Golden's gluten free beer in big demand

Holidaily 2.0 opens in a new building with state-of-the-art brewing system


About three years ago, Karen Hertz began her mission of providing a great tasting beer to people who normally couldn't drink craft beer because of an intolerance to gluten.

“I started the brewery to get beer to those who haven't been able to have a beer for a long time,” Hertz said.

Holidaily Brewing Company, 801 Brickyard Circle in Golden, opened its doors in February 2016 with three beers on tap. Today, it offers 10 beers on tap and five of them are available in about 300 establishments — liquor stores, restaurants, events venues and even other breweries — across the state.

“There's a big demand for gluten free beer,” said Kaitlyn Gipple, communications manager for Holidaily, adding the brewery met capacity about a year ago.

To keep up with the demand for gluten free beer, Holidaily has moving its brewing operations for distribution to a larger facility located right across the street.

“The beer drinking experience will not change,” Gipple said, adding the taproom will remain in its current location. But, “this new brewery will allow us to reach more customers.”

The new facility will allow for about triple the amount of production, said Alan Windhausen, Holidaily's head brewer. It houses 10 60-barrel tanks, compared to Holidaily's former eight 20-barrel tanks. For perspective, one barrel consists of two kegs of beer.

The first beers to be produced in the new space should be available to the drinking public later this month.

Hertz said that of the 12 gluten-free breweries in the U.S., this new facility will make Holidaily the largest producer of gluten free beer, volume-wise.

In addition, Holidaily's new facility is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment — a special mash press brewing system that will alleviate some of the difficulties that come with brewing with the small, gluten free grains on a traditional system. Sleeping Giant Brewing Company in Denver is the only other brewery in Colorado to use the mash press brewing system.

“This is a big step forward for gluten free brewing,” Windhausen said. “A lot of our friends from around the world are looking at us as pioneers.”

Hertz gets the grains for Holidaily beer from Grouse Malt House, a woman-owned company in Wellington, which all its products are certified gluten free and organic.

Back in February, Hertz not only celebrated the brewery's opening, she also celebrated her decade anniversary of being cancer free. She survived melanoma and thyroid cancers in her early 30s, and part of her treatment plan included a doctor's recommendation to eliminate gluten.

Hertz struggled to find a gluten-free beer. Gluten reduced means an enzyme is added that breaks down the gluten, but there is still some gluten in it. Some people can handle this small amount, Hertz said, but some people — especially those who have been diagnosed with celiac disease can still get sick.

All Holidaily beer is certified gluten free by the Gluten Intolerance Group. The grains are already gluten free, and all the yeast is tested before it's used in the beer. The process of the brewing operations at Holidaily ensure there is no cross contamination.

“We have to think of the full cycle to make sure people are safe (and) be sure that anybody can drink it,” Hertz said of Holidaily beer. But “the beer (tastes) good, so people don't even know it's gluten free.”

Hertz found the building for the new facility about a year ago and recently signed a 10-year lease. The new facility is being affectionately called Holidaily 2.0.

“My goal is to have Holidaily available corner-to-corner in Colorado,” Hertz said. “I'm looking forward to fulfilling that goal.”


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