This collaboration beer from Stoup Brewing and Ghostfish Brewing is more than just a beer. It’s a milestone.
Update July 9th – According to Ghostfish Brewing today, “We have it on tap and available in 4-packs of 16oz cans in our taproom. It is my understanding that Stoup plans to release this beer in their two taprooms on Tuesday.”
Original Post – – Imagine opening your own brewery. It’s a dream come true for many people. Now imagine that two of the people that you care about the most, like your siblings, cannot drink your beer. In a way, it’s like your dream is not something they can share with you.
That was the situation for one of the co-owners/co-founders of Stoup Brewing in Seattle. Robyn Schumacher’s sisters, Jill and Erin, were each diagnosed with celiac disease before the brewery opened, so avoiding gluten is a health requirement, one which precludes them from drinking beer. Jill and Erin have never enjoyed one of Stoup’s beers.
For the first time in Stoup Brewing’s nine-year history, Robyn’s sisters will soon get to enjoy a Stoupified beer. A Stoup-influenced collab beer represents a milestone for the three sisters, one made possible thanks to a recent collaboration project with Ghostfish Brewing, Seattle’s award-winning, gluten-free brewery.
“I’m very excited about the beer,” said Robyn Schumacher. “I generally just describe a beer’s flavor and let them smell it, but it’s hard not to be able to share a beer with my sisters.”
Ghostfish Brewing teamed up with Stoup Brewing to create Can’t Hold It Any Lager. The beer was brewed at Ghostfish’s brewery, but the collaborative effort included plenty of Stoup influence. The gluten-free, celiac-safe beer is a dry-hopped lager featuring Citra and Galaxy hops. Ghostfish Brewing will serve it on draft and sell it to go in 16-oz cans at its brewery and pub in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood. You’ll also find it at both of Stoup Brewing’s locations (Ballard and Kenmore). The exact release date is TBD, but we’ll update this post once an exact date is determined.
Gluten-Free, Not Gluten-Reduced
“We could produce gluten-reduced beer here at Stoup Brewing but because we don’t have a dedicated gluten-free brewery, it still wouldn’t be safe for my sisters to drink,” explains Robyn. “Celiac is a disease, not an allergy or intolerance, so it’s very serious.”
What does Robyn mean by “gluten-reduced” beer? Most commonly, breweries use barley, wheat, and other gluten-laden grains. About a decade ago, modern science introduced brewers to an enzyme that removes gluten from “regular” beer. Commercially, it is known as Brewers Clarex™. Some brewers simply use the enzyme to reduce haze, which helps to clarify and stabilize the beer by reducing the gluten.
It isn’t easy to determine the exact amount of gluten that is or is not removed by the enzyme, so gluten-reduced beers are generally not safe for some people to drink, including people with celiac disease. In simplest terms, gluten-free beer and gluten-reduced beer are two different things.
Ghostfish Brewing is an entirely gluten-free facility. Its brewing processes involve gluten-free grains like buckwheat, millet, and brown rice. Gluten-laden grains like barley, wheat, and rye never even enter the building. Ever. In fact, the pub at Ghostfish Brewing only serves gluten-free food. For people with a medical condition like celiac disease, this comprehensive approach provides a unique level of safety and peace of mind.
“This project with Stoup Brewing is representative of our desire to continue pushing boundaries and to work with other breweries who share a desire to produce high-quality craft beer,” said Brian Thiel, co-owner at Ghostfish Brewing. “We’ve had loose conversations about a collab beer with Stoup on and off over the past few years. We have more of these types of collaboration projects waiting in the wing.”
A Long Time Coming
It’s been a collaboration waiting to happen, explains Robyn. “I’ve wanted to collaborate with Ghostfish for a long time and the conversation has come up a few times over the years with the owners. Thankfully, our awesome sales rep, Aeron Jarvis, revived the conversation as she had also been a rep at Ghostfish.”
“We spoke with the head brewer at Ghostfish Brewing, Reid Ackerman, about doing a dry-hopped lager and we finally got it on the brew schedule in early June.” Robyn adds, “It will be the first time my sisters will be able to drink a Stoup-influenced beer and we’re all really, really excited.”
For more news about recent beer releases, visit the Washington Beer Blog’s New Beer Releases page.