Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: We meet the FDA requirements for voluntary labeling of gluten-free products, which means that no gluten-containing ingredients are used at any step of the manufacturing process. However, we don't (yet) have our own facility, which means that our beer is manufactured in a facility that also handles gluten.
That said, the process of making beer always requires meticulous cleanliness, and we take additional precautions on top of that to be extra-safe. The chances of cross contamination of our beer with gluten-containing ingredients is essentially zero. If you can eat gluten-free dishes from restaurants that also serve gluten, you should have no trouble with our products.
Regardless, if you have any doubts, please consult with your doctor before partaking in our beer.
The initial push came out of curiosity. Our brewer Aaron has a family with a long history of gluten intolerances, so he wanted to create a beer that any of them could drink.
Once we started experimenting with these grains, however, we discovered an added benefit: they taste great!
Not only that, but focusing on alternative grains gave us the option to work with local producers instead of the globalized barley malt industry. That seemed like a much more climate-friendly approach.
Looking at all the benefits to non-barley beer, this approach seemed like a no-brainer.
It tastes like beer. Our flagship beers are designed to produce classic, well-balanced flavor profiles in each of the styles that they represent.
In some of our prototype beers, we are pushing the flavor envelope to highlight the unique characteristics of different grain options, but these beers are not yet available for purchase.
Our mainstays are rice, millet, quinoa, and buckwheat. We have also experimented with corn, oats, and chickpeas, among others. We continue to explore new options and intend to release beers with new combinations over time. Anything that is high in starch can technically be turned into a beer, so our plan is to try out everything we can get our hands on!
In a word: globalization.
Beer has been made by different cultures around the world since prehistoric times, and most of these people did not have access to barley.
The modern brewing industry, however, grew out of the traditions of northern Europe, where barley and wheat grow easily and were the top choices for beer-making. These brewing traditions were spread around the world by colonial European powers in the 18th and 19th centuries.
In the 20th century, large brewing conglomerates spread this approach to beer making on an ever wider, ever more homogenous scale. The craft beer renaissance developed as a backlash against this globalized "Big Beer." We see our explorations of non-barley beer as a natural evolution of the craft beer movement.
Our beer is gluten free. No gluten-containing ingredients are used at any step in the manufacturing process.
You might have had a beer that was gluten reduced, not gluten free. A few years ago, some breweries started using an enzyme to remove gluten from regular beers. That process does NOT remove all the gluten, but some of these breweries were calling their products gluten free anyway.
The FDA no longer allows those beers to be called gluten free. They can only be labeled with terms likes gluten reduced or gluten removed.
Our beers are true gluten-free beers. They do not use any gluten-containing ingredients whatsoever.
As a startup, we don’t have our own facility yet and instead brew on other people’s equipment. This is a common arrangement known as contract brewing or gypsy brewing.
Our plan is to eventually open our own facility somewhere in the Bay Area, which will include both a brewery and a taphouse.