Glutenberg is taking innovation with quinoa to a whole new level with their gluten-free lineup of craft brews.
Most people think of quinoa as their latest go-to side-dish that goes with everything. Afterall, it’s gluten-free, has a unique flavour, is packed with protein, and you can make hundreds of recipes with it, including beer! Haven’t heard of quinoa beer? Read on!
I had the privilege of speaking with Head Brewer, Frederic from Glutenberg, who took time out of his busy schedule before he brewed his first batch of the day to discuss the brewing process, the benefits and pitfalls of using quinoa, and what their customers have to say about their unique product offering.
Frederic, who creates all of the recipes and manages a full brewing team says that the reason they choose to use quinoa in select brews is because quinoa helps give their beer a great mouth-feel thanks to the high-protein content. As well, it helps with ad retention (aka foam). Quinoa also gives beer a certain haziness that beer fans are looking for in a quality IPA.
Brewing with quinoa isn’t without its challenges, however. Using a gluten-free grain is not as easy as brewing with grains such as wheat and barley. Since the ratio of husk to starch in standard grains is higher than with gluten-free grains, they had to completely change their brewing process. Also, since different equipment is needed to process these grains, they actually had to have some equipment custom-made. After a year and a half, consisting of 30-40 trial batches, the process was perfected.
Concerns about how quinoa affects the flavour of the beer, Frederic explained that he carefully selects fruitier hops that pair well with the flavour profile of quinoa. Frederic and his Team have successfully created a quinoa beer that tastes as similar as possible to IPAs that customers across North America are looking for.
Frederic says his customers tell him they are grateful to finally have a celiac-friendly beer and they don’t miss their regular beer at all! He’s not surprised that many people who don’t have allergies prefer their gluten-free brews simply because they taste amazing.
We at NorQuin are excited to be a part of Glutenberg’s story and are very proud to be one of the prized ingredients in their craft brews.
Cheers to you, Glutenberg and to your fans and congrats on your 10 year anniversary coming up! We can’t wait to see what you’ll brew up next!
Article by Chris Wood, Customer Service