Nevertheless, their adventures continued, this time focusing on a shared passion for brewing home beer. Discussions turned to plans for starting a brewery until it all came to a halt when Dane was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. What seemed a harsh blow to this beer loving fire-eating duo soon became inspiration to brew the best gluten free beer available and become the first dedicated gluten free brewery in the Midwest. Hence the name “Burning Brothers Brewing” was born.
“We make gluten-free beer that is lower in gluten than what the FDA requires. Our beer contains zero parts per million. In fact, we are so committed to this that we don’t allow any product containing gluten to enter our brewery for fear of cross-contamination.”
While touring the brewing room and watching the process of pouring the sorghum into the vat, I mentioned to Thom that it smelled fruity. He turned me around and showed me the bowls of hops that were waiting to be added…this is what smelled fruity…almost tropical. So cool. And that white powder on top? It’s a special yeast. Imagine deconstructing the flavor profiles of beer…I loved it and had previously been oblivious to the hidden notes of flavor in beer.
Here’s the sorghum being poured into the vat…it was thick and rich like caramel. Again…who knew(?) I was beginning to understand the passion for brewing beer. It’s a recipe…many recipes actually…combining flavors, yeast growth and fermentation along with time and temperature to build the flavor that will satisfy the final outcome.
“The brewery’s flagship Pyro American Pale Ale — another nod to their fire-eating past — has a profile that draws from both English and American influences. It’s a bone-dry brew with assertive bitterness and touches of biscuit in the malt. Orange and grapefruit hop flavors provide citrusy high notes. While some of the floral/almond taste of sorghum remains, it stays pleasantly in the background. The typical cidery character is completely missing, which is a good thing. Light buttery flavor common to English yeast strains may be too much for some, but I found it brought a welcome smoothing of the bitterness.”
And if that wasn’t enough to temp you, how about their American Pale Ale winning 1st place in the Specialty Beers category and was among the contenders for the coveted Best of Show category at the 2012 – Minnesota Renaissance Festival.
Thom also mentioned one of their most recent ventures is hiring a distribution company to handle the growing requests to carry their beer. The former method of delivery, in the dedicated Burning Brothers van, proved time consuming and challenging to meet the demands for their niche product. It’s a welcomed addition to their ongoing process allowing Thom and Dane to focus on brewing additional flavor offerings.