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Using ancient grains, Pittsburgh's Aurochs Brewing Company crafts gluten-free beer

The aurochs, a prehistoric cattle, became extinct around the time that wheat and barley supplanted ancient grains such as amaranth, sorghum and millet. So Ryan Bove and Doug Foster have named their gluten-free microbrewery in memory of that long-gone herbivore.
 
Aurochs Brewing Company, established earlier this year in Pittsburgh's funky Strip District, expects to start supplying its beer to the local market by late 2012 or early 2013. For now, says Bove, the company is busy securing an array of licenses and permits, establishing ingredient supply chains and experimenting with alternative grains, original recipes and unconventional brewing techniques.
 
The two high school friends avoid gluten for health reasons, Foster since early childhood and Bove for the last few years. Conventional beer is brewed mostly from barley or wheat, making it strictly off-limits. And though there are gluten-free beers on the market, Bove says the taste and availability pales in comparison to craft beers, which offer hundreds of thousands of options.
 
So Aurochs is setting out to use ancient, non-gluten grains to brew great beer. Bove is a mechanical engineer and a recent MBA from Carnegie Mellon. But these days he's training himself as a brew master with help from business school friends and several part-timers. "We get the help and they get free beer, so it works out well," he says. 
 
The partners have been raising money from family and friends and got a $25,000 investment this spring from the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southwestern PA. The money is a big help,  says Bove, "but the mentorship and the coaching – that's been worth 10 times more."
 
Source: Ryan Bove, Aurochs Brewing Company
Writer: Elise Vider
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