We started using an enzyme in all of our beers before the end of last year and are now prepared to announce a significant breakthrough for gluten intolerant people. Because we love you and want you all to be happy, our beers are now SIGNIFICANTLY gluten reduced. Legally, we can never claim our beers to be gluten free because any product, according to the FDA, that once contained gluten can never be claimed as gluten free. However, the FDA threshold for gluten free is 20 ppm; our beers should fall in around the 10 ppm range. Celiac sufferers need not abstain any longer. Relax and have a beer.
This is huge for those with gluten intolerance. Searching for gluten free beers is not easy, and many of the beers are lackluster (though I personally prefer either Dogfish Head’s Tweason’ale, or Las Vegas locals, Joseph James Brewing Company’s Fox Tail; which happens to be the first canned gluten free beer). Alpine is known for having incredible beers, and having all of them available to those who are gluten intolerant awesome. Click the above quote for the remainder of the press release.
I believe that the enzyme that Alpine is using is likely Clarity Ferm, made by White Labs. This enzyme was released last year, and its primary purpose is to reduce chill haze in a beer. As an added bonus, it reduces the gluten content in a beer. When I first heard of this enzyme a year ago, I wondered if/why a brewery wouldn’t just add it to all of their beers. Chill haze is something that no brewer wants to have, and why wouldn’t they want to make their beers available to those with gluten intolerance? If you clicked the link over to White Labs, you would’ve noticed that the TTB has interim guidelines for beers made with Clarity Ferm in what is allowed to be on the label. As Alpine mentioned in their press release, the term “gluten free” is not allowed since it was originally produced with gluten. It will be interesting to see if the use of this enzyme expands further.
Despite being released in December, Tweason’ale is finally available in Las Vegas. I found some at the Whole Foods on Las Vegas Boulevard, but I’m sure it is likely available anywhere else that sells Dogfish Head’s beers.
Tweason’ale is Dogfish Head’s first attempt at making a gluten free beer. As they put it, they wanted to “make it with gusto.” They used sorghum, as most gluten free beers do (except for Joseph James’ Foxtail, which is one of few gluten free beers that do not use sorghum) as the base of the beer. To try and some more flavor to the beer, they also added buckwheat honey, which typically has bit of a malty, earthy taste in comparison to most other honeys. And since it is Dogfish Head we are talking about here, they also added strawberries for good measure.
The result is a beer that almost has more in common, flavor-wise, to wine than it does to beer. The sorghum is barely, if at all, present. The body is very dry and crisp, similar to a lager or white wine. There isn’t any obvious strawberry flavors, however there is a hint of acidity from the berries, which also makes this beer taste more similar to white wine in that regard. The aftertaste leaves some honey sweetness to make the finish not quite as acidic as most wines tend to be.
All in all a very refreshing beer, but probably not for most beer drinkers. If you are a fan of Dogfish Head’s Midas Touch or Chateau Jiahu, then you are likely to enjoy this beer as well. Definitely worth trying nonetheless, especially now that Spring seems to be in full effect.
Local Las Vegas brewery, Joseph James, has not only a gluten-free beer, but the first gluten free beer to be canned!
Also notable, this is one of the few gluten free beers that doesn’t use sorghum, the typical barley replacement. Instead, Joseph James says it uses “organic rices and nectars.” The taste of this pale ale is very light, dry, and crisp. This light flavor profile, along with the low alcohol content, hides the fact that there is no barley in this beer. The American hops give Fox Tail a light grapefruit citrus taste.
The beer paired well with the sausage, mushroom, onion pizza I was eating. The lightness in the beer allowed the vegetables on the pizza to still be present with each bite. This is an ideal beer for any sort of meal involving primarily vegetables with little seasoning.
Since Joseph James is a local brewery, you can find their beers at nearly every beer retailer in town.