June 1 2010, 9:50 AM
With most brews made from wheat, barley, and rye, finding gluten-free beer is no easy task. But New Planet Beer, a two-year-old company based in Boulder, has accomplished the feat, with a unique recipe utilizing corn and sorghum. New Planet---founded by Boulderite Pedro Gonzalez, who himself is gluten intolerant---partners with other brewers and breweries to make the gluten-free brew. Tread Lightly is produced by the Fort Collins Brewery, and every batch is tested at the Microbac Laboratories in Boulder to be sure it’s gluten-free. The bonuses of this gluten-free beer? It’s low calorie---just 125 calories a bottle---and New Planet donates a portion of profits to local nonprofits. This year they’ll give to the Wildlands Restoration Volunteers. The downside? As someone who can process gluten, I didn’t love the flavor as much as traditionally crisp ales. The substitution leaves a slight bitter flavor, although it cleans quickly enough. And I think the upcoming releases---a raspberry ale and an IPA---will help balance the corn and sorghum flavors. Tread Lightly was released in Boulder last fall and is being released throughout Colorado this spring and summer.