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Good News On The Canadian Gluten-Free Beer Front
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5 posts in this topic

Ok, so I don't want to sound like a spokesperson or anything, but I am just so pleased!

I'm a beer lover. I miss it. I've found a tolerable gluten-free beer in Ontario (Nicklebrook Gluten Free) that is my go-to, and have been lucky enough to try some good ones from the US and abroad (brought back by my dear beer mule boyfriend), but you can't imagine how excited I was when they announced an exclusively gluten-free brewery would have a cask at the beer tasting at my local bar this past weekend (the bar which has a MASSIVE beer selection, and always makes me jealous...)

So, I was pumped, and was not disappointed. They're called Snowman Brewing, and they've just gotten started with their own craft, small-batch, handmade, entirely gluten-free beers. Whilst sipping their amber ale quite approvingly (bit of a bitterness at first, but light and kind of fuity, no aftertaste), I chatted the owners up and found out that one of their mothers is Celiac, which inspired to do something brave: start a gluten-free brewery from scratch. Not only are they doing it good, they're doing it properly.

The beer is made from millet, which they malt themselved in a malter they built out of a filing cabinet! They had to buy all their equipment new (not contaminated), and when I asked about them having their beer on tap, cause you can't use the regular lines. Maybe the cider line, but even that's risking it. So they're using disposable kegs, so they know nothing else has been in it, and a special hook-up so bars can't hook it up to their regular lines. Also, they're gettng each batch tested before it ships out, so if someone gets CC'd, they'll know it was the bar and not the brewery.

What's so exciting is they're trying all kinds of varieties. Another local bar is supposed to have their Maple Stout this coming week (Gluten free Maple Stout! oooh excited...) and said they've done a scotch ale, and are going to try all kinds of fun things.

So, you're wondering, where can I find this wonderful beer? Um, you'll have to come to Toronto, and then you'll have to be lucky and go to the right place. Right now they're too small to start bottling, so will just have it at a few places on tap (ON TAP!), but the liquor store here has told them as soon as there's enough, it'll be on shelves.

Ok, it's a ways off yet, but very very promising. And I wanted to rant my excitement about it. about 2 pints later, I was still quite pleased.

A couple other brewers at the tasting said they plan to try gluten-free beers as well (yay!)

If anyone is in the GTA, and wants to find out where/when they can find Snowman beers, check them out on the twitter.

Thanks for indulging me on my indulgence.

Cheers!

Peg

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This sounds promising. :) Nice to know they are taking such care. Thanks for posting.

I am in Ottawa but if I go to TO I will research where to get it before.

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It gets better!

I had the Maple Stout on friday. very very nice.

But the bar was also doing samples of 3 beers (3!) from Brasseurs Sans Gluten (BSG) from Montreal. They were all excellent! They must sell all over the place in Quebec, and hopefully (fingers crossed) will get picked up by the LCBO soon. I have LCBO insider info (my man is the beer guy at one), so will definitely let you know when that's available here. In the meantime, worth a hop over to Montreal.

If you're in Toronto, check barVolo (Yonge/Wellesley) or The Only Cafe (Danforth/Donlands)

Happy beer hunting

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Ugh! You Easterners get all the good stuff! LOL I'm so jealous... a stout....Mmmmmm.

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One day I will pop over to Hull and see if I can find it there in the SAQ. Thanks for the update.

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