Most of us take the huge variety in craft beers for granted, but there are more than two million people in the world who are not so lucky. The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse estimates that 1 in 133 people are affected with celiac disease, an affliction in which a person cannot tolerate gluten — a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain sources, including, you guessed it, beer.
Well, Short’s Brewing Co. wants to give those who need gluten-free products more options, so it announced that Space Rock, an American Pale Ale, would be joining its Flagship lineup of beers alongside Huma Lupa Licious, Soft Parade, Bellaire Brown and Local’s.
Solid move, Short’s.
According to Short’s Director of Quality Tyler Glaze: “The recipe for Space Rock always contained Brewer’s Clarex, a naturally occurring enzyme, to remove chill haze. The same enzyme eliminates gluten, and we suspected that the enzyme completely removed gluten just like in Alien Einstein. So, we decided to send a bottle out to be tested at the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program’s lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The results came back great! It turned out that all we needed to do was add a little more Brewer’s Clarex and the gluten was completely removed from the beer. The taste hasn’t changed a bit. It’s still the same, delicious, moderately bitter American Pale Ale with floral and orange aromas but with the added bonus of the gluten being removed.”
In order to distinguish Space Rock that has been crafted to remove gluten from the original release, Tanya Whitley, the artist behind many Short’s beer labels, updated the artwork. You’ll see changes to Joe’s spacecraft and outfit as well as a new “Crafted to Remove Gluten” insignia.
All Space Rock bottles packaged in new 12 packs (with updated label art) has been tested and proven to be gluten removed. Any single bottles, 12 packs, and kegs of Space Rock packaged on or after 8/1/2015 have also been crafted to remove gluten, however, Short’s notes that those highly sensitive to gluten should be cautious of Space Rock on draft, as lines can contain trace amounts of gluten. Space Rock is being distributed throughout the state of Michigan by Imperial Beverage.