Edinburgh-based Bellfield Brewery, which specialises in producing gluten-free beer, will experiment with Kebari, a new gluten-free barley from Australia, over the next few months.
The brewery aims to learn more about the potential of the new grain and hopes that it will offer various benefits, such as simplifying the production process.
Kebari was developed by scientists in Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and has taken a total of 13 years to perfect, it contains 10,000 times less gluten than regular barley.
According to European laws (Gluten Regulation EC 41/2009), foods containing 20 or fewer parts per million (ppm) of gluten are classified as gluten-free.
The Kebari grain contains only 5ppm of gluten so falls well within the World Health Organisation’s recommended limit.
Bellfield Brewery's brewer and manager Kieran Middleton said: “The Kebari barley has the potential to be a game-changer, allowing us to brew darker beers with even greater flavour, without using enzymes or other additives.”
He added: “We’re hoping that it will allow us to brew a wider range of beer styles that everyone – whether coeliac or not – can enjoy.”
Last year, the brewery completed a research programme with Heriot-Watt University’s Institute of Brewing and Distilling in Edinburgh. Middleton hopes that it will soon be starting another round of research and recipe development to build up a selection of "tasty" gluten-free beers.
The family brewery launched its first two beers in March 2016 and has recently secured a number of distribution deals.
The company’s two original beers – Lawless Village IPA and Bohemian Pilsner – have been taken on by Scottish distributors and wholesalers, such as Craft Beer Clan Scotland and Gordon & MacPhail.
While the brewery has secured listings in more than 100 bars, pubs and restaurants in Scotland, the new deals will allow the products to branch out to the UK and, potentially, international markets.
In the next few months, the company is planning to develop more products, including India pale ales, golden ales and, eventually, stout.