By James Atkinson
A NSW brewer believes there is a large and growing market for its new gluten free beer.
Developed by Newcastle-based Koala Beer, WILDE Gluten Free Pale Ale came onto the market in the last fortnight.
Director Chris Gordon told TheShout that there has been strong early interest in the product, which is now available at 26 bottle shops in NSW and Victoria.
He would not disclose the mystery grain that went into the beer in place of traditional ingredients.
"You certainly can't use barley or wheat – you've got to choose a completely new grain and you've got to do it in a way that it still tastes like a beer," he said.
Gordon said Koala is currently handling its own distribution of WILDE and its other product, Burragum billi Organic lager, but it hopes to appoint a distribution partner soon.
With few alternatives on the market and a growing number of Australians identifying themselves as gluten intolerant, Gordon is hugely optimistic about WILDE's potential.
"It's a massive market, there's not a lot available," he said.
"Gluten-free people are locked in, they can't drink anything else if they're celiacs, so if they're a beer drinker and they're a celiac they don't get to choose widely.
"We're offering them a new opportunity."