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Surly unveils 'gluten-reduced' canned beer, a rarity for Twin Cities craft breweries



Last spring, Surly Brewing unveiled a couple of “gluten-reduced” beers at its beer hall, becoming the first brewery in the Twin Cities to offer a traditional, barley-brewed beer in which the gluten had been extracted. (Local gluten-free brewery Burning Brothers brews with gluten-free grains – such as sorghum and brown rice – so there is no need to remove the gluten.)

Now, the local beer leader is extending those efforts to its first canned product with the “gluten-reduced” labeling — the new Hopshifter IPA.

The release, announced this month, meets the less-than-20-parts-per-million criterion to call a product gluten-free, but can’t adopt the term since a gluten ingredient (barley) was used at the start of the process.

So how does one go about removing the gluten from beer? Well actually, making a beer gluten-free is sort of a happy side effect. Surly uses an enzyme called Brewer’s Clarex to eliminate the haze that naturally occurs in beer. The haze, as it turns out, is essentially made up of the gluten proteins that trigger those with sensitivities. So remove the haze, remove the gluten – all while only positively affecting the taste of the beer.

“We’re now confident enough to send the new variations out into the world,” Surly said in a release.

Too good to be true? Surly suggests you try the beer yourself.



Hopshifter is an experimental IPA that Surly has used as vehicle for experimenting with new hop varieties for about the last year, a period in which they’ve made about a dozen different versions of the brew. The current variety evokes notes of pineapple, mango and tropical aromatics, along with the typical IPA bitterness.

It will be available in cans only, since Surly can’t guarantee gluten-sensitive tap lines at other establishments.

British-inspired distillery to open in Mpls.; will specialize in 'Scotch-style' whisky



Minneapolis is getting a new distillery and cocktail room this spring.

Royal Foundry Craft Spirits, a British-inspired distillery specializing in a single-malt “Scotch-style” whisky, will feature the Twin Cities largest cocktail room, a private tasting room, an event space and a gaming area when it opens near International Market Square.

The founders, Nikki and Andy McLain and Kelly Everhart, are currently conducting a crowdfunding campaign.

“Our vision is to create a venue that will be an inviting and authentic social scene, and we can’t wait to open our doors to meet and serve our neighbors,” Everhart, the CEO and president said in a release.

Andy McLain, Royal Foundry’s chief distiller, is U.S. born, but has British parents and spent much of his childhood in Europe. After training at distilleries in Colorado and New York, he was inspired to open his own.

When it debuts at 241 Fremont Av. N. in Minneapolis (see rendering above), Royal Foundry will serve a Navy-style rum, a London-style dry gin and the single malt whisky, using an “off-grain” fermentation technique that mimics the traditional Scotch method.

Eventually McLain and Co. plan to experiment with more spirits as well.

The space will include the Crown room, for private tastings, the Barrel room, for large events and a 9-pin Skittles lane to celebrate the British pub game similar to bowling. Outside the 15,000-square-foot cocktail room, Royal Foundry’s back yard will boast a 70-meter cycle racetrack – set to open this summer – for hosting bicycle competitions.

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