MillerCoors might actually be slightly behind the times with this, but starting next month, they’re marketing a gluten-free version of Coors called “Coors Peak,” a “copper lager” that will be rolled out in Seattle and Portland. Anheuser-Busch released their sorghum, gluten-free brand “Redbridge” in 2006, and that’s available nationally. So, y’know. Bud’s #1 in the gluten-free race, too, Miller.
In a press release attained by Ad Age, Coors states:
“With more consumers living a gluten free-lifestyle, there are few satisfying choices in the beer category. Our brewers have developed a proprietary brewing process that is specifically designed to deliver a 100% gluten free beer worthy of the Coors name.”
“Worthy of the Coors name,” which I assume means it also thinks you can’t tell when your beer is cold or not and require a color-changing label.
The national market for gluten-free beer is fairly small. Most of the bigger brewers release “hard cider” instead, which is naturally gluten-free. Coors Peak is brewed by replacing the barley with brown rice, malted brown rice and protein from peas. The company describes it as a “light to medium-bodied crisp copper lager” with a “malty, slight caramel profile offset by subtly spicy hops and the finish is slightly bitter, crisp and perfectly balanced.”
If you’re not in the Pacific Northwest, however, you may not be trying it any time soon:
“Given production limitations, there are currently no plans to expand beyond [Seattle and Portland],” the brewer stated.
Coors Peak contains 170 calories a bottle, and I bet is awesome in a Smorgasvein. No word on the alcohol by volume content. In the state of Ohio, where I unfortunately live, there is a cap on the ABV of any beer brewed, distributed or sold here, and the limit is 12%. Because, of course, college kids are slamming back expensive specialty craft and microbrews at every frat party and a 13.5% beer would just be OUTTA CONTROL. So major brewers adding gluten-free beers to their labels cashes in on the idea that 22 year olds are definitely looking for something more carefully refined in their binge drinking.