MillerCoors to release gluten-free beer

The expanding market for gluten-free products will soon include another beer from a big brewery.

MillerCoors announced plans to begin marketing a “natural gluten free” version of Coors next month, according to Ad Age. The new product — called Coors Peak Copper Lager — is made from a proprietary brewing process.

To attain a gluten-free beer, Coors substitutes barley with brown rice, malted brown rice and protein from peas. Peak Copper Lager will be brewed separately from beers that do contain gluten, complying with guidelines for gluten-free certification.

The beer contains 170 calories per 12-ounce serving.

“With more consumers living a gluten free-lifestyle, there are few satisfying choices in the beer category,” said a MillerCoors spokesperson in an industry-distributed memo.

Already, customers with gluten sensitivities and allergies can select from specifically tailored products in pizza, dough and donuts. Beer may be the next logical entry into this market. In 2006, Anheuser-Busch began offering a gluten-free beer called “Redbridge,” brewed with sorghum, and available nationally.

However, the gluten-free beer market has remained relatively small. Redbridge is considered more of a niche brand, while Coors Peak Copper Lager will only be purchasable in Seattle and Portland. Coors will provide local marketing support in those two cities, but does not foresee national distribution in the near future, due to production limitations.

For now, cider remains the highest selling gluten-free product made by big brewers.

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