Now, I won’t bore you with the details – but for those of you that don’t quite know what a gluten intolerance is, or what Celiac disease is, it basically means that everything glorious and wonderful in this world is off limits. No beer, no bread, no pasta … and the worst part, no pizza. You cannot consume anything that contains even the slightest amount of barley, wheat or rye, without doing serious damage to your digestive system. If you’d like to learn more about this, check out www.celiac.com. Growing up with a severe gluten intolerance was not fun by any means. But, having a family with the same allergies made it easier. We all cooked together, packed our own school lunches, and found places that we could eat.
It wasn’t until my early 20s I realized that going out to grab a beer wasn’t something I could do, and it kind of sucked. I’ve never been a big drinker, but it still seemed like it would have been nice to go grab a beer after work with my friends. Now, it is becoming easier as time goes on and people become more aware of it, but finding gluten-free beer while you’re out and about is not an easy task.
So, when I was first introduced to the idea of a gluten-free brewery – I thought that it must be too good to be true. But after a handful of visits, I can say that Burning Brothers Brewing, an entirely gluten-free facility in Saint Paul, MN, is the real deal.
Thom Foss & Dane Breimhorst, are two dear friends that have embarked on numerous adventures together. Any and everything from learning how to eat fire (at the Renaissance Festival) and brewing a variety of home libations, like beer, mead and country-wines. In the middle of trying to figure out how to go pro with beer brewing, Dane was diagnosed with Celiac disease. After learning how to adapt to the new lifestyle, they revisited the idea and experimented with trying to find ways to go gluten-free. After 3 years of hard work, they are now one of only a handful of dedicated gluten-free production breweries in the United States.
Thom says that it has been a challenge of discovery. Not only did they have to put in some serious work to carve their own path in gluten-free recipe development, but they had to work through the trials of opening a small business. However, both Thom and Dane agree that they would take this opportunity to learn and overcome new challenges every single day than to stay in their old professional lives.
Thom touched on the mind-blowing support they have gotten from the community, saying, “it’s not just the gluten-free folks, but other breweries, craft beer enthusiasts and the local community all have expressed their appreciation for what we are doing.”
Looking towards the future, Thom says that they strive to continue growing as individuals and as a company. This means that they will refuse to rest on their successes and that they will continue to experiment and create new styles (such as sours, tripels, dunkels).
So, for those of you that are gluten-free, fear not – there is now a place that you can go and enjoy a nice cold beer. For those of you that are NOT gluten-free, don’t write BBB off! Thom says that the biggest compliment that they get is that people really can’t tell the difference and that it tastes like a traditional beer, and they get this compliment quite often! So stop in and get a cold one, and help support Burning Brothers Brewing on their mission to branch out into other areas of the country!
Burning Brothers Brewing
1750 Thomas Ave W
St. Paul, MN, 55104
You can reach Nicole Sweeney at firstname.lastname@example.org.