According to the Canadian Celiac Association, it is estimated that 1 in 133 people in Canada are affected by Celiac disease. However, nearly six times as many people are affected by gluten-sensitivity or have chosen to live a reduced-gluten lifestyle. The gluten-free market is estimated to be as much as 12% of the population in studies. It is difficult to find a restaurant that does not offer gluten-free options in Canada. From finest gourmet dining to beloved Canadian chains, everyone wants to cater to this rapidly growing market.
This disease causes a protein called gluten to attack the inner walls of the small intestine, which results in an inability to properly digest other important nutrients. Gluten is found in wheat and barley which are key ingredients in producing beer. According to the World Health Organization, gluten-free is defined as any food containing less than 20 PPM(Part Per Million). Personal sensitivity varies form person to person, but reactions can occur after ingesting less than 20 PPM.
Since barley is one of four key ingredients in beer, this used to eliminate beer from a gluten-free diet. Beer makers wanting to offer gluten-free beer use buckwheat, millet, sorghum, brown rice, corn, quinoa, sorghum and other ingredients to give beer the body and necessary sugars created by gluten-laiden grains. Other create “gluten-free” beer using barley grains then extracting the gluten through a refining process which leaves the beer under 20 PPM, but not truly gluten-free, rather very very low gluten.
Brasserie Sans-Gluten (Glutenberg) was born in Montreal, Quebec after founder Julien Niquet was gluten intolerant and could no longer enjoy his favourite beers. He didn’t like the gluten-free beers on the market. Some were not truly gluten-free and most just didn’t taste very good. Sorghum was one of the most commonly used grain replacements however, sorghum tends to have a gummy mouthfeel and can have an unpleasant medicinal taste to it. Glutenberg then set out to make the best tasting gluten-free beer anywhere. They ended up making some of the world’s best tasting beers, period.
As the only 100% independantly-owned Canadian brewery making gluten-free beer with 0.00 PPM of gluten, Glutenberg has set themselves above the field. Now, the most award-winning and best selling gluten-free beer in the country, they make a beer for everyone. Their top selling blonde is the most approachable for any beer drinker. The rest of the year-round lineup include the IPA, Red Ale, American Pale Ale, and the new kid in the gang is a belgian-style witbier simply called ‘blanche/white’. Yes, they make a gluten-free wheat beer!
Glutenberg have since partnered up with renowned sommelier and author François Chartier to create the Série Gastronomie which pushes the perceived boundaries of what beer can be while remaining gluten-free.
So yes, “gluten-free and delicious” are words you can add to your vocabulary today!