Monday, 15 January 2018

An interview with Gluten Free Pint

Cutting edge Sheffield! The demand for gluten free beer is steadily being met with Steel City pubs at the forefront and this is publicised by our friend Matt:-

Who is `gluten free pint`?
Gluten Free Pint is a website currently aimed at those looking to avoid gluten in Sheffield to locate the best places to have a beer. The website is supported with both a twitter and Instagram account. Gluten Free Pint is run by Matt Winning, a gluten intolerant Web Developer and Gluten Free Beer Enthusiast.

When were you diagnosed?
I’ve been following a gluten free diet now for nearly 10 years, this is for medical reasons as I’m gluten intolerant.

Tell us about the aims of your twitter account.
The aim of the twitter account is to share with people whilst out and about in Sheffield drinking beer of the places I’ve been and where is good for gluten free beer. It’s also useful for breweries and pubs/bars to tweet me so I can share this with my followers. The main purpose is to promote gluten free beer drinking in Sheffield for those who may not realise there is much choice out there and to promote the very best gluten free beers on offer.

Any plans to develop it further?
Absolutely, there are a number of plans in the pipeline, even though Gluten Free Pint has only been running for 2 months! The first step is to replace the temporary website with an all singing all dancing site, where pubs, breweries and members of the public can list venues not already listed that have gluten free beer available. Not only are we looking at doing this in the Sheffield area, but working alongside other key enthusiasts throughout the country building this network up. We’re hoping to start this with our friends over the Pennines in Manchester.

What is the best GF beer that you have discovered so far?
Probably the easiest question to answer so far, one word… Fantasma. An amazing 6.5% citrus IPA brewed by local brewery Magic Rock in Huddersfield. Fantasma was launched in February 2017 and changed the gluten free beer industry for good – initially launched as a limited edition, Fantasma will be part of the Magic Rock core range in just over a few weeks time. There are of course other great gluten free beers out there too including Bellfield Lawless Village IPA and a pretty new beer to the game Arbor Simcoe.

Lawless Village? Eckington!?

tis good, we vouch

And which establishments are the best locally in your eyes? And further afield?
Locally in Sheffield the best pub for gluten free beer hands down has to go to The Devonshire Cat, with both a dedicated cask and keg line, it is quite simply the place to go. The Bar Stewards micropub also currently has several gluten free beers available and often has one available on cask or keg too, this is also a really nice little venue. The Sheffield Tap, Head of Steam and Beer Engine also have a range of gluten free beers available. All Thornbridge and True North pubs now stock two rotating gluten free beer cans from First Chop brewery in Manchester, probably the best brewery for gluten free in terms of the range. There’s not many pubs you can go in in Sheffield now and not get a gluten free beer, the only one I can think of from the top of my head is the Harlequin.

GF options always available at TN !

Will you be celebrating tryanuary or abstaining?
I’ve tried dryanuary in the past, and to be quite honest it’s got to the 3rd of January and it just didn’t seem to work very well. I most certainly will be taking part in tryanuary this year and already am – trying to increase the number of unique gluten free beers I’ve had, think I’m up to 78 so far… 100 by March would be good!

A friend told us that London, in her experience, lacks awareness of GF options whereas Manchester and Sheffield are better. She works in Spain and also says there is more awareness there too. Why could this be the case?
Sheffield is great for gluten free, I dare say it’s the best city of gluten free beer in the country. On the occasional visit over to Manchester I’ve also found gluten free beer to be pretty widely available, but not so much on cask and keg as in Sheffield. I’m surprised to hear London lacks the awareness of gluten free, as whenever I’ve visited the capital I’ve always found great places to go to enjoy food and drinks – admittedly not beer, as I wasn’t as heavily into gluten free beer on my last visit down there. Spain and Italy combined are probably the best countries in the world for both gluten free food and beer, this is possibly due to the campaigning by their coeliac societies. Hopefully the UK will catch up one day, however admittedly it is getting better especially in more recent years!

And finally, what other tipples do you turn to if a gluten-free option is not available?
I try not to, I used to be a cider drinker but now I love gluten free beer it’s hard to go back to drinking cider without turning my nose up at the thought.

Cheers Matt. Top tips aplenty there and great to hear that there is so much positivity about our local pubs and bottle shops. Now give Gluten Free Pint a follow!

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