Beer Fest goes gluten free

Celiacs rejoice as Great Canadian Beer Fest offers its first gluten free beer

Gluten-intolerant beer lovers rejoice, gluten free beer is available at the Great Canadian Beer Festival for the first time in the festival's 21 year history

It’s hoppy, it’s earthy, it’s got great head retention and it’s gluten free.

Welcome to Victoria’s Great Canadian Beer Festival in 2013, with its first non-gluten brewery, Brasseurs Sans Gluten from Montreal.

The trend in craft beer, generally, is craft beer itself. Rarely does a trend change come from within the industry like the gluten free movement.

It’s something a lot of people are excited about, not just celiacs.

Brasseurs is already selling in Ontario, Alberta and the States, and now it’s coming to B.C. through fledgling craft beer and cider distributors Untapped.

“People don’t even realize it’s gluten free,” said Untapped’s Cris Ohama of Brasseurs’ Glutenberg line (pictured above), of which all three beers, a blond, red and American pale ale are featured at Royal Athletic Park this weekend.

“The red and APA have quinoa and buckwheat which gives it the natural head retention.”

And it doesn’t matter, it shouldn’t matter, that there’s no gluten, but it’s also important – as in life or death to celiacs who wish to consume a few – that barley, or wheat, has never entered the premises of Brasseurs’ brewery.

All three Glutenbergs are award winning, with the red winning gold, the American pale wining silver and the blonde taking bronze in the gluten free categories of both the Canadian and world championships.

Brasseurs is one of 58 breweries at the Beer Fest this weekend and will is available as of this month at Spinnakers in Victoria. Their IPA will come in six months.

Fast facts:

Beer fest co-creator John Rowling said 60 per cent of its patrons are aged 19 to 35 which is their target market.

“It’s important we get the message out early.”

There are 55 toilets, 195 different beers, and five food vendors on site.

Beer was first brewed commercially in Victoria in 1858.

 

By Travis Paterson

sports@vicnews.com

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