Chocolate-Coffee-Vanilla-Hazelnut Dark Gluten-Free Beer


Photo by Janell Zimmerer
Photo by Janell Zimmerer

Like most people, I was able to experience the joys of real beer before discovering I was gluten-free. My senior year in college I developed a pallet for craft beer; the days of watered down freebie beer I experienced in my early college days had come to a pleasant end. Now I had found the good stuff.

This, however, was short-lived. So now I’m left with cider, liqueur or beers that seem to be underwhelming. There are a few breweries that are getting it right such as Ground Breaker Brewing in Portland, OR but they don’t ship to the Midwest (by the way if you want to know just how amazing Ground Breaker Brewing is check out my forthcoming review or their website).

So I created a plan: get my boyfriend a brewing starter kit for his birthday and let him test his brewing skills on regular beer first. The results, I was told, were amazing. Next step, find a recipe that had enough flavor to cover the bitterness associated with GF beer. Plus, who doesn’t love a good sugar high mixed with a caffeine rush? What came next is something only dreams are made of.




Photo by Eric Haberin
Photo by Eric Haberin


  • 1lb 8oz Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats, roasted (steep for 30 min prior to boil)
  • 12oz Wild Rice, roasted (steep for 30 min prior to boil)
  • 8oz Millet, roasted (steep for 30 min prior to boil)
  • 4lbs Brown Rice Syrup (prior to boil)
  • 1lb 4oz Dark Candy Sugar (prior to boil)
  • 1lb Molasses (prior to boil)
  • 75oz Chinook Hops (60 min)
  • 25oz Chinook Hops (30 min)
  • 3lbs Sorghum Syrup (15 min)
  • 5oz Fuggles Hops (15 min)
  • 1tsp Irish Moss (10 min)
  • 1tsp Yeast Nutrient (10 min)
  • 9oz Fat Free Cocoa Powder (10 min)
  • 8oz Maltodextrin (5 min)
  • 1pkg Gluten Free Dry Yeast
  • Secondary:
  • 2-3 Vanilla Extract
  • Bag of chocolate
  • Pound of hazelnuts
  • 5 gallons of Dead man’s coffee

The Creation of the beer

Photo by Eric Haberin
Photo by Eric Haberin

1. Roasted oats for 1 hour at 350 degrees; the wild rice and hazelnuts for 1 hour at 400 degrees; millet starting at 225 degrees with a 25 degree increase every 30 minutes until desired color.

2. Steep grains for thirty minutes prior to boil.

3. Bring wort to boil, and primary fermentable sugars, return to boil and achieve hot break.

4. Add hops, finings remaining fermentable sugars and other ingredients according to schedule.

5. Chill wort until appropriate temperature to pitch yeast.

6. Add vanilla beans to secondary after racking about a week after the brew.

7. Let the brew age for 3 weeks or longer if you feel there is a bitterness.

8. Bottle and enjoy!

UPDATE: After 3 long months, the beer has been bottled, sat for 3 weeks without exploding, the results are amazing!

When opened the smell of creamy vanilla seeps out luring you in. The complex flavors of chocolate, coffee, hazelnuts and vanilla blend together to create the perfect brew. There is no bitter taste to the beer, like you find with many other gluten-free beers. This recipe is a must try!

Photo by Eric Haberin


Author: theredheadedwheatlesswanderer

I am a writer, photographer and travel of the world.

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