What's Brewing?: A glutton for gluten-free beer
Western Pennsylvania is filled with craft breweries that do an exceptional job of creating quality beer.
Aurochs Brewing Co. (located in Emsworth), however adds an additional layer that truly makes them unique while making many people who follow a gluten-free diet grateful. In fact after Aurochs, the closest brewery dedicated to producing gluten-free craft beer is in Saint Paul, Minn.
Prior to tasting what Aurochs offers I would have told you I didn't particularly care for gluten-free beer. It wasn't terrible, but the few times I indulged I was left longing for a “real” beer rather than the more cider-tasting malted beverage I had in my hand.
Trust me, you need to forget the taste your brain has associated with gluten-free beer established by earlier brewing companies and open up your palates, because this is not that. Wait until you try Aurochs!
Better yet, take a friend there and don't tell them the porter is brewed with quinoa as opposed to barley. I'm willing to bet they don't notice. I didn't and I drink, sample, swish and spit a lot of beer. Aurochs and less than five other gluten-free breweries in the entire country are dedicated to changing the taste of gluten-free beer. I'm not even going to say “gluten-free” in this column anymore because it's simply craft beer.
They just happen to like brewing with buckwheat, quinoa and millet as opposed to barley, rye and oats. Aurochs success didn't happen by repeating what breweries of their kind had produced in the past. In many aspects the founders of Aurochs, Doug Foster and Ryan Bove, are pioneers in this part of the industry. They are constantly testing new ideas, ingredients, and sampling to make sure we don't think or taste anything other than what we have come to expect a quality craft beer to be. The taste of cider and sorghum we anticipate are long gone when it comes to craft beer from Aurochs.
Aurochs brews 16 different styles of beer with their most popular brews in 12-ounce bottles. You can purchase their beer on tap and in bottles in Erie, Philadelphia, and in over 80 locations locally including Smiling Moose, Carson Street Deli & Craft Beer Bar, Pig Iron Public House, Little E's Pizzeria and Beer Arena just to name a few. Right here in western Pennsylvania, Aurochs is changing the way the world experiences gluten-free beer. . . whoops!
Mark Brewer is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.
Aurochs Brewing Co.
American Porter (4.8% ABV). Pours dark brown. Light tan head with minimal retention. Coffee aroma with a roasted nuttiness. Flavors of coffee and dark unsweetened chocolate. Light to medium body, mild carbonation. Finishes with the taste of coffee and roasted malt that doesn't linger.
New England IPA
India Pale Ale (5.5% ABV). Pours a deep yellow color. Hazy with a frothy white head. Aromas of hops and white bread. Moderately bitter taste with flavors of hops and citrus orange. Medium body and moderately carbonated. Finishes with a hint of malt and a citrusy bitterness.
Aurochs Blonde Ale
Blonde Ale (4.5% ABV). Light yellow straw color with a bright white head. Scents of sweet honey, banana and ripe fruit. Fruity flavor with banana, hops, lemon and a hint of hop bitterness. Light body with medium carbonation. Finishes with a hint of lemon and mild bitterness.
Aurochs Session IPA
India Pale Ale (4.5% ABV). Bright yellow color with white head that dissipates quickly. Bouquet of lemon and hops. Taste of hop bitterness with a bit of citrus. Light body with high carbonation. Mildly bitter hop finish with lingering taste of lemongrass.