When I say Gluten Free Beer in California, most die-hard beer drinkers look at me as if I'm crazy. When I googled gluten free beer in Portland, Or, I found a whole brewery dedicated to it -- so dedicated that they've opened a 100% gluten free Gastropub right next to their brewery. Ground Breaker Brewing (recently changing their name from Harvester) proudly proclaims that no gluten or gluten containing ingredients have darkened their door. The beers are delicious -- to my way of tasting. What I sampled of thei food was tasty and inviting enough to entice me for a second visit.
Ground Breaker Brewing is located at Lincoln and 7th street SE. The gastropub is small and unassuming. They have 5 year-round offerings and 3 temporary pours. The best part is that if you are a Libra like me and can't make up your mind what you want, they have a tasting flight that gives you 4 choices all lined up in tasting glasses and equaling a pint.
Of course, I ordered the flight. Every one of them was delicious and my favorite of the year-round offerings was the Dark Ale (38 IBU, 5.5% ABV) roasted chestnuts and lentils give this beer a roast flavor and aroma with hints of chocolate and dark fruits. It is a 2014 Great American Beer Festival Gold Medal Winner.
Of the seasonal offerings one caught my eye as what I call a healing beer. When I was taking home beer brewing classes, I found and read a book called Sacred and Herbal Healing Beers: The Secrets of Ancient Fermentation by Stephen Harold Buhner. I used to pore through that book wanting to create so many of the ancient beers. For several months it was one of those books I kept near me, opening and reading at different points, having fun with the element of surprise as where I'd landed in the moment.
When I ordered a second flight, I ordered two of that one -- Cancellation Turmeric (30IBU, 5.6% ABV) Ale brewed with meyer lemon juice, milk thistle, goji berries roasted dandelion root, burdock root, and turmeric. OMG is was delicious and I'm hopeful we are going back there for dinner and more of that wonderful beer. While this was my favorite of the seasonal beers, there was not one I didn't like. Each had a distinctive flavor and I found the taste descriptions were accurate.
Having had just eaten before I arrived, I only ordered an appetizer of Scallops and Pork Belly (ocean scallops, pork belly braised in Dark Ale, fennel salad). It made me want to come back for dinner. There were so many things on their menu that sounded delicious. But the one I have to try is the Chicken and Cheddar Dumplings soup. One of my favorites from childhood was chicken and dumplings. Now that I am gluten free, that's one of the recipes I want to re-create for the cookbook I'm writing. The Cubano sandwich, and the roasted lamb sandwich also attracted my attention. They have a Burger night on Tuesday nights, and there's a grass-fed burger on the regular menu. For Vegetarians there's the roasted delicata squash sandwich which cranberry-red onion marmalade. Just writing this makes my mouth water.
I realize that being in Portland is like a renewal of my passion for real food, for creating gluten free, and uncorrupted real food and traditional recipes that everyone can follow. And, yes, I'm writing on my cookbook -- Enjoy Fun Food Again. Thank you Portland, Oregon.