo.
Tread Lightly Ale is a pilsner-like session ale that has subtle fruit flavors reminiscent of pears and apples. A very slight bitter-sour note complements the beer’s delicate, honey-like sweetness, making it a pleasant and balanced beer to drink. The beer finishes with a gentle white wine-like flavor. At just 90 calories, this gluten-free beer is also a guilt-free beer.Tread Lightly supports trail restoration.
3R Raspberry Ale is a refreshing fruit ale that has just the right amount of fruit flavor and aroma. 3R is made from sorghum, corn extract, natural raspberry puree, orange peel, hops and yeast. 3R represents Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, the three Rs of waste-reduction education.
Off Grid Pale Ale is made from sorghum, brown rice extract, tapioca malto-dextrin, molasses, hops and yeast. Three varieties of hops are liberally used in this beer making it the hoppiest gluten-free beer on the market. Off Grid is surprisingly “malty,” too, with sharp notes of toast, dark caramel, nuts, ginger cookies and sweet molasses. It finishes with snappy-bitter notes of citrus, grass and pepper-like spices. Off Grid Pale Ale supports alternative energy efforts.
To learn more about New Planet, visit www.newplanetbeer.com.