Award-Winning Products You May Have Missed

Being in the business, we come across great gluten-free products all the time. The fun part of our job at Triumph Dining is sharing those things with you, knowing you might not discover them on your own.

Here are a few products that won 2012 Best of Gluten Free Awards, ones that might not yet be on your radar. This underscores the importance of voting in the 2013 Awards. If you have not already done so and asked your friends to do the same, please join the cause. Without this continual knowledge, new products might not gain market awareness and these manufacturers might not continue to manufacture them.

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What’s Your Gluten-Free Beer Made Of?

By Laura (The Gluten-Free Traveller)

I came across an interesting article from the Miami New Times on what they consider to be the best gluten-free beers and it got me thinking about beer.

I’ve never been a big beer fan myself so it’s not really something I miss but I have a few celiac friends who get super excited when a new gluten-free beer hits the market. If you’re a gluten-free beer drinker, what’s your favorite brand and what is the beer made from?

Gluten-free beers are becoming more common. New companies are bringing gluten-free varieties to the market and it’s no longer uncommon to find gluten-free beer in your local bar or restaurant.

Gluten-free beers tend to be made from buckwheat, rice, sorghum or a combination of these things. What do you think tastes best or tastes most like ‘real beer’?

The top five best gluten-free beers according to the New Times article are:

Continue reading “What’s Your Gluten-Free Beer Made Of?”

Mayor Adams Carves Out May 16 as “Gluten-Free Beer Day” in Portland

By Zach

May it be known that May 16th is now officially “Gluten-Free Beer Day” in Portland, effective as of yesterday morning at 9:30 via mandate by Mayor Adams at the City Hall. In honor of Celiac Awareness Month and the gluten-free efforts demonstrated by three Portland-based companies of Craft Brew Alliance, Mayor Adams stamped a new part of gluten-free history for Portland.

To our knowledge, Mayor Adams has no connection with the Boston beer company, Samuel Adams, so there’s isn’t any kind of conspiracy going on here nor are we trying to pull your leg, but it does make for a comical coincidence.

Omission Beer line as well as Deschutes Brewery and Harvester Brewing are the three conglomerates that make up the tri-force bringing Portlanders a gluten-free remedy they can enjoy. Omission Beer launched their gluten-free line earlier this year, Deschutes has been brewing gluten-free beer since 2007, and Harvester Brewing established themselves in 2011 with their gluten-free exclusive ales.

Just to make sure we’re all on the same page, not all of these gluten-free beers are 0 parts per million, which also goes for gluten-free beer throughout the U.S. and worldwide. For instance, Omission Beer uses malt and barley in their formula and even though it is significantly lower than the international standard of 20 parts per million, It does exempt a lot of gluten-intolerant consumers. Therefore, people with Celiac Disease and/or high sensitivity to gluten should research the parts per million and/or contact the brewing company before indulging in these products.

Continue reading “Mayor Adams Carves Out May 16 as “Gluten-Free Beer Day” in Portland”

New Redbridge Beer Rolling Out to Stores Now!

other_middle_bgMany People from different parts of the country have been complaining for a couple of months that they can’t find Redbridge beer in stores anymore. In some cases, that is due to the fact that the local distributor dropped the beer from it’s line up. In the case of Publix stores, the grocery chain dropped the only gluten-free beer they carry system wide, even though their local distributors still sell it. Reportedly, this was due to poor sales. They got rid of poor performing gluten beers as well.

Rumors about Anheuser-Busch discontinuing the only mass produced gluten-free beer in the U.S. have run rampant for a while now. Finally, last week the company admitted that the beer might not be available temporarily because it was being reformulated. However, no estimated time line was given for the reformulated Redbridge. That news wasn’t comforting for fans of the beer – or the people who drink it because it’s the only gluten-free beer option in their area.

Finally, someone from the corporate communications office of Anheuser-Busch contacted me with good news for Redbridge fans. The newly reformulated, slightly lower alcohol content version of Redbridge has rolled out of production facilities and is on the way to a store near you. At least, it has if your distributor carries it. Even if your distributor stopped carrying it, you might want to contact them and suggest they give the new beer a try. It is said to have a smoother taste that might appeal to more beer lovers. According to the AB representative I spoke to, the beer is still gluten-free and safe for people who can’t tolerate gluten. It can also be sold in more states now that the alcohol content has been slightly lowered.

Since all major sports stadiums that offer gluten-free beer sell Anheuser-Busch products, there should not be any shortages for Redbridge for the MLB season this year. If your local stadium does not sell Redbridge yet, they should be offering it soon. At many parks, you have to find out where the beer is sold because it’s not stocked at every beer cart. Calling to get this information before you head out to a ball game is encouraged. Many people told me that there was no Redbridge at Turner Field last year, even after it was stocked there at several locations. You have to know where to find it and can’t count on a seasonal employee at a beer cart to know where that is.

Who knows? If the new Redbridge performs better than the old version, maybe Publix will add Redbridge back to their beer schematic for 2011!

Other companies making gluten-free beers include Bard’s Tale Beer, Green’s, Lakefront Brewery, and Sprecher Brewing Company.

Redbridge Beer Dropped from Publix Shelves

other_middle_bgRedbridge gluten-free beer is made by Anheuser-Busch. It was introduced in late 2006 in certain markets and available nationwide in the Spring of 2007. In most markets, Redbridge was the only gluten-free beer game in town and therefore was fairly well received by the gluten-free consumer market in the U.S. Bard’s Tale gluten-free beer captured a much smaller percentage of the market but that’s mostly due to the fact that unlike Redbridge, Bard’s Tale was not widely available. In late 2008, Bard’s Tale became available in the Atlanta market and sales really took off. Bard’s Tale is sold in Whole Foods stores in the area and served at several Atlanta area restaurants.

Last month rumors started up about the possibility that Redbridge was being discontinued, but Anheuser-Busch stated (and continues to state) that there are no plans to discontinue the beer at this time. Please note that historically, Anheuser-Busch has not shouted from the rooftops when they have chosen to discontinue any products. No companies do that because they want all the existing products to sell out of the market and much product is often in the market place long after a product has been discontinued. Only time will tell what the real deal is with Redbridge. Maybe it’s here to stay and maybe not.

In the Southeast, Publix is a major player in the mainstream grocery store business, with over 1000 stores in five states. Each January, the company redesigns the massive beer display in their stores and the 2010 line up does not include Redbridge. The sales were not there to support the shelf space so Redbridge, the only gluten-free beer sold at Publix, didn’t make the grade. Once Bard’s Tale was available here, many people spent the extra money to buy it over Redbridge, even though most people live closer to a Publix than a Whole Foods store – currently the only place to purchase Bard’s Tale except for restuarants. On average, a six-pack of Bard’s Tale costs $2.50 more than Redbridge.

After not being able to find Redbridge at any Publix in my area for almost two months, and hearing complaints that others could not find it either, I finally spoke to the manager of a store near me to find out exactly what the deal was. As I expected, he confirmed that Redbridge did not sell well enough to continue to be kept on the shelf at Publix. This is a corporate wide decision – no Publix stores are stocking Redbridge with chilled beer now. However, customers can contact the manager of their store and request the product be brought in just for them. That is, it can be brought in as long as the local distributor carries it and the manufacturer makes it. Publix carries Woodchuck cider and all the flavors in that line are gluten-free.

Whole Foods stores here sell Bard’s Tale, Greens (from Belgium) and New Grist gluten-free beer. Kroger reports that they carry Redbridge in their stores presently. No company should continue making a product that they aren’t making money on, and no store should have to sell something that’s not profitable for them. Companies are not making gluten-free products to “be nice” to gluten-free consumers. Like any business, manufacturers are only interested in making profitable products. Retailers are interested in selling products they can make a decent profit on and the products have to turn quickly enough to justify the shelf space they take up.

Unfortunately, Redbridge might end up falling into the category of failed gluten-free products. Redbridge is considered by some people to be the “Budweiser” of all gluten-free beers, but it’s the only one available in many markets. For that reason, it will really be unfortunate if the product ends up disappearing from all store shelves eventually. Let us know if you like Redbridge, or if you prefer other gluten-free beer brands.