Is beer gluten free?
There’s a lot of confusion on the internet as to whether beer is gluten free or not.
Beer is mostly made from barley which contains hordein, a type of gluten. (Wheat’s gluten is known as gliadin.) But some manufacturers claim that all the gluten is removed in the brewing process. This is almost certainly not the case though. And if you’re a coeliac, it’s best to avoid traditional beers altogether rather than run the risk of becoming ill.
The great news is that there are plenty of gluten free beer brands on the market. And they all taste pretty good too.
Here in the UK we’ve tried a few gluten free beers. And, in no particular order, here are our favourites.
Green’s produces eight gluten free beers, lagers and ales which are made using pseudo cereals such as sorghum, millet, buckwheat and brown rice. Our favourites include Endeavour dark beer with its flavour of roasted grain and winter fruits; Quest triple blonde beer with flavours of pear, melon and citrus; and Pioneer lager with its flavours of dried apple and apricot. (Green’s are UK based but distribute in the US and Canada as well.)
The Fine Ale Club produce an award-winning gluten free beer called Against the Grain which is smooth, rich and creamy. It’s also suitable for vegans
Hambleton’s Ales produce two gluten free beers: GFA and GLA. (You can order online or find them in your local Tesco or Sainsbury’s.) The GLA is a honey coloured ale with a full body and fruit and citrus flavours. The GFL is a pale lager style beer, best served chilled, with fruit and citrus flavours.
St Peter’s Brewery produce another of our favourites: G-Free™. This gluten free beer was launched in August 2007, and with its aromas of citrus and mandarin from American Amarillo hops, it has already become a favourite with real ale lovers.
If you’re based in the US or Canada you might want to try out Redbridge gluten free beer produced with sorghum. Or Bard’s who make ‘great tasting sorghum malt beer that just happens to be gluten free.’ True.
New Grist from Lakefront brewery is brewed from sorghum, hops, water, rice and gluten-free yeast grown on molasses. Whilst New York’s Ramapo Valley Brewery produces the beautifully named gluten free Honey Beer made from molasses, hops and of course honey. It’s also a Kosher beer.
Don’t forget: Gluten free beer still contains alcohol. So remember to drink sensibly! Enjoy.