Yes it’s true! Buckwheat is celiac safe.
In honor of Celiac Awareness Month, we’re exploring buckwheat. The Japanese have cultivated buckwheat for ages and in the U.S. it’s gaining traction. The versatility and health benefits of this rhubarb relative are making it a popular alternative to grain-based beer. The kernels are an excellent replacement for traditional wheat or barley for brewing as buckwheat provides the proteins, starches, and enzymes needed to give beer body, mouthfeel, and head retention. Read about nutritional facts of buckwheat from a 2015 article on The Celiac Scene >>
The rich soil and growing conditions in Skagit Valley, Washington are ideal for buckwheat crops. Over three years ago, in a strategic partnership with Washington State University’s The Breadlab and Ghostfish, Skagit Valley Malting modified one of their malting machines to process 100% gluten free buckwheat for gluten free businesses. The buckwheat sold by SVM undergoes continuous strict batch testing from a third party to ensure safety.
The specific buckwheat grown in Skagit Valley and malted by Skagit Valley Malting (SVM) releases earthy, nutty, herbal, and tea characteristics that add complexity to our brews. Though Ghostfish is one of the primary customers of Skagit Valley Malting’s gluten free buckwheat, more traditional breweries are finding the benefits of using it. Read Kendall Jones’ Washington Beer Blog article, “Adding to the haze, buckwheat is not just for gluten free brewers anymore”.
Buckwheat is nearly 40% of the grain bill for Ghostfish’s summer seasonal release, Gosefish Hibiscus Cranberry Gose (goz-uh). This recipe provides a solid base of pale malt buckwheat, malted millet, malted rice, and quinoa that lends characteristics typical of a German-style sour ale. For more about tasting notes, food pairings, and more about Ghostfish, follow this link >>
Ghostfish beer leaves nothing behind but gluten. All our beers are pulled from various 100% gluten free grains to achieve desired results, including buckwheat, rice, millet, gluten-free oats, and quinoa. We’re using untraditional ingredients to emulate a style enjoyed by craft drinkers worldwide—ours just happens to be gluten free.