Brewery News: Utah brewery Uinta, releases Gluten-free "Free Form IPA" & "Free Form Belgian-Style Blonde Ale", this May 2016

You-In-Tah, is the correct pronunciation of Utah-based brewery Uinta Brewing Company, from Salt Lake City. Started in 1993 by Will Hamill, the brewery is known for their Hop Nosh IPA (in a state nicknamed a "3.2 state", Hop Nosh is listed at 7.3 ABV¹). In the coming weeks, Uinta is introducing something new: a Gluten-free beer. Thankfully CEO Steve Miller and Head Brewer R & D Isaac Winter were in town to introduce Free Form IPA and Free Form Belgian-style Blonde Ale in person.

A few years ago, after the acquisition of a 130 BBL brewhouse from Germany's BrauKon, Uinta took the steps to certify their retired 40 BBL brewhouse for the development of its Gluten-free beers. Once the 40 BBL brewhouse was certified for brewing gluten-free beers, which requires all products to contain no more than 10 parts per million of gluten, the brewery was certified by the Gluten-Free Certification OrganizationWhen asked about the level of gluten in their beers, Steve Miller confirmed the number to be below 5 parts per million, but the actual number is obscured by the limitation of testing equipment. 

Free Form IPA Brewery Description:
Citra and Ella hops impart a bright and tropical essence to this exceptionally thirst-quenching and well-rounded brew.
Malts: Millet, Buckwheat
Hops: Citra, Ella, Cascade
Alcohol by Volume: 4.3%

Free Form Belgian-Style Blonde Ale Brewery Description:
Slight hints of coriander and orange peel partner perfectly with Sterling and Opal hops to set off this extremely sessionable ale.
Malts: Millet, Buckwheat
Hops: Sterling, Opal
Spices: Coriander, Orange Peel
Alcohol by Volume: 4.3%

image of Free Form IPA paired with "Green Eggs & Ham" and "Fire and Honey Chicken Wings"image of Free Form Belgian-style Blonde Ale, paired with "Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates" and "Cauliflower Salad"

Our Thoughts
Having been invited to check out both beers, we took the opportunity to sample both the Belgian-style Blonde Ale and the IPA. Starting with the Belgian-Style Blonde Ale, we detected no off-flavors due to the omission of malted barley, and the addition of coriander and orange peel further distracts the incredulous beer drinker from perceiving this as anything other than beer. Thankfully the cooks of Golden Beetle (located 1744 NW Market Street, in Seattle) provided some food pairings in the form of goat cheese stuffed dates (with Aleppo, chive, and kale ) and cauliflower salad (with tahini vinaigrette, almond, fresh mint, and chickpea). Moving onto the IPA, described as a West Coast IPA, we recalled notes of citrus, floral, and spice. Paired with this was Golden Beetle's Fire and Honey Chicken Wings (with harissa-ginger sauce, lime zest, and peanut) as well as Green Eggs and Ham deviled eggs (with green food coloring and bacon added).

Overall both beers are sessionable, convincing, and most importantly are GFCO certified. Look for both of these beers starting the 1st week of May. 

¹ The State of Utah has established that draft beer must not exceed 3.2% ABW (Alcohol By Weight), while bottled beers do not have to meet the same standard.
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