Tuesday, October 6, 2015

First Draft: Ghostfish Brewing Company

By Chris Betz

Ghostfish Brewing Company is giving Usain Bolt a run for his money. The all-gluten-free brewery from Seattle took home gold and bronze medals at the 2015 Great American Beer Festival held last month and a gold medal at this year's U.S. Open Beer Championship. Brewing primarily with artisan millet and buckwheat malts, the company is making waves in the gluten-free brewing world.

The first of the flagship beers I tried was the Shrouded Summit Witbier. When brewed traditionally, this style gets its cloudy white appearance from the large amount of wheat used in the brewing process. Though there is no wheat in Shrouded Summit, its hazy yellow color and white head made it look authentic - a "witbier without," if you will. It smelled and tasted like a clone of its wheat counterpart.

Photo credit: Ghostfish Brewing Company
Next up was Vanishing Point, Ghostfish's pale ale that took gold at the 2015 U.S. Open. Aggressively hopped using four different varieties, this style won't disappoint the hop lovers out there. Where this beer really stands out against other gluten-free pale ales, though, is the malty backbone. The use of three millet malts gives this beer body and balance.

Taking the bronze medal at the Great American Beer Festival was Ghostfish's Grapefruit IPA. I was excited to try this as I missed this niche style since leaving traditional beers behind. Brewed with grapefruit peel and plenty of hops, this India pale ale did not disappoint. Citrusy from smell to aftertaste, this is a complex brew and shouldn't be missed.

The Watchstander Stout won gold at the Festival. If you've been missing a rich dark stout, this is your beer. The use of five different millet malts provides this beer its delicious roasty flavor. Until I tried this style, it had been a long time since I had a beer with this much mouthfeel and body. An incredible beer deserving of accolades.

Ghostfish's brews are available in Washington State and can be shipped via Marina Market to 28 states plus the District of Columbia - though currently not Pennsylvania, New Jersey or Delaware.
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