What Is Gluten Free Beer
There are three categories of gluten free beer: dedicated gluten free, gluten free, and gluten-reduced. Gluten free beers are made from gluten free ingredients. This includes buckwheat, millet, rice, sorghum, and quinoa. As long as it is not rye, wheat, or barley, youre safe.
In the US, beers can be labeled gluten free if the gluten content is less than 20 ppm. Breweries are responsible for getting their beers analyzed in a laboratory before they can slap gluten free on their label.
Dedicated gluten free beers are crafted in special facilities that do not risk cross-contamination with gluten-containing foods. Plus, the grains used for the beer are often grown in regions where there was neither wheat nor barley nearby. This, too, reduces the chance of gluten showing up in a beer.
How Beer Is Brewed Today
Conventionally beer is brewed by using the following ingredients: grains , hops and yeast. First malting occurs by heating up the grains so they are dry and crack open. Then during the process of mashing, hot water is added to help release the sugar from the grains. After the water has been drained off, the liquid is boiled at the same time as the hops and spices are combined to balance out the flavour. Yeast is then added before the mixture is left to ferment and turn into alcohol. Beer is the by-product of the yeast using up the sugar in the wort. All beers are brewed following a similar process.
Arbor Motueka 4% 12x 568ml
This beer has a good body and well-balanced flavour with bold, tropical notes. All Arbors beers come in tall 568ml cans a full pint which is a bonus because they are delicious. Motueka is a light, fresh and well-carbonated beer hopped with Motueka hops. The brewery also produces a gluten-free mosaic pale and a gluten-free lager, and all the beers in the range give you exactly what they promise. After Arbor brews its beers they are de-glutened with an enzyme, and samples are then verified at an independent lab and confirmed to contain less than 20ppm gluten.
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Lets Define Some Terms: Gluten
This article focuses mainly on gluten-free brewing, not gluten-reduced. There is a HUGE difference between the two and its very important to know before proceeding, especially if youre brewing for someone with Celiac.
Jason Morgan wrote a great article on CraftBrewingBusiness on the difference between the two terms, and why gluten-reduced beer may still be dangerous to those with severe allergies or Celiac.
In order for a beer to be truly gluten-free it must be brewed exclusively with 100% gluten-free ingredients and not come into contact with anything that may contain gluten. This is no easy task, as well see later in this article.
Gluten-reduced means that traditional gluten-containing ingredients were used to brew the beer, but a technique or product such as Clarity Ferm was used to reduce the amount of gluten in the final product.
Clarity Ferm, a product of White Labs, contains an enzyme which breaks down the proteins in beer that causes chill haze and nearly all gluten protein chains in the beer.
Either way, Clarity Ferm does a great job at its originally intended purpose clarifying your beer.
You can find Clarity Ferm in vials suitable for 5g batches online or at your local homebrew store .
Baking With Gluten Free Beer
Whether or not drinking beer excites you, you should be thrilled that gluten free beers are finally available for us to use as cooking ingredients!
Thats right beer bread, tempura, beer cake, and the always popular, beer-battered fish and chips! What would these be without beer? Not the same, I assure you!
As far as my preferences go, I tend to use blond ales in my beer bread, tempura and beer batter recipes, and stouts like Greens Dubbel Dark or Groundbreaker Dark in my chocolate cake , and any lager or ale in my Salted Caramel Cupcakes, soups and soft pretzels.
I prefer to drink the Greens Amber or Lager, Ghostfish Witbier, Glutenberg White or anything from Groundbreaker or Holidaily, depending on my mood and what foods it needs to complement!
What are your favorites? My friend Jeff SanGeorge has posted tasting notes of his own on his gluten free beer blog. Its worth checking out!
Have a listen to my friend GlutenDude rail against Gluten Reduced Beers in his popular podcast quite entertaining and educating!
For more gluten free beer podcasts, you can download archived episodes of my free podcast with Coors Peak on my radio show, the Gluten Free Voice. Also, be sure to download the podcast interview with two authors of the study done on de-glutenized beers with celiac patients showing that such gluten-reduced beers are not as safe as their manufacturers claim. . Download and listen anytime!
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Are Any Beers Gluten
But also because people are discovering some level of gluten sensitivity without being fully intolerant. The spotlight on gluten sensitivity has helped make gluten free beer options better than ever. Theres now a wide range of full-flavoured gluten free beers available from well-known brands and craft brewers alike.
Carlsberg Group Celia Gluten Free Beer
Location: Czech Republic
Although owned by the Carlsberg Group, Zatecky Brewery from Czech Republic, which has a very long history, started brewing gluten free Celia beer. The beer is brewed with the same ingredients as their famous lagers, but the gluten is removed using advanced deglutenization techniques. There are two options to try: Celia Premium Czech Lager and Celia Premium Czech Dark Lager.
If you are also vegan and eco-conscious, you will like that both options are also vegan and organic. The Celia Czech Lager contains only 129 calories per serving and has a 4.6% ABV.
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Get Your Ingredients Ready
The most crucial phase of brewing gluten-free beer is sourcing ingredients for it. Following is the list of items that you need to use in place of regular malts, sugars, and yeasts. The quantities mentioned here will be used to brew a 5-gallon batch of gluten-free beer.
- 4 lbs Pale Millet Malt
- 5 lb Pale Buckwheat Malt
- 5 lb French Roasted Millet Malt
- 5 lb Munich Millet Malt
- 5 lbs SorghumSyrup
- 1 Gluten-Free Brewing Yeast Packets
Hops are gluten-free and give beers their quintessential floral and bitter undertone. Therefore, were going to use a lot of different varieties of hops.
- 2 oz Horizon Hops
Know Your Laws And Limit Values
If a beer is gluten-free in the UK, it does not mean that it is gluten-free in Australia, too. Brewers who want to market their products internationally must know the local laws. If you want to label a product as gluten-free in the EU, it must not exceed the limit value of 20 ppm. This limit value also applies to the USA, with one restriction: Gluten-removed beers must not be labeled as gluten-free even if the gluten content is below the limit value. Such beers are only allowed to be labeled with processed/treated/crafted to remove gluten in the USA . Legislation in Australia is even more restrictive: Here, foods labeled as gluten-free must not contain any detectable gluten by the most sensitive universally accepted test method. Foods containing less than 200 ppm may be labeled as low gluten. In Canada, gluten-free means that a product does not contain wheat, spelt, kamut, rye, barley or triticale .
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The Official Guide To Gluten
Note:In this article, we distinguish between gluten-free beer and celiac-safe beer. Not all food products considered “gluten-free” are safe for celiacs to consume. If you is celiac, please take extra precaution.
Beer is not gluten-free. Barley, the base of most beers, contains gluten, as do wheat, spelt, and rye. Unfortunately, this fact presents a very real roadblock to those who love beer but suffer from gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
But fear not! Gluten-free homebrewing is not only possible, it’s also a fun challenge.
Can Celiacs Drink Gluten
New Study Concludes Gluten-Removed Beer May Be Unsafe For People With Celiac Disease. A recently released research study conducted by the Gluten Intolerance Group demonstrates that beers labelled gluten-removed may not be safe for individuals with celiac disease.
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Koala Beers Wilde Beer
Location: NSW, Australia
Owned by Koala Beer, Wilde Beer is a perfect example of how healthy beer can be. Not only is every single offering gluten free, they are also vegan, low carb, and preservative free. Score! According to the Wilde Beer website, their beers are also the only brew to be FODMAP-friendly certified. In other words, this is a beer that is safe for everyone to drink.
There are two beers by this brand that you should try. Wilde Pale Ale is light, crisp, and refreshingperfect for an Australian summer. You can also drink quite a bit before getting tipsy, as it is only 3.5% ABV. The Wild Crisp Lager is made with sorghum and is made for slow drinking. It has 4.2% ABV.
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We all know that bloat after drinking a few too many pints, but for some people that beer bloat may be caused by a medical condition, coeliacs disease, or an allergy or intolerance to gluten.
One in 100 people in the UK has this disease, which is an autoimmune condition, and sufferers have to follow a gluten-free diet for life. Additionally, many others have to avoid gluten due to non-coeliac gluten sensitivity .
Beer is usually made with barley and/or wheat neither of which are gluten-free. For people following a gluten-free diet, this usually means that a pint in the pub is off-limits, but more and more breweries are producing gluten-free beer.
There are two ways to produce gluten-free beer. Brewers can use naturally gluten-free cereals, like sorghum, quinoa or rice to brew a gluten-free beer. The other way is to brew a regular beer and then process it with an enzyme, usually Brewers Clarex.
Beers must contain 20ppm or less of gluten to be classed as gluten-free. Look out for Coeliac UKs licensed crossed-grain symbol, which certifies that your beer is gluten-free. Laboratory testing is the best way to assess the amount of gluten in a product, according to Coeliac UK, but gluten can break down in beer due to the fermentation, so it usually requires a specialist testing method to ensure it contains less than 20ppm gluten.
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Two Brothers Artisan Brewing
Two Brothers Brewing from Chicago was founded byyou guessed ittwo brothers and has remained family-owned and operated ever since. The brewery is highly independent and unique in their approach to gluten free beers. In turn, they manage to craft up sheer magic.
One of their best selling beers is gluten-removed, meaning that a special enzyme was used to reduce the amount of gluten. This beer may not be suitable for everyone. The process of removing gluten but maintaining the flavor means that Prairie Path Golden Ale tastes 100% dreamy. The beer is 5.1% ABV and has 25 IBUs. Plus, the creamy yet refreshing taste is to die for.
Two Brothers Brewing Company also distills spirits and brews coffee.
What Beers Are Gluten Free
A beer labeled gluten-free might seem like a safe option. But heres the thing, neither products gluten-removed/reduced or beer labeled gluten-free are truly gluten-free.
Gluten-reduced or gluten-removed beers do not remove all gluten from the final product, making them unsafe for those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity .
Gluten-free beer is brewed with grains that are commonly used as gluten-free substitutes, including rice, millet, and sorghum. Although these grains are considered gluten-free by food labeling standards, they still contain different forms of gluten proteins that have been shown to contribute to persistent health issues for those with celiac disease and NCGS. These proteins include the following:
- Rice Contains a type of gluten protein called orzenin. The proteins in rice have also been linked to FPIES or inflammation of the colon.
- Millet Contains a type of gluten protein called panicin.
- Sorghum Contains a type of gluten protein called kafirin.
Therefore, no matter how it is labeled, Gluten Free Society recommends avoiding any beer, or any alcohol for that matter, that is derived from grain.
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Evasion Brewing Coastal Colossus Barrel Aged Imperial Stout
This exclusive beer has quite the backstory. Two barrels, previously aging Oregon-distilled whiskey on fishing boats at sea, eventually landed at this McMinnville, Oregon, brewery to bring to life a dense, luxurious, gluten-free imperial stout. After aging and blending, this beer is then finished on toasted coconut for added flavor. Living up to its Colossus name, its loaded with heady notes of fudge chocolate, cinnamon sugar, dulce de leche, almond macaroon, and sweetened condensed milk.
Why Is Corona Beer Gluten
1) Corona contains barley, which is a gluten-containing grain. 2) Due to various processes the company has in place, the gluten count goes down, and Corona tests below the 20ppm. There are so many great gluten-free beers and ciders out there to choose from, we recommend you buy something else.
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The Magic Of Clarity Ferm
Clarity Ferm is a gorgeous little enzyme created by White Labs Yeast that reduces the gluten content of beers made with glutinous fermentables. The enzyme is so powerful that it can reduce gluten in barley-based beer to below 20 ppm, which is the national standard for being labeled gluten-free.
In other words, Clarity Ferm can magic your beer to being just as gluten free as any other FDA-approved food product.
WARNING: While Clarity Ferm is a great tool for those with gluten intolerance or who are simply trying to cut gluten out of their diet, it is NOT an acceptable method for those who suffer from serious celiac disease. Do not serve beer made with Clarity Ferm to someone with celiac.
Regional Gluten Free Beers
Other regional beers are worth looking for. Aurochs Brewing Company is one of my personal favorites. Brewed out of the Pittsburgh area, but its fans are growing, so expect a wider distribution soon!
They also have a fan-favorite tasting room which I, for one, can not wait to visit!
A Maryland brew with a taproom and dedicated Gluten Free Brewhouse is BCBrewery. They currently ship within the state of Maryland and also to PA and VA. Sour, Blonde, IPA, Stout and Pale Ales made from millet, buckwheat, quinoa, and rice all naturally gluten free. Something else cool about BC Brewery? They also offer a selection of ciders, seltzers, and a NEW Beer/Wine Hybrid that are also naturally gluten free and are available on tap and in cans, crowlers or growlers.
Bierly Brewing Company out of Oregon makes IPA, Dubbel, Pilsner and Porter varieties, as well as seasonal flavors. Super delish and of course, naturally gluten free. Made from gluten free grains like sorghum, millet and rice.
Alt Brew naturally gluten free, distributed in the Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin areas. Taproom in Madison.
NEFF Brewing Company Tulsa, Oklahoma. Naturally gluten free craft beers made from artisan malts of millet, buckwheat, rice and quinoa. Their motto is delicious beers Brewed For Everyone. Dedicated gluten free facility with tap room and food menu.
Burning Brothers St. Paul, Minnesota. Tap room and available in St. Paul and Minneapolis area. Their motto is Gluten Free From Grain to Glass.
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Best Macro Brew: Redbridge Gluten
Region: Missouri | ABV: 4% | Tasting Notes: Fruity, toasty. grainy
Macro brews typically stick with barley, so it’s rare to come across one like Anheuser-Busch’s Redbridge. Its nothing new and was originally released in 2006. While Redbridge may not be the best gluten-free beer compared to those of the craft breweries, it has availability on its side. It’s stocked in many U.S. supermarkets, making it an easy-to-find option for drinkers who do not have a lot of options in their area.
Sorghum beers naturally have a sour taste, so a beer like Redbridge takes some getting used to. It’s brewed like a lager and there are some characteristics of the company’s macro lagers in the taste. If you enjoy sour beers, it’s a good option, and the taste can grow on you.
The Origins Of Brewing And How Gluten Free Beer Compares With Conventional Beers
Brewing beer is an ancient pastime thats been around for at least6000 years, with significant evidence being found from ancient civilisations. Despite its long established history, the premise behind producing beer has remained similar throughout time and in different cultures. Gluten free beer is brewed in a very similar way to conventional beer, but with some subtle and interesting differences.
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Ghostfish Brewing Company Grapefruit Ipa
Bold grapefruit flavor in this IPA comes from the Altus hops grown in Washington states Yakima Valleyalso famous for its piney, resinous, and tart notes. Caveat: The grapefruit flavor is mostly rind, though a bit juicy. Youll also enjoy biscuit maltiness at the end of each swill, balanced by some caramel malt sweetness and floral esters. The label artwork for this brew was created by Seattle-based artist Kevin LeDoux.