Is beer gluten free?

Wold Top Brewery's Against The Grain gluten free beer

Wold Top Brewery's Against The Grain gluten free beer

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.

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10 Responses to “Is beer gluten free?”

  1. Mike: 17th June 2011 at 11:33am

    We are in the process of opening a mail order Gluten free beer company, suppling the largest range of beer and lager in the UK, delivered direct to your door.
    Would it be possible to advertise our opening on your site.

  2. Gluten Free Girl: 20th June 2011 at 8:33am

    Hey Mike
    Let us know when it all happens and we’ll do a review.

  3. Neil: 26th February 2012 at 6:29pm

    Great site and review. I am a New Yorker, currently studying at Oxford. Some colleagues and I are conducting a survey as part of an entrepreneurship project exploring the economics of a Gluten-Free beer producer in the US and need YOUR help understanding market demand. Might you spare 3 minutes of your time to complete 10 questions on your beer consumption preferences (if any)?

    Please complete the short survey by clicking on the following link:
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GHLG97S

    Also, if you might republish this to friends and/or family (particularly those with a gluten intolerance) we would greatly appreciate your assistance. Thank you so much for your help, cheers!

  4. Merv (Follow on ): 23rd November 2012 at 7:26pm

    Did you ever get to review Greens Beer? I can’t find a stockist locally and don’t want to commit to buying a case online. So I’m trying to find some reviews of the Pils and Blonde gluten free beers.

  5. Gluten Free Guy: 24th November 2012 at 10:55am

    Hi Merv, yes we did get to try a few of the Green’s beers. They have changed the names of the beers since we wrote about them. But the ones we tried were excellent.

    I suggest you contact Green’s themselves to see if they can provide you with any local stockists. The website is http://www.glutenfreebeers.co.uk.

    Thanks for you comment.

  6. Gluten Free Guy: 24th November 2012 at 10:59am

    There’s praise for Green’s at the link below that you might be interested to read.
    http://www.pastemagazine.com/blogs/lists/2012/03/the-best-and-worst-gluten-free-beers.html

  7. Danielle (Follow on ): 14th February 2014 at 4:32pm

    One of my favourite local shops, which also does mail order, is Real Foods. They feature some gluten free beer. http://www.realfoods.co.uk/shop?Search=beer

  8. Gluten Free Guy: 15th February 2014 at 2:14pm

    Thanks Danielle! I’ll take a look.

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