How do you make a beer gluten free?
Michael Huddart13 November 2019
As part of our new core range line-up, we’ve introduced Bandit, a Gluten Free (GF), 3.8% pale ale.
It was December 2018 when we sat down as a team in our Gipsy Hill home and decided we wanted to make a wider core range of beers. We were increasing our brewing capacity, so it seemed the perfect time to increase the number of our most regularly made beers.
We’ve been a vegan brewery for a good few years now, despite occasionally using some lactose in limited cases (it’ll always be clearly pointed out on the label if we have), so we figured it was about time to include a gluten free offering in our line-up. Both because we were pretty sure we could do a good one, and because there aren’t nearly enough excellent GF pales out there that are sub 4-5% ABV.
Beatnik, our 3.8% core pale ale, seemed like the obvious choice to turn into a Gluten Free product, both because it had some trademark issues (that’s another story), and it was stylistically what we most wanted to see as a GF beer. So we stole the gluten out, rebranding the beer as Bandit as part of our core range relaunch earlier this autumn.
There are broadly two ways of making a GF beer. The first is brewing using grains that do not contain gluten. These include oats, rice, corn, buckwheat, maize, sorghum, etc. However, it’s difficult to get the extraction you need using purely these ingredients. They work well in combination with other kinds of barleys, but then the beer wouldn’t be gluten free!
Instead we’re using an enzyme called Brewers Clarex®. The enzyme works by breaking down the long chain gluten proteins during fermentation. It turns them into shorter chain proteins that are safe for people intolerant to gluten.
This results in a gluten free beer made out of normal ingredients, with minimal sensory side effects (i.e. the beer is still every bit as delicious!) that’s also safe for coeliacs.
To ensure that every pint of Bandit we brew is suitable for people who are gluten intolerant, each batch is tested in house to make sure that it contains no more than 20ppm of gluten (the required EU standard for a product to be called gluten free). We’re regularly sending batches for independent analysis as well.
Bandit is a light, refreshing, GF pale with floral, fruity notes. We’re really happy to have it as part of our gang. Get yours from our online shop today.