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Jolly Pumpkin's Belipago India Pale Ale Takes Gold in Denver


Gluten-free beers at contest in Denver. Photo: CC-Bernt Rostad

Celiac.com 10/21/2010 - Jolly Pumpkin master-brewer Ron Jeffries just took home a gold medal from Denver's annual Great American Beer Festival. This is important, because the beer, Jolly Pumpkin's Belipago India Pale Ale, won in the "Specialty Beer" category against beers made with traditional malted barley. That's right, a gluten-free beer won in a respected competition against beers malted with barley. For beer lovers, and gluten-free people, and gluten-free beer lovers that is an earth-shaking achievement.

Since their debut, Jeffries and Jolly Pumpkin have racked up a slew of awards for their unique, oak-aged artisanal sour beers, including a gold medal for their Oro De Calabaza, a strong Belgian ale brewed in the Franco-Belgian tradition of a Biere De Garde.

However, Jeffries will tell you that path of Jolly Pumpkin was not an easy one.

"It's still difficult to sell sour beer, it was even more difficult seven years ago when we first opened," says Jeffries, fresh off winning a gold medal at the Great American Beer Festival for his Belgian-style, gluten-free India Pale Ale, "Belipago."

Jolly Pumpkin has been well received over the years at the GABF. The fact that Jolly Pumpkin's prizes are a reflection of the beloved following the beer has developed among its legions of fans, seems like the icing on the cake for Jeffries.

"It wouldn't be a lot of fun if we won all these awards but then everybody said, 'We just don't like your beer,'" Jeffries says. "It's fantastic to have everyone enjoying the beer than to have that validated, if you will, by a group of judges. That feels pretty nice too."

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Jeffries says he created Belipago as a beer for anyone to enjoy, not just a specialty beer for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. The challenge was finding a recipe that yielded a great beer without using malted barley or wheat, traditional brewing ingredients, which contain the protein gluten.

They started small, and slowly developed and improved the recipe, Jeffries says, in part because "brewing gluten-free was all new to me. I didn't really enjoy the flavor of other gluten-free beers out there. It was important to me to brew something that craft beer drinkers could enjoy."

In the end, Jeffries devised a recipe for a dry hopped, Belgian-style IPA, that incorporated sorghum, agave, chestnuts and other components. The resulting beer, Golden Manatee Belipago has a more pronounced floral hop character than most other Jolly Pumpkin beers, with hints of spice.

According to official tasting notes, the beer pours with a golden brown color with a white head, and features a huge and citrusy aroma, medium heavy mouthfeel, with an explosion of citrus and flower notes followed by a nice bitterness. The yeast was very pronounced too, very nice. Finish had more citrus and some spice. A refreshing and very good Belgian-style IPA.

On his victory, Jeffries says "I think we succeeded in accomplishing what we wanted to do with the beer. To win against regular malt beers with a gluten-free beer, that was very satisfying. I wanted to make sure that people wouldn't say, 'Well, that was good for a gluten-free beer.'"

Jeffries plans to first grow distribution for Belipago through local drafts before he moves to bottling. He explained that small technical issues remain before they can begin bottling the beer commercially, but they are working to make that happen as soon as possible.

"We have had a lot of interest about Belipago," Jeffries says.

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4 Responses:

 
J King
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said this on
25 Oct 2010 8:33:58 AM PDT
Was recently in Denver & had really good gluten free bread & gluten free beer. Hope more gluten free products like this come to CA. Anxious to try this Jolly Pumpkin Pale Ale.

 
Fernando A. Garza
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said this on
26 Oct 2010 10:03:19 AM PDT
Beer sounds interesting. What does it taste like? But how expensive is this beer?

 
Carol
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
27 Oct 2010 3:14:09 PM PDT
Great to hear about another Gluten Free Beer. Looking forward to trying it and hoping it doesn't cost any more than regular beer.......pretty please! Let's be reasonable, 8$-10$ a six pack is over rated.

 
Lisa Wu
Rating: ratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfullratingfull Unrated
said this on
29 Oct 2010 7:25:07 AM PDT
I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS!!!! Denver is so far away from the East Coast though! Hope I don't have to wait too long.




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Make sure that you ask the doctor how long she has to stop the supplements before you have her levels tested and be sure to take them all with you when you have the appointment so the doctor knows what she is taking.

Talk to your doctor. With your family history and symptoms he/she may be able to diagnose based on resolution of your symptoms and family history. Also check with your local hospital if it has it's own lab. Mine covered any labs at a greatly reduced cost based on a sliding fee scale. Did you have an MRI before they did the spinal? Celiacs with neuro impact will have white spots on an MRI that resemble the lesions found with MS. Many neuro doctors don't know this. I went through what you did and they did a spinal on me also based on the MRI results. If my doctor had know what the UBOs (unidentified bright objects) were I would have been diagnosed a couple years sooner than I was. Make sure if you supplement that you ask your doctor which ones you need to stop taking and for how long before they do a blood test to check levels. Sublingual B12 is a good idea when we have nervous system issues, but needs to be stopped for at least a week for an accurate blood level on testing. I hope you get some answers and feel better soon.

Thanks for that. Will get her tested for deficiencies. I did take her to a naturopath and get her on a bunch of vitamins, but she never was tested via bloods, so will get on to that, thanks

Hi Could a mod please move this post: and my reply below to a new thread when they get a chance? Thanks! Matt

Hello and welcome Firstly, don't worry about it but for ease your post (and hopefully my reply) will probably be moved to its own thread. That will make it easier for others to see it and reply and also help Galaxy's own thread here on track and making sense. The antibodies that the celiac tests look for can drop very quickly, so... maybe? Celiac is difficult to test for, there are different tests and sometimes someone doesnt test on one but does on the other. If you can get a copy of the tests and post it here the community may be able to help explain the results. It may have shown damage to the villi, the little tendrils in your intestine that help you extract nutrients from your food. Celiac is one, but not the only, way in which they can get damaged leading to a vast number of potential symptoms and further making diagnosis a tricky proposition. Definitely, there's a connection. Here's a page that explains it in detail: https://stomachachefree.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/liver-disease-in-celiacs/ Fantastic It sounds as if your doctors were happy to diagnose you on the basis of the endoscopy? It may be then that you've found your answer. I hope so, you've clearly had a rotten and very scary time. I'm sure with the positive reaction to the diet you want to go on and get healthy, but I would only add that you should discuss this with your doctors, because they may want to exclude other potential causes if they've not confirmed celiac at this point. Check out the advice for newly diagnosed here: To your family I'd simply say that celiac is a disease of the autoimmune system, the part of our body that fights diseases and keeps us safe. In celiac people the autoimmune system see's the gluten protein found in wheat, barley, or rye grains as a threat to the system and it produces antibodies to attack it and in doing so attacks it's own body as well. It's genetic in component so close family members should consider a test if they have any of the many symptoms. There's roughly 1 person in 100 with celiac but most of them don't know it and are risking getting or staying sick by not finding out. There's further info for them and you here: https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/announcement/3-frequently-asked-questions-about-celiac-disease/ I'm going to ask a mod to move your post and my reply to a new thread, but wanted to give you an answer first The good news is you've found a great site and there will be lots of support for you here. You've also got 'lucky' in that if you're going to have an autoimmune condition, celiac is a good one Most react really well to the gluten free diet and you will hopefully have much more healing to come! Best wishes Matt