Friday, December 14, 2018

Now Arriving: Departed Soles

After being a gluten-free beer wasteland for years, the Philadelphia area is now a region with many local options. Harleysville's Blueprint Brewing Company has gluten-free beer "to go" in growlers, while Pittsburgh's all-gluten-free Aurochs Brewing is distributing its award-winning Blonde Ale, Session IPA and Amber Ale in Eastern Pennsylvania at dozens of outlets. Now comes Departed Soles Brewing Co., a northern New Jersey-based microbrewery that is expanding from the Garden State into Philadelphia (and also New York City).

Brian Kulbacki, the founder of Departed Soles, is a self-professed “beer nerd." By the time he moved to New Jersey in 2009, home brewing had become a serious hobby. He has since toured breweries around the world and completed the American Brewers Guild’s Intensive Brewing Science and Engineering course.

For Kulbacki, the decision to make gluten-free beer is personal. He resolved to make gluten-free beer seven years ago after he lost his best friend, who had Celiac Disease, in a car accident. “As a home brewer, I promised I would make good gluten-free beer for him, as we had always joked about starting our own brew pub," says Kulbacki. "After his passing, I became dedicated to the mission of making ‘his’ beer available for everyone that walked in similar shoes.”

After years of planning and searching for a home, Kulbacki set up shop in Jersey City in 2015. While the brewery also produces traditional beers, its gluten-free beers are fermented in dedicated vessels. Two of Departed Soles' gluten-free beers are now being distributed in Pennsylvania: GoodbIPA: Four My Homie, a floral and citrus IPA, and a blonde ale, New Jersey Ninja. Here's a current list of where the beers are sold:

Ambler Beverage (Ambler)
American Sardine Bar (Philadelphia)
The Barley Mow (West Reading)
The Beer Store (Malvern)
Big Top Beverage Market (Roslyn)
Blue Dog (Chalfont and Lansdale)
Cedar Point Bar & Kitchen (Philadelphia)
CJ's Doghouse (Lansdale)
Cold Spring Beverages (Newtown)
DJ's Westgate Beverage (York)
The Foodery (Philadelphia and Phoenixville)
Frank Smith Beverages (Pottstown)
Hunger & Thirst (Lancaster)
Kunda Beverage (King of Prussia)
McCaffrey's Food Markets (Blue Bell, Newtown and Yardley)
Park Towne Beverage (Royersford)
Pinocchio's (Media)
Tanczos Beverages (Bethlehem)
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