Posts Tagged beer
You may have noticed that the blog has been pretty quiet lately. That’s because we were enjoying a wonderful vacation in Denver, Colorado! Here are some highlights from our trip.
- A hike through the mountains at Vail, powered by granola bars from Annie’s and Kind (sadly, neither of which are available here yet)
- An amazing time at the Great American Beer Festival, where I sampled brews from Omission, New Planet, Rickoli, Sprecher, Lakefront, and more
- A visit to New Planet Brewing, which makes gluten-free and gluten-reduced beers
- Delicious gluten-free sandwiches at the Olive & Finch eatery
- Gluten-free fried chicken at The BSide
- An amazing shared-plates meal at Root Down, where 90% of the menu is or can be gluten-free
- Plenty of fabulous Mexican food!
- A late-night gluten-free ice cream cone at Little Man Ice Cream
- Amazing gluten-free pizza from Tony P’s (probably the best I have ever had, in fact!)
- Tons of varieties of cider from Woodchuck Cider, the Colorado Cider Company, and Stem
Now, all of this didn’t happen by accident. My very thoughtful brother-in-law did a ton of research and checked out the Denver Celiac Support Group before our visit. It certainly paid off, and in the future I’ll be sure to check out local Celiac associations for dining ideas!
I’ve posted a few times about the great gluten-free options at our Costco stores in Dartmouth and Halifax, including pizza, pastas, crackers, deli meats, and pretzels. Last year, we visited Costco stores in Calgary and Edmonton and saw even more gluten-free options. We were excited, thinking that this meant more gluten-free options were coming our way.
Unfortunately, the opposite is true. The Bayers Lake and Dartmouth Costco stores have stopped selling Breton gluten-free crackers, gluten-free pasta, and even some types of quinoa. Who knows what products will get the axe next. It’s hard to believe that last fall people were told that there would be a gluten-free section in the Bayers Lake Costco!
This is even more disappointing considering that posts that I’ve seen recently on Facebook and Twitter indicate this is not part of Costco’s overall strategy. Some Costco stores in the United States now carry supersized loaves of Udi’s bread. The Costco in Quebec carries Glutenberg beer.
If you’re disappointed in Costco’s decision too, please fill out a comment card the next time you’re at the store and put it in their suggestion box. We’ve been told that this box is emptied and read daily and that the store does listen to suggestions. We’ll keep you up to date with any developments!
It can be hard to find good gluten-free beer. Brands that are 100% gluten-free use grains like sorghum, rice, buckwheat, quinoa, and millet. Unfortunately, it can be hard to mimic the taste of “real” beer without the flavour of barley. (Montréal-based Glutenberg is our favourite, and pretty easy to find in Nova Scotia. Other parts of the country and the U.S. have far more options, such as Mongozo, Green’s, and New Planet.)
Another, more controversial, method of making gluten-free beer is to make beer in the traditional way (with barley) and then treat it to remove the gluten. U.S.-based brewery Omission does this, as well as the Spanish brewery Estrella Damm Daura. Both take great lengths to assure consumers of the safety of their products: Estrella Damm Daura is marketed as “suitable for Celiacs” and Omission tests each batch and puts the results on each bottle, with a QR code that takes you to a more detailed report.
Some Celiacs feel that it’s dangerous to consume anything that originally contained gluten, but there are other products (like wheat glucose and blue cheese) that are manufactured to remove gluten. What sold me on Omission is their Celiac CEO, who has been testing their products for years.
Michael recently started making homemade beer and decided to look into how Omission makes their beer gluten-free.
Last weekend, Michael and I attended the Halifax Seaport Beerfest. It was an absolute blast! I was really impressed by all the gluten-free options. The following gluten-free beer makers were on hand:
And, there were some gluten-free ciders available too:
- Foods labeled “without gluten,” “free of gluten,” and “no gluten” are all held to the same standard
- Foods must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten to be declared gluten-free
- Gluten-containing grains that have been processed to remove gluten (such as Omission and Estrella Damm Daura beers) can be labelled gluten-free as long as they are tested and show less than 20 parts per million of gluten
Food producers have a year to meet the new guidelines. The FDA estimates that about 5% of foods in the United States that are labelled gluten-free actually contain more than 20 parts per million of gluten, so Americans may see fewer gluten-free foods on the shelves.
These guidelines are similar to Health Canada’s position statement on gluten-free labeling.
This comes on the heels of a recent announcement by the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (the American equivalent to the Canadian Celiac Association) that they are partnering with the CCA in their gluten-free certification program, ensuring consistent gluten-free certification in both countries. This certification process is much more rigorous than the gluten-free labeling rules, requiring extensive auditing, interviewing, and testing.