E-Malt. E-Malt.com News article: The Czech Republic: New beer launched specially for sufferers of Celiac disease

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E-Malt.com News article: The Czech Republic: New beer launched specially for sufferers of Celiac disease
Brewery news

Since this week, an estimated 50,000 sufferers of Celiac disease in the Czech Republic have a reason to celebrate as a micro-brewery in Ostrava has launched the production of a gluten-free beer, Radio.cz reported on November, 25.

Celiac disease manifests itself in intolerance to gluten, a protein found in most grains, and also in regular beer.

The microbrewery Zámeček Ostrava Zábřeh has put out a special beer that, unlike most conventional beers, does not contain gluten – a protein that patients with Celiac disease cannot digest and that can lead to serious health problems in those affected. There is no cure for the disease, says Kateřina Reichelová of the Czech society for gluten-free living.

“Celiac disease is a hereditary intolerance to gluten, which is a protein contained in wheat, barley, spelt and rye. The gluten free diet is the only cure to the disease, there is no medication that can cure this disease.”

Tomáš Hub, head brewer of Ostrava’s Zámeček Zábřeh microbrewery, explains his decision to produce such an unusual brew - only two other breweries in Europe, in the Bavarian Nuremberg and in the British Leeds, carry a similar product.

“We decided to brew gluten-free beer because we had demand from local customers, who are Celiacs, and we waited until the end of summer, because as you know, that’s the main beer season, and we had space in our beer storage facilities to let this extra-special beer for those people mature.”

In this special low-alcohol brew, the alcohol content amounts to a modest two percent, corn and corn syrup are used in place of the traditional malt and wheat has been replaced by rice. Other ingredients are the famous spicy hops from the Žatec region of the Czech Republic and yeast from Belgium. Hibiscus and caramel are added for color.

The first 650 liter batch of the specialty brew will be sold on tap at the brewery’s pub, and depending on how well it sells, Hub may decide to brew another batch next year. So far, he has no plans to distribute it outside of the Zámeček Zábřeh pub.

“I think it’s great news, because a lot of Czech celiacs like beer, a lot of Czechs in general like beer, and I think for some people it’s very important that they have gluten free beer, because they often break the rules, they don’t follow their diet because they can’t live without beer,” Mrs. Reichelová said.

27 November, 2009

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