This is a guest blog by John Hildreth, our head brewer.
For people with gluten-related conditions, the simple act of going out to eat or drink can be a monumental challenge. Many often choose to stay home rather than risk being exposed to cross-contamination at a restaurant. And in a bar setting, your choices are limited to whatever gluten-free offerings might (or might not) be available. This predicament has a real impact on both professional and personal lives; the existence of a place where you can safely have all the things previously unavailable to you seems like a dream.
That’s where we come in. Because after all, there is just no substitute for having a cold, frothy beer. My wife and I have been cultivating a love for craft beer since the dawn of the movement in the mid-1990s, and the idea of her never being able to have beer again was simply unacceptable.
Several years ago, she was diagnosed with celiac disease. I chose to adopt her diet instead of maintaining a separate one, and got an up-close experience of what life is like with this condition. A big part of our relationship had always been a love of food and drink, and we had been cooking together from the earliest days of our relationship. As we navigated this new food journey, we were largely underwhelmed with the minute GF beer options on mass market, and having had previous brewing experience, I decided to apply my culinary skills by researching how I might brew gluten-free beer at home. This turned into major experimentation and ultimately lead to the beer at Beliveau Brewery.
From the start, I didn’t simply want to brew a ‘good enough’ beer for those who couldn’t have the barley malt variety. I endeavored to brew real beer with a different kind of grain bill, something for all beer drinkers. I also wanted the beer to be a catalyst for community, shared experiences, and education.
While we know beer for its signature wheat grains, beer can be made from many different things found across the world. At Beliveau, we harness the power of ancient grains such as millet, rice and buckwheat to brew our beers. Buckwheat is one of the world’s earliest domesticated crops; rice and millet were cultivated going back many millennia in Asia and Africa. All are completely gluten-free.
We are cultivating a piece of ancient history to build the future at Beliveau. Our brewery is completely dedicated to gluten free brewing, and our GF beers are made from these ancient grains in a variety of styles that are diverse, delicious, and satisfying for all.