Grey Fox Brewing is Bringing 100% Gluten-Free Beer to the Okanagan
The first 100% gluten-free craft brewery is gearing up to open its doors in the Okanagan. Learn about Grey Fox Brewing and how you can support their initiative to make craft beer more accessible to all.
By Clara Jaide on May. 16, 2022
The hunt for 100% gluten-free craft beer is a challenge for many people with celiac disease. Chris Neufeld, the founder of Grey Fox Brewing, has experienced this first hand. Until he started brewing his own beers at home, Neufeld had never tried a craft beer. He was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2003 and hasn’t been able to enjoy craft beer due to beer’s main ingredient: wheat.
Over the past few years, there has been a rise in breweries featuring gluten-free beers. However, “gluten-free” is different for everyone. While some beers on the market are labelled “gluten free,” they are still brewed using gluten products and only contain additives that break up the gluten properties. These beers will pass the gluten test, but they can still cause a person with celiac disease to fall ill. Gluten-free beers that are brewed without gluten ingredients and in a gluten-free facility are safe for individuals with celiac disease, however, they’re quite hard to come by.
Some liquor stores import 100% gluten-free beers from select GF breweries across Canada and the states. Due to supply chain shortages however, they’ve been less accessible.
“Prior to the pandemic, there were more gluten free beers available,” Neufeld told JustBeer. “As soon as the pandemic hit, they just dried up.”
That’s when the Grey Fox founder begun experimenting by brewing beers with gluten free grains and rice millets at home. Eventually, he crafted the perfect recipe that got the stamp of approval from even traditional craft beer drinkers.
Now, Neufeld wants to make his pour in the Okanagan!
Grey Fox Brewing to be British Columbia’s First Gluten Free Brewery
Grey Fox plans to open its doors as British Columbia’s first 100% gluten free brewery in summer 2022. Grey Fox Brewing will be located in Kelowna and serving entirely gluten free craft beers throughout the Okanagan area.
Grey Fox’s beer contains ingredients that come from 100% gluten free farms directly to their gluten-free brewery, so individuals with celiac disease can feel safe that there are no traces of gluten in their beers. Neufeld shared his passion for creating a way for celiac beer lovers to be a part of the beer community. He also let us in on a little sneak peek: the flagship beers will feature a lager and an American-style IPA!
Where to buy Grey Fox gluten-free beers in BC
Neufeld plans to make Grey Fox’s beers accessible to beer lovers across the Okanagan. “We want to give [breweries, restaurants and bars] access to something other than wine or cider to serve [to their gluten intolerant customers] their breweries,” says Neufeld.
Many breweries and restaurants in Kelowna and the Okanagan area, such as Barn Owl Brewing, have expressed great interest in serving Grey Fox’s beers, so prepare to see them at some of your favourite spots in the city.
When will Grey Fox open its doors?
Currently, Grey Fox is raising the final funding for the brewery before planning to official open its doors in summer 2022. The location has been secured, however, the brewery is looking to raise a final $20,000 for brewing equipment prior to the opening.
You can support Chris, Grey Fox Brewing and the gluten-free/celiac beer community by donating to their Kickstarter to help reach their goal.
To keep up to date on Grey Fox and be the first to hear about their grand opening, be sure to follow Grey Fox Brewing on Instagram and Facebook and keep up to date on their website at www.greyfoxbrewing.com.
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