Interview: Ground Breaker Gluten-Free Brewery

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Based in Portland, Oregon, Ground Breaker Brewing (formerly known as Harvest Brewing) is a dedicated gluten-free brewery. We recently stumbled upon their company, and knew we needed to find out more information. Using only gluten-free ingredients to brew their beer, we knew it was safe – but how would it taste? There were so many questions whirling around our heads, so we had to get some answers. We chatted with Paxton, the Sales Manager at Ground Breaker, and here’s what he had to say: 

Q: Where did the idea of a gluten-free brewery come from?
A: The owner, James, has a lot of friends who have celiac disease, and a wife who is gluten intolerant. He became interested in beer in culinary school, where he joined a home brew club. (They actually won a large competition in the Portland area!) He tried one of his wife’s beers one day, and immediately knew he could do better, so he did. He spent a lot of time in his garage researching and testing and tasting until he created something delicious! Eventually he came across one ingredient that seemed to work like magic, so he stuck with it.

Q: How long have you been an operating brewery?
A: We will be in business for 3 years at the end of December.

Q: Since your beers and brewery are completely gluten-free, what ingredients do you use?
A: The main ingredient used to brew our beer is actually chestnuts! We also use lentils, sorghum, and buckwheat. We also have seasonal beers that use special ingredients like real squash and toasted pumpkin seeds. Every ingredient is gluten-free, and we only buy from gluten-free certified suppliers.

Q: What does the brewing process look like?
A: Once we get all of the ingredients, we first roast the chestnuts in a coffee roaster. Next we mash all of the ingredients together, put them into the fermenter and let them ferment for 3-4 weeks.

Q: How many beers do you currently make?
A: We have 4 year round beers: Pale Ale, Dark Ale, IPA No. 4 and IPA No. 5. We also have a seasonal beer that changed about every two months. We currently have a Squash Ale which used real squash, toasted pumpkin seeds and fall spices.

Q: I hear your beers have won a few awards – what are they?
A: We’ve won a medal every year so far at The Great American Beer Fest. The first year was a bronze medal for the Pale Ale, our IPA won gold last year, and our Dark Ale just won a gold medal as well!

Q: If we aren’t lucky enough to live in Oregon, how else can we get a hold of your beer?
A: You can order our beers online. The labels still reflect our old name, however, rest assured that we are one in the same. We will be updating this soon!

We tasted a few of their beers, and we absolutely loved them! If we didn’t know they were gluten-free, we could never tell the difference. If you are ever in Portland, OR, head over to the Ground Breaker Brewery. They also have a dedicated gluten-free restaurant attached, which serves 4 specialty beers made specifically for the pub. It’s like gluten-free heaven! Read even more information on their website: http://www.groundbreakerbrewing.com

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