Nick Stafford at Hambleton Ales launches a new beer for 2014, but it’s not just another beer. The new brand is called As Good As Gold and is the result of years of research and trials from a brewer who has won many awards for brewing quality beers. Nick Stafford claimed the first ever Champion Winter Beer of Britain in 1997 with his Nightmare stout to top out a long list of accolades from the British drinking public. As Good As Gold could be the next winner.

But Nick Stafford has not forgotten those beer lovers who find it difficult to enjoy our national drink – coeliacs – consumers who suffer from a dietary disorder caused by gluten.  The ever increasing number of diagnoses was recognised by Nick Stafford and he soon produced two gluten free beers ,an Ale and a Lager, called GFA and GFL. GFA immediately won the TESCO Innovation Challenge in 2005, national distribution in the UK and are exported all over the globe. As Good As Gold is gluten free and, probably a first in its field, every batch is tested and results declared before release for sale.

Yorkshire ingredients from local maltsters Thomas Fawcett and Sons, Castleford, and hops from other parts of the UK, guarantee the appeal of the beer to all drinkers. Stafford says: “It focuses on the good feeling our beer imparts: comforting in winter and refreshing in summer. The antique gold colour highlights the refined balance of flavours from a subtle variety of malts and hops. Also the name was chosen carefully to reflect that this beer will behave itself in the sensitive stomachs of coeliacs.

Stafford continues, “I have been rather disappointed by the segregation of coeliacs from the beer market and the rather clinical categorisation of ‘gluten free beers’.  This beer has been designed for all drinkers of whatever alimentary persuasion ”.

Trail blazing not only in brewing the beer, but the packaging too! Nick has developed from his wealth of experience in bottling hundreds of different beers the technique to retain the fine floral notes and aromas so often lost from the beer in the bottling process. “I have probably bottled over 500 different brands of beer in 23 years and this experience has given me the advantage of understanding how packaging processes affects different types of beer – what to avoid and what to include. As Good As Gold is the culmination of all that research.

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