Elevator Brewing Co. is hosting its fourth annual Procrastinator Homebrew Competition – and this year, entrants will have to brew a gluten free beer. Best of Show will be brewed at Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus and win a prize.
Those interested in participating can submit three 12oz samples or two 22oz samples, along with the recipe, a description of the beer, contact information, and $5 to Elevator (165 N 4th St.) by 7pm on July 24.
The beer must be gluten free, however Elevator will not be testing for gluten ppm so it is based on the honor system. It must be brewed from gluten free ingredients (i.e. sorghum, buckwheat, millet) as opposed to the clarifying/enzyme method.
Elevator’s Jay Taylor answered a few quick questions about the contest and gluten free brewing:
Where did the idea for the contest come from?
Our assistant brewer [Mark Beery] was reading an article in the homebrewer’s magazine, Zymurgy, and it had an article about gluten free beers- that is what gave him the idea. He said it might spur inspiration for anyone looking to make a gluten free beer.
Is there large demand in the community for gluten free beer?
We get asked questions about brewing a gluten free beer pretty infrequently - at this time I think most people with Celiac’s disease or any other gluten allergy or intolerance are educated about what their options are and many are aware that small scale production of gluten free beer would be expensive, difficult and inconsistent.
What are some issues faced by breweries when producing gluten free beer?
Unlike a bakery which can easily have dedicated equipment to be “gluten free only,” to supply this relatively small niche, the cost of investment in dedicated large equipment, fermenters, tanks, bottling equipment, etc. is too high for it to be easily feasible for a small brewery. The necessity of brewing in large amounts and then having the ability to distribute to the number of people required to buy those large amounts makes it unlikely that there will be a huge growth in gluten free beers in normal production, or even existing breweries switching to gluten free only, especially for small, craft breweries. Maybe the occasional release, or experimenting in general, but nothing that would represent consistent production.
Although the outlook seems rather bleak for large-scaled production of gluten free craft beer, we are still excited that Elevator is embarking on this interesting and innovative path. Cheers to local breweries making gluten free beer!
Creative commons photo credit: lungstruck