Cork Brewery 9 White Deer Is Shaking Up The Market With Craft Gluten
Don OLeary of Cork microbrewery 9 White Deer. Photograph: Conor McCabe
Gordon Lucey and Don OLeary of Cork microbrewery 9 White Deer. Photograph: Conor McCabe
Not long after Cork microbrewery 9 White Deer was up and running, one of the co-founders, Don OLeary, discovered he was gluten intolerant. As pretty much all beer uses gluten, it wasnt great news for a brewery starting out. But it led to an interesting business opportunity.
When Don discovered he was gluten intolerant first he started thinking he might have to stop brewing, says Gordon Lucey, co-founder of 9 White Deer, which is based in the small town of Ballyvourney, Co Cork. But then we started looking at the gluten-free beer idea and we saw there was a huge gap in that area. There were simple gluten-free lagers on the market, but that was about it.
In 2015 they released Saor, a gluten-free India Pale Ale, as part of their range of craft beers. We were just dipping the toe in, to see what would happen, Lucey says. The response was so positive they decided to follow up by creating a whole range of gluten-free craft beers, including Irelands first gluten-free stout made with oats, cocoa nibs and vanilla.
Theres been an incredible response to the gluten-free range, says Lucey. Their GF kolsch has been the bestseller from their GF range so far, though the stout may soon overtake it.
THREE TAKES ON GLUTEN-FREE BEER
Chiltern Brewery Three Hundreds Dark Old Ale 5% Abv 275
This is a classic old ale in every sense of the word. Think dark and smooth with a toffee and raisin-like sweetness that is not off-putting, stridently nutty and bitter. It’s named after the Three Hundreds, reaching across the back of the brewery, which is based in Aylesbury.
The sophistication of this brew has earned it four Great Taste awards. At 5% ABV, this beer is perfectly suited to well-matured strong cheeses.
Corona Seltzer Gf Option
When the White Claw craze hit, companies began to jump on the seltzer bandwagon and lucky for us Corona was riding shotgun!
I do indulge in a hard seltzer at times. Dont judge me! However, I will tell you the Corona Seltzers are one of my go to seltzers. I could argue that they taste better than White Claws and they dont come with the judgement of your friends.
Corona Seltzers are gluten free and they are marked accordingly. So there is some good news here!
If you can not drink Corona Beer, the Corona Hard Seltzer is probably the next best thing. Let me know in the comments below if you agree!
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What About In Restaurants
Some restaurants use the term gluten-free in their menus. The gluten-free final rule applies to packaged foods, which may be sold in some retail and food-service establishments such as carry-out restaurants. Given the public health significance of gluten-free labeling, restaurants making a gluten-free claim on their menus should be consistent with FDAs definition.
D’Lima suggests that consumers who are concerned about gluten-free claims in restaurants ask the following questions when ordering foods described as gluten-free.
- What does the restaurant mean by the term gluten-free?
- What ingredients are used in this item?
- How is the item prepared?
State and local governments play an important role in oversight of restaurants. The FDA will continue to work with partners in state and local governments to encourage appropriate gluten-free labeling in restaurants.
Regulatory Requirements For Gluten
Division 24 of the Food and Drug Regulations sets out specific regulations that apply to “Foods for Special Dietary Use”.
A “food for special dietary use” is defined in B.24.001 of the FDR as a food that has been specially processed or formulated to meet the particular requirements of a person:
As per section B.24.003, a gluten-free food that meets the requirements described in section B.24.018, is one of the types of foods for special dietary use that are covered by the requirements of Division 24.
As of August 4, 2012, section B.24.018 of the Food and Drug Regulations will state that:
It is prohibited to label, package, sell or advertise a food in a manner likely to create an impression that it is a gluten-free food if the food contains any gluten protein or modified gluten protein, including any gluten protein fraction, referred to in the definition “gluten” in subsection B.01.010.1.
Subsection B.01.010.1 reads:
any gluten protein from the grain of any of the following cereals or the grain of a hybridized strain created from at least one of the following cereals:
barley, triticale, or wheat, kamut or spelt or
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Anecdotal Evidence Is Not Sufficient
Factual information aside, anecdotal evidence of “feeling fine,” does not mean that damage isn’t being done to your body nor is it evidence that the beer doesn’t contain gluten.
Barley does contain gluten and should be avoided, especially if you have Celiac Disease. The persons who “feel fine” after drinking regular beer may not have noticeable symptoms, but the damage to the intestines is likely still happening.
These Light Beers Are Said To Be Safe On The Gluten
Despite what some may believe, mainstream light beersincluding Corona, Bud Light, Coors Light, and Michelob Ultraare not gluten-free. These beers are made with barley and are not considered to be safe for people who need to follow the gluten-free diet. Therefore, if you’re gluten-free, you should avoid mainstream light beers and instead drink only beers that are specifically labeled “gluten-free.”
So why have some light beers gained a reputation of being OK to drink for people who have celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity? The answer to that question lies in how the beers are madeand maybe some wishful thinking.
Recent Advances In The Knowledge Base About Gluten Intolerance And Celiac Disease
Individuals affected by Celiac disease have been shown to be capable of tolerating a small amount of gluten in their diet. The amount of gluten to which a person with Celiac disease can be exposed before the gluten will have a negative impact on their health is often referred to as a “threshold level”. The types of studies required to estimate threshold levels are demanding on study participants, given they require invasive diagnostic procedures to look for signs of intestinal damage. For this reason only a small number of these studies have been conducted usually with a limited number of participants.
Health Canada has conducted exposure estimationsFootnote 4 to gluten from grain-containing foods and foods with grain-derived ingredients , taking into consideration the various rates of food consumption by different sex and age groups. These estimates have concluded that if gluten was present at levels not exceeding 20ppm , exposure to gluten would remain below 10 mg per day for all age groups studied. As individuals with celiac disease tend to consume even fewer servings of grain-based products, these estimates further demonstrate that even if all foods labelled as gluten-free food contained 20 ppm gluten, the majority of people with Celiac disease would still be protected . This assessment will be made available in the peer reviewed scientific literature.
Green’s Grand India Pale Ale 5% Abv 27
There are awards in abundance for this beer from Greens, which brews in Belgium. Can you tell I love IPAs? The reason why is that they complement spicy foods so well like Thai Green curries, the mildest of kormas or a warming homemade chilli.
This Grand India Pale Ale has an attractive dark amber look, with a herbal and aroma, nutty flavour and a firm bitterness, which would go down well with a chunk or two of dark chocolate. Green’s favours the use of naturally gluten-free ancient grains in their brews: sorghum, brown rice, millet and buckwheat.
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What Alcohol Can Celiacs Drink
According to the National Institutes of Healths awareness campaign for celiac disease, distilled alcohol is naturally gluten-free. These include , vodka, Scotch whiskey, and rye whiskey. Although whiskey is made from wheat, barley or rye, the distillation process removes the proteins from gluten.
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How Does Fda Define Gluten
In addition to limiting the unavoidable presence of gluten to less than 20 ppm, FDA allows manufacturers to label a food gluten-free if the food does not contain any of the following:
- an ingredient that is any type of wheat, rye, barley, or crossbreeds of these grains,
- an ingredient derived from these grains and that has not been processed to remove gluten, or
- an ingredient derived from these grains that has been processed to remove gluten, if it results in the food containing 20 or more parts per million gluten
Foods that are inherently gluten-free, for example bottled spring water, fruits and vegetables, and eggs can also be labeled gluten-free provided any gluten that came in contact with the food is less than 20 ppm.
A food label that bears the claim gluten-free, as well as the claims free of gluten, without gluten, and no gluten, but fails to meet the FDA requirements for use of these terms is considered misbranded and subject to regulatory action by FDA.
There are no valid tests to detect gluten in foods that are hydrolyzed and fermented, like cheese and yogurt. So if they display a gluten-free claim, manufacturers must keep certain records to show that the foods meet “gluten-free” standards.
If you have any doubts about a products ingredients and whether or not the product is gluten-free, the FDA recommends that you should contact the manufacturer or check its website for more information.
How Most Beer Is Made
Brewing beer is a complex process involving fermentation.
Its made by fermenting sugar from grains using yeast, which is a type of fungus. The yeast digests the sugar to produce alcohol (
- Water. Typically comprising more than 90% of the final product, water is the main ingredient.
- Hops. This special flower is traditionally added to provide a unique, bitter taste.
- Grain. Serving as a source of sugar for fermentation, the most commonly used grains are barley, wheat, and rye all of which contain gluten .
- Yeast. This live, single-celled organism digests sugar to produce alcohol.
Breweries may also use other grains, sugar, flavorings, and additives to give their beer unique colors, tastes, and aromas. Some of these may also contain gluten.
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But First Lets Clear Something Up
Dedicated Gluten Free: This beer was brewed in a 100% dedicated gluten free facility, which means no gluten enters the breweryEVER. This is the safest option for those with Celiac Disease.
Gluten Free: This beer was brewed with gluten free ingredients, and is safe for Celiacs to drink!
Gluten Reduced: This beer is brewed with gluten, but then the gluten content is reduced using an enzyme. These beers DO have trace amount of gluten, so I would not recommend them for Celiacs or for those with high sensitivities. Read more about Gluten Free vs. Gluten Reduced Beer here.
Is Budweiser Beer Gluten
The answer is: No * It is not gluten-free and is produced by fermenting barley, a cereal that contains gluten. If youre looking for an alternative beer, the Anheuser – Busch InBev company behind Budweiser makes a gluten-free beer called Redbridge Beer, made from malted sorghum, which is not a gluten grain.
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Problems With Testing Beer For Gluten
You can’t just test a beer for gluten and call it a day. This is because the gold standard test for detecting gluten in foods is not able to accurately detect the level of gluten in beer. Why is that?
- Gluten in beer is broken down into fragments during the fermenting process.
- The test can only reliably detect gluten that is intact.
- While the test may be able to detect some gluten fragments, there is no way of knowing how accurate the result is.
- Therefore, using these tests to detect gluten in beer can lead to false negatives. This means you could get a result of < 20ppm but the actual level of gluten in the product is much higher.
While I can see how some might find gluten test kits and sensors helpful, misusing them and sharing the information is downright dangerous.
Types Of Beer And Gluten Content
Individuals with celiac disease must completely exclude gluten from their diets. In these people, it can damage the intestines, as well as cause stomach pain, diarrhea, unexplained weight loss, and poor absorption of nutrients .
Thats why its critical for anyone with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity to be aware of the gluten content of their foods and beverages, including beer.
The amount of gluten in beer is measured in parts per million .
In most countries, food and beverages must contain fewer than 20 ppm of gluten to be considered gluten-free .
Most conventionally brewed beer contains far more than 20 ppm of gluten, though the exact amount varies depending on the brewing process and ingredients used.
Here is the average gluten content of common types of beers (
The Food and Drug Administration suggests most individuals with celiac disease can consume this level of gluten without adverse effects .
To meet this standard, some breweries make the beverage from naturally gluten-free grains, such as rice, corn, sorghum, and millet .
Additionally, some breweries are dedicated gluten-free facilities to help avoid cross-contamination with gluten during the brewing process.
Other breweries have developed techniques to reduce gluten in traditional, barley-based beer, producing gluten-removed beer .
For individuals with celiac disease, its best to stick with varieties labeled gluten-free.
Gluten-free beer is increasing in popularity .
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