2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

Colorado gluten-free beer goes bigger

Published: February 27, 2014, 2:00 am, by Stephanie Earls

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It’s estimated that as many as 10% of Americans have a gluten sensitivity to some degree, and diets that eschew wheats and grains are growing more popular among the non-afflicted.

With gluten – aka, wheat and malted barley – being a major component of traditional beers, it’s no wonder brew-lovers adhering to such diets face a discouraging lack of options when it comes to libations. The gluten-free beer landscape is changing, though, thanks in part to New Planet Beer, the Boulder-based creator of gluten-free craft beers.

New Planet’s beers are already available in 46 states, and the company just partnered with United States Beverage to expand reach to even more store shelves across the nation. The Connecticut-based U.S. Beverage markets and sells domestic craft beers and premium imports, including Murphy’s Stout and Red Ale.

Calling New Planet a “super-premium growth brand,” J.J. Fisch, president and CEO of US Beverage, said: “Pedro Gonzalez and his fine team have built New Planet as a leader in the growing gluten-free category. US Beverage’s job is to take the brand to national leadership.”

When Gonzalez, the company’s owner and founder, first discovered he had Celiac disease he thought his craft beer drinking days were over.  Instead, he set out to create a gluten-free beer that appealed to his palate. In 2009, New Planet introduced the first gluten-free beer brewed and bottled in Colorado. The company’s ales are also vegan and will be free of all GMOs by spring 2014. 

“Our strategy is to position New Planet as the preferred beer brand for gluten-free consumers that look at labels and care about the ingredients in their tasty suds,” Gonzalez said in a press release. “New Planet is a gluten-free beer brand from start to finish, and by that we mean that we begin with natural gluten-free ingredients, and we segregate the brewing and bottling process to ensure integrity.”

New Planet’s beers include a signature pale ale made from sorghum, brown rice, molasses, maltodextrin, corn-derived caramel color, hops, and yeast.