Best Gluten Free Beers

Moonshrimp Brewing Dark Pale Ale

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Negative Space: Gluten Free Dark Pale Ale

My First Review of Moonshrimp Brewing!

This is the first review of Moonshrimp Brewing to surface on this blog. They are a brand new gluten free brewery based in Portland Oregon. Moonshrimp is now distributing 22 oz. bottles to stores in the Pacific Northwest, and they have a drive-through window in Portland where they will fill growlers.

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Moonshrimp’s goal is to make delicious beer available for all. For too long those who can’t consume gluten have missed out on tasty, dynamic, craft beers. Moonshrimp is here to change that.  Truly Gluten free and Vegan…Always.   –

Probably my favorite part about Moonshrimp Brewing is that they are one of the few breweries that are dedicated 100% gluten free. This is wonderful news for the very gluten sensitive, like me. Vegan too?! Well…I’m not vegan, but I’ll take it!

What do we mean when we say gluten free and vegan?

  • No wheat, barley, malt, or other gluten source anywhere in the brewery property, ever.
  • No oats or oat products regardless of certifications or source.
  • All brand new equipment to eliminate the possibility of residual gluten.
  • No geletain or isenglass used to clarify the beer.
  • No honey.
  • All verified beet sugar (cane sugar is objectionable to some vegans due to the way it is processed).
  • No food is allowed in the brewing or bottling area at any time, ever. 
Moonshrimp beer does not contain actual shrimp. –

The Taste Test

Negative Space: Dark Pale Ale

After running across their 22 oz. bottles in my local Market of Choice and I snatched up every style they had. I will also say that their beer is very reasonably priced. I bought 4-22. oz bottles and they were each $4.79 which is the least amount of money I’ve ever spent on a gluten free 22. This Negative Space Dark Pale Ale was one of them. I also picked up their IPA and their White Ale.

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I have to say. I was very relieved to open this beer. I opened their IPA first, which I’m convinced had gone bad in the bottle. The color, the taste, the smell…everything was off. Way off. This is the style I was most looking forward to trying of theirs, so I’ve been dragging my feet to open this next one out of fear that it was just their brewing style–as opposed to a batch gone bad.

Thank goodness that is not the case! As I popped open this Dark Pale Ale and poured it into the glass, a sigh of relief washed over me, because the color was nothing like the one I hadn’t been able to drink. It looked like a rich dark pale–as promised, and it got me excited to taste.

Now, I’m not sure I’ve ever had a gluten free ale that classified itself as a dark pale ale. But it certainly tastes a lot more caramely than the typical pale ale. I wonder if that’s coming from the candied vegan sugar used.

As noted, the color is a deep burnt orange-amber, much like a red ale. It’s actually quite beautiful. The carbonation is nice, and there is somewhat of a head (the thin gluten free kind). ;)

moonshrimp brewing negative space dark pale ale review best gluten free beers gluten free brewery

It is definitely a medium bodied beer. Heavier than a typical pale. I noticed they brewed with millet which I have used for my own home brews. I love millet.

This is a very rich beer–flavor wise. I would drink it for dessert. I don’t think it would be my mid-day by-the-river beer, but it does have me intrigued to try their Starlight White Ale next. (I’m a sucker for the less-sweet, more-bitter beers.)

Which is why, I’m super bummed about their IPA. But I’m also very relieved to learn that it was probably the storage of the bottles, not the quality of the beer. I encourage Moonshrimp Brewing to ship me a different batch–because I’d love to give their IPA another shot.


P.S. Like what I do for the gluten free beer community? Consider buying me a beer for my efforts! ;)

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