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BrewDog launches its first gluten-free beer

Scotland’s largest independent brewery has launched its first gluten-free beer. Made with Centennial and Amarillo hops to pack an intense citrus bitterness, Vagabond gluten free pale ale (4.5% ABV) will be added to the brewery’s Headliners range, which includes BrewDog’s Punk IPA, Dead Pony pale ale, Five AM Red Ale, This.Is.Lager., and Brixton Porter.

Drinkers keen to get their hands on the new gluten free Vagabond Pale Ale can order it at any BrewDog bar simply by sticking two fingers up, as part of a tongue-in-cheek campaign to be ‘intolerant of gluten intolerance’ and other “substandard gluten free options on the market”.

As part of the launch, BrewDog is inviting the community to share in its zero tolerance of gluten intolerance and lacklustre alternatives, using the hashtag #VforVagabond.

Vagabond gluten free pale ae was voted the favourite from a selection of small batch beer as part of BrewDog’s 2014 Prototype Challenge, beating three beers containing gluten.

The annual initiative sees the brewery launch four new beers, giving the community the chance to vote on which should join the range permanently.

BrewDog has a long-standing legacy for brewing innovation, including creating the world’s strongest beer, The End of History; Sunk Punk, a beer brewed under the North Sea; and even adding banned substances to its beer, Never Mind the Anabolics, to mark the London 2012 Olympics.

The beer is available to buy online at from today, and in BrewDog bars.

BrewDog co-founder James Watt comments: “BrewDog exists to make everyone as passionate about beer as we are – so we are always pushing the limits of brewing to expand the horizons of craft beer. Gluten free products have become synonymous with underwhelming flavour and experience, so we wanted to prove that a gluten free beer didn’t need to lack the bold taste and texture of a craft beer. With Vagabond, there is finally a gluten free craft beer that tastes like it should.

“We are showing zero tolerance to gluten intolerance and any intolerance of that is something we will simply not tolerate.

“Avoiding gluten can often leave people feeling like their only choice is a listless beer with both gluten and flavour removed but now they can stick two fingers up to all that, literally. BrewDog bars can now act as a totem for those people looking to escape the constant rigmarole of checking labels and forward planning.”

“The Prototype Challenge is all about discovering future classics, and the Vagabond victory demonstrates that there is a real thirst for beer that delivers epic flavour without the gluten. BrewDog wouldn’t be where it is today had we not listened to the people drinking our beers, and we will always trust their passion and judgement above anything else.

“BrewDog has always pushed boundaries of what beer can be, and this launch is another chapter in that legacy of creativity. We might be having fun with the launch, but this is an important beer for us and for our customers.”

2 March 2015 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor