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Seattle’s first gluten-free brewery now open: Ghostfish Brewing

All Ghostfish Brewing asks is that you try the beer before you pass judgement. And now you can actually do that. Seattle’s first gluten-free brewery opened its taproom in SoDo last Friday (Tuesday thru Saturday 3:00 – 9:00).

Let’s get something out of the way. These days, Gluten-free is a buzzword embraced by some and hated by others. Some people roll their eyes when they hear the term, thinking it to be a hipster graze, or a fad diet, that really means nothing. Truthfully, most people don’t even know what gluten is and only vaguely understand why some people must avoid it. Sadly, for many people gluten intolerance is a reality and that means no beer. There but before the grace of God go I.

In the world of beer, gluten-free carries a lot of negative connotations, and usually refers to beverages only vaguely resembling the kind of brews gluten-gulping beer aficionados favor. But Ghostfish Brewing wants to change that. Instead of brewing beers that are just acceptable, they want to brew beers that are exceptional. Ghostfish Brewing’s beers just might catch you off guard and make you raise an eyebrow and say, “Damn, that’s good beer.”

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But, as I said, they want you judge for yourself. Reserve judgement. Try the beers.

Unlike many other gluten-free breweries, Ghostfish is brewing with malted millet, roasted buckwheat, brown rice, and other glutenless grains. A lot of the disappointing GF beers I’ve tasted are brewed with sorghum, or even sorghum syrup. You can taste the difference immediately: the beers at Ghostfish taste like real beer.

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What impressed me most, the beers are polished: clean, refined, thoughtful and richly flavored. Many fully glutenized breweries miss the mark when they first open and it can take months to dial-in the beers. These guys are making really solid beers that just happens to be made with something other than barley, wheat and rye.

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Currently, you’ll find seven beers on tap: Pale Ale, IPA, ISA, Blond, Wit, Stout, and Brown.  Ghostfish brewing occupies a sleek, modern space near the corner of 1st Ave S. and S. Hanford Street, across the street from Westland Distillery and very near Epic Ales/Gastropod.  In addition to gluten-free beers, they also serve gluten-free pizza from SoDo Pizza, cooked on site similar to what they do at The Woods tasting room (Two Beers Brewing/Seattle Cider Co.).

My favorite? Probably the Pinefruit IPA. Juicy, hop forward, politely bitter, and delicious. The Watchstander Stout was a very close second.

Here is the press release about last week’s opening.

Seattle’s First Gluten Free Craft Brewery, Ghostfish Brewing Company, Opens their Taproom

On February 5, 2015, Ghostfish Brewing Company opened its taproom doors to the public. Located at 2942 1st Avenue South, just a few blocks south of Safeco and CenturyLink fields, the Ghostfish taproom offers Washington State’s widest variety of draft gluten-free beer, as well as an assortment of gluten-free pizzas.

The initial draft lineup consists of the brewery’s three flagships—Watchstander Stout, Vanishing Point Pale Ale, and Shrouded Summit Witbier—as well as a steadily-evolving lineup of unique experimental brews from the brewery’s Kickstarter-funded pilot system. The draft system also includes a nitro tap, and Ghostfish may be the first place in the entire world to offer a gluten-free stout served on nitro. Rounding out the draft offerings are two guest taps, one featuring local ciders and the other featuring non-gluten-free beers from select local craft brewers. Wine is also available.

“We wanted to create a place where anybody could come and enjoy great craft beer, regardless of any gluten-related health issues they may have,” says co-founder Randy Schroeder. “Our beer is real beer, just made from different types of grain, so you don’t need to be celiac to enjoy it. We wanted our taproom to reflect that, and be a place that any craft beer lover would love to hang out.” Trimmed out in cedar, with a muted color palette and tasteful industrial accents, the taproom evokes the SoDo District’s industrial past. The brewhouse and fermentation tanks are on full display, and patrons are welcomed to observe the brewing process.

The taproom opens at 3 PM Tuesday through Saturday and is closed on Sunday and Monday. Ample street parking is available.

About Ghostfish Brewing Company LLC
Ghostfish Brewing Company LLC is a dedicated gluten-free brewery located in Seattle, WA. For more information, visit www.ghostfishbrewing.com

You can find and like Ghostfish Brewing Company on Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/GhostfishBrewingCompany



5 comments

  1. It’s great more breweries (and food producers in general) are taking the whole gluten-free thing seriously. I hope this helps people understand that it isn’t just a health fad, it’s a reality for some people.

  2. Sadly it’s both a fad for most, and a reality for a tiny minority who actually have Celiac. The vast majority of gluten free products are undeniably purchased by people who somehow think it must be healthier. That said…a market has been created, so it’s good that a small business is filling that niche and I’d love to try the beers out of curiosity of ingredients more than any thing else. I’ll bring a shaker of gluten along in case…And it’s awesome of course for those who truly have celiac.

    1. There are quite a few people in that market with Celiac’s (my wife and children being some of them) but the majority are definitely there for the diet fad. We’ve seen incredible growth in the quality of gluten-free products over the last 6 years because of the a mix of both the fad and awareness of Celiac’s. I’m really excited to try these beers, it’s great to see people getting away from sorghum extract… I’m still not sure how they are able to sell those beers with a clear conscious.

  3. Dan, couldn’t agree more. I have several friends who are gluten-intolerant in varying degrees and for various reasons. It is not a choice. Deciding to go GF to lose weight or decrease inflammation, that’s a different thing. I too hope people understand the difference. Not just Celiac, but also Crohn’s, Colitis and probably some others I’m not familiar with.

  4. This sounds interesting and I will probably give it at least one try. Full disclosure, I do not know if I have celiacs; the blood test was “inconclusive” but I gained a lot of weight after stopping the wheat intake.

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