Earlier this summer, we noticed a lack of Glutenberg beer at our local NSLC. We asked an NSLC employee what was going on, and we were told that it was being discontinued. In a panic, we tweeted at Garrison Brewing, who imports the beer from Quebec microbrewery Brasseurs Sans Gluten. It was all a mistake, they said. In fact, they were working on bringing another variety (in addition to the blonde) into Nova Scotia.
Fast-forward six weeks and the Glutenberg shortage got worse. In fact, it was taken off the NSLC’s website entirely, and as of today, it’s still missing. We tweeted at Garrison again and were told that it was some kind of trade dispute at the provincial level that was out of their hands. Since then, both Garrison and the NSLC have reassured us that Glutenberg will be back on shelves by the end of October.
I sincerely hope that they’re right. Right now, we have three gluten-free beer options available at the NSLC: La Messagere, Bard’s Gold, and Schnitzer Brau. Personally, I think that Glutenberg tops them all (and their performance at the World Beer Cup and the Canadian Brewing Awards seems to indicate that a lot of people agree). In other provinces, I’ve had some other excellent gluten-free beers such as Mongozo, Estrella Damm Daura, and various varieties of Green’s. The NSLC will not bring any of these beers in. (They have had Mongozo in the past, but delisted it due to poor sales.) My only option is a custom order, which requires that I purchase a pallet (which is 36 cases if memory serves me correctly). Clearly, that’s not an option for an individual.
It’s incredibly disappointing to see more gluten-free beer options across the country and the world, and fewer options here at home. Let’s hope that Glutenberg reappears on store shelves soon!