Malton Brewery invests in the production of completely gluten-free beer

A YORKSHIRE-based brewery has switched entirely to gluten-free production as it announces plans for a £200,000 lab.

Malton-based Brass Castle Brewery has announced plans to expand its testing capacity so it can certify every batch of its gluten-free beer in-house.

The company made the announcement as two of its canned beers, Sunshine IPA and Bad Kitty vanilla porter, were shortlisted for the national FreeFrom Food Awards, which recognize excellence from food-free producers in the food industry. food and drink.

Brass Castle founder Phil Saltonstall has been using vegan brewing methods since the brewery opened in 2011.

The company’s canned beers were already gluten-free, and in December the brewery extended this to all of its draft, keg and canned beers.

Mr. Saltonstall said: “We are delighted to have been able to switch to full gluten-free production with no impact on signature flavors.

“By integrating our gluten testing in-house, we’ll be able to give drinkers absolute assurance, every time they buy one of our beers, that it’s gluten-free – and we can do that without having to pass on significant additional cost to the bars and pubs we work with.

Gluten testing is required for every batch of beer produced, and third-party lab work can cost breweries thousands of pounds a year. For a run of 5,000 canned beers, the cost works out to around 3 pence per can. However, for a typical run of 44 kegs of beer, this can add around £2.50 to the cost of a keg, potentially deterring publicans who often operate on very tight margins.

Brass Castle plans to invest £200,000 in laboratory equipment so it can certify its products itself.

A growing number of food and drink producers, including brewers, are looking to cater to gluten-free customers, and FreeFrom awards director Michelle Berriedale-Johnson said judges were amazed by the range and quality of entries.

Brass Castle makes their beers gluten-free using small amounts of a vegan protease enzyme, which reduces gluten and allows them to still use the barley and wheat that give the beers their special character.

Mr Saltonstall said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted for the FreeFrom Awards, alongside other excellent breweries, which also demonstrate that gluten-free beers can be just as delicious as regular beers.

“We knew there was no need for a flavor penalty for going gluten-free, but we’re still surprised that no Brass Castle drinker seems to have noticed a difference.”

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