On September 23, 2020, gluten-free breweries from around the world connected virtually at the 2nd Annual Gluten-free Beer Conference, hosted by Golden-based Holidaily Brewing Company. Out of over 8,000 craft breweries in the U.S., only 15 breweries are dedicated gluten-free, meaning they brew, package, and sell gluten-free beer only.
The U.S. breweries in attendance included Alt Brew, Aurochs Brewing Company, Bierly Brewing, Ghostfish Brewing Company, Holidaily Brewing Company, N.E.F.F Brewing, Dos Luces, Red Leaf Brewing, and Cold Crash Brewing. Also in attendance were Canada-based Glutenberg and Australia-based Two Bays Brewing.
The conference began with a welcome from Holidaily Founder, Karen Hertz, who announced this year’s theme – A Commitment to Quality.
“As dedicated gluten-free breweries we have unique challenges, but we also have unique responsibilities,” said Hertz. “One of those is our commitment to quality. The Gluten-free Brewers Group sets the highest standards for gluten-free beer.”
Hertz went on to remind attendees of the group’s goals: to improve customer experience, promote safe gluten-free products, and join forces in leading the gluten-free beer industry.
Attendees heard from Lauren Torres of the Brewers Association, who delivered the keynote presentation on “Defining Quality.” Julia Herz presented beer and food pairings to improve the taproom experience and boost sales. Other sessions ranged from brewing to marketing to FDA labeling.
JP Bierly, Owner of Bierly Brewing, and a member of the group’s steering committee urged attendees to join various committees within the Gluten-free Brewers Association.
“The association is a self-governed group that strives for positive change in the gluten-free beer industry,” said Bierly. “Together we make this change happen by focusing on education and advocating for safe gluten-free beer in a unified voice.”
With the momentum from the 2nd Annual Gluten-free Beer Conference, Hertz is confident in the direction of the group and the industry. “Customer safety is absolutely the number one priority,” said Hertz. “Gluten-free breweries can now make 100% gluten-free beer that doesn’t compromise on taste. This is the standard moving forward.”
About dedicated gluten-free breweries:
Dedicated gluten-free breweries produce their beer on dedicated gluten-free equipment. They allow only gluten-free ingredients to enter their doors so there is no cross-contamination risk for the consumer. There are currently 15 dedicated gluten-free breweries in the United States. Follow along with the hashtag #getbeercurious to learn more about gluten-free beer. Breweries interested in joining the Gluten-free Brewers Association can reach out to Kaitlyn Gipple at firstname.lastname@example.org.