When I was in Portland, I noticed 12oz cans with puzzle piece like labels from a brewery in McMinnville. Since that is where I went to college (ahem, now University), I picked up the stout and the IPA from Evasion Brewing and found out that they are gluten-free beers.

Of the two, Tantamount Stout was my favorite. As with most glutenless IPA’s, they just don’t seem hoppy at all. And this one was like those. The base beer on both was quite fine and if not told about the difference, I probably would not have noticed.

In addition to the two canned beers that I tasted they had a nice and wide range of beers at their Riverside Drive taproom. Pinata Colada IPA, Air Hostess from the 60’s Hazy Pale Ale, Yamhill Punch 2020 American Wild Ale, This is My Party Shirt, Hoptensity DIPA, Blood Orange IPA, Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout, Hole Mole Stout.

Cold Brew and Gluten Free

I have always wondered why gluten free beers didn’t you an overabundance of hops or other strong flavors when crafting their beers. It seems to me to be the way to bridge the regular beer drinker to their ales and lagers.

Someone heard me or, more likely, Ground Breaker Brewing decided that the coffee culture of Portland would be well to be represented in their line-up of beers.

Hopefully, I see this one in my local beer shoppe. Will be quite interested to see how it tastes.

Gluten Free Brewery # 3 – Aurochs Brewing

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The final gluten-free stop is on the Ohio River in Pennsylvania and the soon to re-open Aurochs Brewing Company.

The brewery shut down for major renovations last year and is currently open for growler fills four days a week with one or two different styles on offer.

When I say major, I mean a quantity of NEW….

1. New drains were cut and installed on the production floor
2. New water, gas, glycol and compressed air lines were run throughout the brewery –
3. New steam boiler, glycol chiller and air compressor to enhance our production capacity and efficiency
4. New brew system – both the brew side and the fermentation side for substantially increased brewing capacity
5. New Meheen bottling system to package our beer into 22oz bottles
6. The tasting room was expanded and given a face lift
7. New tap wall was installed with eight taps to allow us to expand our draft menu over time
8. New signage was installed facing the boulevard making it a lot easier to find us
9. New Packaging Design – We are excited to introduce the addition of 22oz bottles of certain Aurochs varieties in 2016. In order to do so we had to create a label and seek all of the proper approvals from the TTB and the PaLCB.
10. New Recipes – Designing and creating new beers is almost as enjoyable as drinking new and different beers. We will be adding to our stable of great tasting, naturally gluten free beers throughout 2016.

Now that the Top10 list is done. On to the beers in the taster tray…

WHITE ALE “Try something wild. Our refreshing, versatile white ale—brewed from untamed grains—offers hints of citrus and a bit of spice. Smooth and slightly tart, the beer pairs well with most food, especially fish, lighter Mexican dishes, and desserts. Drink it with dinner or on its own—it tastes great either way.”

“Our AMBER ALE is about balance and breaking down barriers. The malt base of light roasted millet and quinoa offers hints of toast and biscuits, which is complemented by the spicy and floral notes from Styrian Golding and Cascade hops. This beer is perfect for any occasion and any season. The caramelized roast character make it a perfect pairing for barbecue and burgers. The floral and spicy hop notes pair well with Mexican, Thai, and Vietnamese food. The light body and 4.7% ABV make this a perfect beer for any drinking session.”

PALE ALE. “A perfect blend of aromatic notes of pine and citrus blend with just the right touch of bitterness to create a personal favorite of Aurochs Brewing Co. staff.”

BROWN ALE. “Caramel flavor compliments dark roasts of millet malt, finished with a cascade hop to create a beer thats perfect for burgers and BBQ.”

“Dark with strong roast character, the Aurochs PORTER is malty and delicious. This beer highlights a blend of deep roasted malts and quinoa for a creamy finish.”

Gluten Free Brewery # 2 – Burning Brothers Brewing

With a nod to the Artist formerly known as, we head to Minnesota next to Burning Brothers Brewing whose About declares, “Burning Brothers is committed 100% to gluten-free. We don’t use gluten-free filtering, gluten-free enzymes or any other gluten-free gimmicks. Instead we use naturally gluten-free ingredients to create great-tasting and unique beers for you.”

Without further ado, here are the beers that I would put in my taster tray:
“Parched” Lime Shandy: “The citrus notes of our all American hops combined with the lime of our shandy will have you salsa dancing in no time. Our fans state that “Parched” taste like summer. Not too sweet with a nice tart that balances with the hops like they were meant to be together.”

English Mild: “Subtle, crisp bitterness on the front finishes with a touch of biscuit and nuts on the back. This session style comes in at a low alcohol (~3.0% ABV) and is intended to be a lightly-flavored, easy to drink and malt-accented beer.”

“Pyro” American Pale Ale: “An American twist on an English bitter, this light fruity beer is a drink that can be enjoyed at any time! We substitute the traditional English flavor with our own unique blend of American hops. Note the initial taste of orange followed by just a hint of grapefruit. Three years in the making, our APA stands strong against any other APA on the market.”

“Roasted” Coffee Strong Ale: “Beer is one of the oldest beverages humans have produced, and Arabs began cultivating coffee in the 14th century. With histories like that, and our love for coffee being almost as great as our love for beer, how could we not combine the two? “Roasted” is a single-hopped strong ale blended with cold brewed coffee. Because we never heat the coffee, the bitter oils in the coffee remain present, but not dominant. This creates a smooth balance of bitter and sweet with hints of caramel. This award winner took third place in a brewing competition, yet we forgot to tell them it was gluten-free.”

Gluten Free Brewery # 1 – Holidaily Brewing

We begin our May tour of Gluten-Free Breweries with a stop in Golden, Colorado. And it is not the place you first think of, instead we head to Holidaily Brewing Company which was started by Karen Hertz who was forced by illness into a treatment plan that included a gluten-free diet. Instead of forgoing beer, she and her team researched ingredients and taste tested beers and followed what other breweries were doing in this niche market before launching her brand. And they mean gluten-free, they do not allow even one gluten-containing ingredient beyond their doors.

In looking at their list, I decided to go basic and try their standard bearers since they cover a nice range of styles:
Favorite Blonde
Buckwit Belgian
Beulah Red
Riva Stout
Double IPA

Another Gluten Light Option

Using Kebari Barley the Radeberger Brewing Group has a new gluten-free (or frei) beer hitting the market. Not in the U.S. but maybe down the road…
It is impressive how through breeding alone, a grain with “less than 5 parts per million (ppm), well below the limit of 20 ppm recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for classification as gluten-free” can now be used for brewing.

Will other malt styles be able to have a gluten-less alternative to allow for more than just a pilsner to be brewed or is this Kebari less pilsner malt oriented?

Many questions for me, until I can try the beer itself.

Featured PDX Beer Review – Olallie from Ground Breaker

This is one of the clearest and reddest beers I have seen. Ground Breaker has taken the experiment of melding Crystal hops with Rose Hips and Blackberries for this beer and it has a very potpourri aroma. The rose hips floral notes are strong (most obviously in the luminous color) but a tang from the blackberry softens that blow initially. But then Olallie has an after edge of unripened berry that I wish wasn’t there. Maybe some honey would dry it and add a sweet touch to really close this loop up. This is an almost there beer for me.

1/2 Cider & 1/2 IPA = gluten free


I don’t know about this experiment but I really like that it is tabbed as an experiment.  So many beer releases have fancy, dressed up names but this one I may try because of the fact that they own up to their testing. Kudos to Harvester Brewing!

“Apple IPA features the wonderful characteristics of a dry cider crossed with a classicly-hopped Northwest IPA. It starts with an IPA base brewed with buckwheat and chestnuts and kettle hopped with three large aroma additions of Centennial hops. Then apple must is added to create a mixture of 51% IPA and 49% cider. The blend is fermented with an American ale yeast, and is finished by dry- hopping with 10 lbs. of Centennial hops.”

Review – NGB Gluten Free


NGB is one in a small line of gluten-free beers on the market.  It pours a light amber color.  Smell is primarily cider with some caramel notes.  The taste is cider all the way through.  Not much else here.  And the cider tastes a little underfermented.  When I bought it the Trader Joes cashier warned me it would be bad and that no one liked it at the store.  It is pretty close to drain pour territory.

Omission from Widmer is still the class of this category.  NGB isn’t even close.


With the new TV season well underway, one show that I am following is Sleepy Hollow.  Yes, the idea requites a sturdy underpinning of belief in the fantastical but it does have it’s creepy moments and a headless horseman is always cool.