What Does “Gluten Removed” Really Mean?

All of our beer at The Explorium Brewpub is brewed using traditional methods and ingredients. That is: malted barley, hops, yeast, and, of course, pure filtered water. In addition, from time to time, we add other ingredients, but only ingredients that we feel enhance the enjoyment of the beer or to bring in flavors not available using only traditional ingredients.

There are lots of folks around us every day that have food sensitivities and allergies. So be sure to check what we’ve added to a beer to be sure you don’t consume something that’s going to cause you any trouble.

Joan Doble, the wife of our proprietor is one of those people that has some food sensitivities. Joan is sensitive to both gluten and lactose. Lactose is a component of milk sometimes referred to as “milk sugar” and it is used quite often in modern craft beer. Gluten is present in all barley, and lactose is sometimes added to our beer to enhance body and add a bit of sweetness.

While developing many of our beers, we determined that the gluten really does not add anything to the beer. It is present due to the composition of the barley, but in most styles, it really is not needed. Gluten is a colorless, flavorless amino acid. A protein. Proteins in beer can cause a hazy appearance when chilled so removing the gluten would also remove this haze. Win-win. So, we experimented with removing this protein using an enzyme called Clarity Firm®. Here is a link for more information:

Product page: https://www.whitelabs.com/enzymes-nutrients-detail?id=8&type=ENZYMENUTRIENT

Product information sheet: https://whitelabs.com/public/uploads/ckeditor/602704ba53e851613169850.pdf

When our first few batches were complete and put on tap, the first thing we did was taste them against their non-treated versions that we saved for comparison. No change in flavor. But did it work? We pulled samples from our taps and sent these treated beers to a reputable food science laboratory for gluten testing. The results were that no gluten was present in any samples above the measurable threshold. But then we did the real test! Joan had to drink it and see if she had a reaction!

We’re happy to say that Joan did not have a reaction to our gluten removed beer. She has been drinking our beers happily since the fall of 2018 without any adverse reaction.

So, what does this mean to you? Well, if you do not have any gluten sensitivity then continue to enjoy our great products! You’ve been drinking them without gluten for some time now. If you do have a sensitivity to gluten, then do a little research and if you are okay with giving it a whirl, then try our beer. We have brought many gluten sensitive people back into the beer world! One word of caution though, if you have any sort of allergy, please consult with your doctor. See our note below.

So what beers still have gluten in them? Well, in short, anything with any appreciable haze: hefeweizen, Lost in the Sauce, etc. Consult the beer list for a complete list of gluten removed beers.

Cheers!

Mike Doble, Proprietor

 

OUR GLUTEN REMOVED DISCLAIMER

Our gluten removed beers have been treated with an enzyme to break down the gluten present in the liquid to less than 10 ppm which the lowest measurable threshold. Those sensitive to gluten or those who are choosing to not consume gluten should consider these beers to be free of gluten. Those with celiac disease should proceed with caution as these beers are made with ingredients that originally contained gluten and the components of the gluten remain in the liquid even though they have been broken down. If you have any doubt, please consult with your doctor.