Mutantis Renounces Our Bronze Medal from Oregon Beer Awards

Here at Mutantis, we generally aren’t interested in beer competitions.

Competing in the gluten-free category means that beers of all different styles are judged against each other, and that’s pretty absurd. Imagine a barley beer competition like that–is the world’s best pilsner better or worse than the world’s best hazy IPA, or the world’s best imperial stout? It’s a silly question, and no beer geek in their right mind would take it seriously. But when you’re a gluten-free brewer, you’re expected to be grateful just to be given the opportunity to compete at all.

We usually aren’t willing to accept that, so we usually ignore those competitions.

However, this year, the Oregon Beer Awards decided to add a gluten-free category for the first time ever. Some of our fellow dedicated gluten-free brewers asked us if we’d be willing to enter to ensure that there were enough entries to make the category viable, and we agreed. We figured even if the judging isn’t meaningful to us, it’s still an opportunity to put the spotlight on our state’s uniquely-vibrant community of dedicated gluten-free breweries. Or so we thought!

Long story short, the OBA chose to merge the gluten-free category with the non-alcoholic category, and allow gluten-free beers from non-dedicated breweries to enter. Uh oh.

Wouldn’t you know it, but the gold and silver in “our” category both went to beers from Deschutes Brewing! Gold for a one-off gluten-free IPA only available in their Bend brewpub, and silver for their Non-Alcoholic Black Butte Porter. Mutantis was the only dedicated gluten-free brewery to take a medal: bronze, for our Extra Terrestrial Pub Ale.

This was disappointing enough, but to make matters worse, that silver medal was swiftly retracted, after we notified the OBA that Non-Alcoholic Black Butte Porter is actually brewed and packaged in Denver, Colorado, and wasn’t eligible to compete! Apparently the folks at the OBA didn’t bother to look at the label for that beer, which clearly states where it’s brewed, and apparently the folks at Deschutes didn’t bother to read the competition rules that state that ONLY beer brewed in Oregon is eligible. Whoops!

So now only two medals are awarded for the category, despite several dozens of entries from dedicated gluten-free brewers. Could they reallocate the medals so that a runner-up would get one? Nope! Their judging format “doesn’t work that way”.

Due to Deschutes muscling in on the ONLY category we dedicated gluten-free brewers can compete in, and the OBA allowing them to, the whole point of having a gluten-free category was lost. Oregon’s community of dedicated gluten-free brewers got snubbed, and collectively wasted hundreds of dollars on entry fees (and a lot of beer).

Because of this fiasco, Mutantis does not feel good about our bronze medal. We have asked the OBA to disqualify us (we did miss the entry deadline, and despite requesting a refund instead of an exception, were told to enter anyway). They have refused our request to disqualify us and rescind our medal. So here we are, having to make a public statement renouncing our medal and expressing our regret for competing at all.

We’ll say it again, louder for the people in the back: WE RENOUNCE OUR BRONZE MEDAL. We stand in solidarity with our dedicated peers. Gluten-free breweries deserve better from competitions, and we deserve to be taken seriously by the craft brewing industry.

News – March 2021

It’s been a wild ride getting this brewery up and running, but now that things have smoothed out and we have some mental bandwidth, it’s time we updated our customers on where we’re at and what’s coming next!

Where We Started

We have been open weekends, and weekdays by appointment, for carry-out since November 21st, 2020, and not too long ago we launched online pick-up ordering through Square. We’ve been pretty thrilled with the warm welcome our neighbors have given us, with most of our customers being walk-ins from the surrounding area. It’s been a fairly slow start, which has been nice since it allowed us to get our sea legs, get beer in our tanks, and get our operational systems in place.

Patio Opening

If you’ve been following our social media, then you know by now that as of March 17th, we shifted to regular open hours. Those are Wed-Sun, 1 PM to 7 PM. Our patio is now open for physically-distanced outdoor drinking, whenever the weather is nice enough. Yes, it’s dog-friendly (leash required) and kid-friendly as well–the only place kids aren’t allowed is at our bar. Come visit us any time we’re open, no need to call ahead. We now have Bierly, Ground Breaker, Evasion, and Moonshrimp on tap, as well as a rotating cider (currently Bauman’s Old Mule), and we are now filling growlers as well! We may be the only place in the world where you can get five different dedicated gluten-free beers on draft, how cool is that?

How about indoor drinking? We’re eager to start allowing that, but it will have to wait until after “our staff” (aka Jason) is fully vaccinated, hopefully by mid-April. We’re waiting until after vaccination because if Jason lost his sense of taste and smell to COVID-19, it would effectively put an end to Mutantis, even if there were no other symptoms. It’s just too big of a risk to take, especially with an end in sight! We thank you for your patience.

New Retailer Relationship

In other news, we also recently started selling our crowlers to John’s Marketplace, which has two locations in Portland. Currently only Passionfruit Sour, Deep Blonde, and British Porter are available there, but we’ll open up more styles eventually. We have also sold them a few kegs to put on their recently-dedicated gluten-free tap, though they seem to sell out quickly! We have confirmed they are using fresh clean lines for the tap, thanks to the efforts of their resident Celiac, Chris. Drink without fear!

In-State Delivery Coming Soon

The next big thing we’re working on is in-state delivery, which will be launching the week of March 22nd. We’re all set up with UPS, and we’ve got all the packaging we need for the first 30 orders. Orders will be 12 beers minimum due to the size of the packaging we have and also to ensure the shipping costs are more reasonable (though shipping beer is always expensive, unfortunately). We will also ship merchandise, which will be packaged separately if necessary, and will not be subject to any minimums. We also have plans to offer a monthly “beer box” that will contain a mix of beers from our stock along with tasting notes and pairing suggestions. The beer box will be a flat monthly price regardless of what’s included, and we will offer discounts for multiple months being purchased up front.

How about out of state delivery? We’ve been getting inquiries from around the US, but unfortunately they have been coming almost exclusively from states where direct-to-consumer beer shipments from out of state are prohibited. The only states we will be able to ship to AK, KY, NE, NV, NH, ND, OH, PA, VT, VA, and DC; most of these require us to obtain separate licenses from their state liquor control boards, so it will be a while before we start expanding to those. Sorry to residents of CA, WA, AZ, MA, MI, TX, and other states where people have requested our beer–talk to your state legislators and request a change to the laws!

What’s Brewing?

Currently fermenting:
-Blueberry Witbier
-Mutator Doppelbock

Brewing this month:
-3-Hop NEIPA (Amarillo, El Dorado, Huell Melon)
-Oaked Imperial Stout

Planned for next month:
-Raw Farmhouse Ale w/Evergreen Boughs & Kviek Yeast
-Robust Porter
-Spring Gruit (Jasmine, Rose, Elderflower)
-Mexican Lager

Planned for early summer:
-Margarita Imperial Gose
-Basil Saison
-Dry Stout
-Quinoa Hazy IPA
-English Bitter
-California Classic IPA
-Dry-Hopped Sour Strawberry Buckwheat Braggot