When it comes to Denver breweries, you’ll find many traditional ales, from strong stouts to crisp pale ales or hoppy IPAs. But there’s one thing most of these beers have in common: a heavy dose of gluten. One brewer is hoping to change Denver’s beer landscape with a new brewery: a gluten-free one.
Great Frontier’s founder and head brewer, Mike Plungis, was inspired to create gluten-free beers after his wife, Anne, was diagnosed with Celiac’s disease. Their son, and other family members and friends, were also found to have a gluten intolerance or Celiac’s. Mike’s first gluten-free beer recipe was therefore the Blonde Annie, named after his wife. His gluten-free lemon pale won a gold medal at the 2001 Great American Beer Festival.
Great Frontier Brewing Company is opening its 15-barrel brew house and tap room in the Lakewood area on August 21st, in what was once a Meineke garage. The brewery will pump many types of beers, with 20 percent of the brewed volume serving its gluten-free menu.
The beers are defined according to strict FDA- guidelines on what constitutes gluten-free or gluten-reduced products. As explained on their website, Great Frontier’s gluten-free beers are made without wheat, barley, or rye and therefore contains less that 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. Their gluten-reduced beers are made with malted barley, but processed to remove the gluten to below 20 ppm. In addition, Great Frontier also makes traditional (full gluten) beers besides their famous GF brews.
Having a brewery that specializes in gluten-free beers can help expand the horizons of all beer drinkers, gluten-tolerant or not. Overall, Great Frontier is joining a great team of local breweries that also brew a few gluten-free options, some whichcan be found on our microbrewery tour. If you want to experience more beer in the Denver area, contact us and join our walking beer tour of some of this city’s best brews!