What Is Coeliac Disease
Coeliac disease is caused by an adverse reaction to gluten, a dietary protein found in three types of cereals: wheat, barley and rye. Its an autoimmune condition where the immune system, the bodys defence against infection, mistakenly considers substances found in gluten as the threat to the body and attacks them. This damages and inflames the surface of the small intestines, disrupting the bodys inability to absorb nutrients from food.
Coeliac disease is known as ‘multi-system’ disorder since its symptoms vary from person to person, affect any area of the body and can range from very mild to severe. Symptoms also differ between individuals in terms of type and severity. Most of its symptoms are associated with indigestion such as diarrhoea, stomach pains, constipation, flatulence, and lethargy. Coeliac disease can also cause other non-digestive related symptoms including unexpected weight loss, itchy rash, nerve damage and even ataxia .
Coeliac disease affects 1 in 70 Australians. However, around 80% of this number remain undiagnosed. This means the vast majority of Australians who have the coeliac disease dont yet know they have it.
Best Wheat Beer: Ghostfish Shrouded Summit Witbier
Region: Washington | ABV: 4.5% | Tasting Notes: Juniper, citrus
Ghostfish Brewing Company is a gluten-free Seattle brewery that offers an inspiring lineup. It’s distributed to a number of states in the U.S. and a few Canadian provinces. The primary grain is malted millet, but some also use buckwheat, brown rice, or sorghum. Its like any other craft brewery with a variety of year-round and seasonal beers. The IPAs are a hit with hopheads, and the blonde and pale ales offer a pleasing maltiness. The seasonals include sour and spicy beers, a pumpkin ale, and a stout.
In Shrouded Summit Belgian White Ale , youll find a beer that rivals any Belgian witbier. How Ghostfish pulled it off with millet, buckwheat, and rice is an amazing feat of brewing genius. With the help of a few adjuncts, this hazy golden brew even has the styles signature kiss of sweet orange and coriander spice.
Best Ipa: Stone Brewing Delicious Ipa
Region: California | ABV: 7.7% | Tasting Notes: Hoppy, tropical, dry, nectarine
Stone Brewing is known for its portfolio of India pale ales that are bold, flavorful, and well-distributed. Following the reduced-gluten trend, Stone Brewing released Delicious IPA in 2015. Its bright green cans and bottles are unmistakable and hold a beer that is rather delicious.
The year-round release is hoppy and rather strong at 7.7 percent ABV. Using a combination of Nugget, Calypso, Lemondrop, and El Dorado hops, it has a tongue-tantalizing citrusy flavor and a bitter-dry finish. It’s everything that the brewery’s IPAs are known for, but an enzyme leaves only traces of gluten behind. The brand also employs methods to reduce gluten contamination in any of the equipment that this beer touches.
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Is Crabbies Ginger Beer Gluten Free
Crabbies is a Scottish brand of alcoholic ginger beer with 5.0% alcohol by volume. The roots of the distinctive Crabbies Alcoholic Ginger Beer date back to 1801.
Crabbies is a carbonated beverage but is not brewed. It is based on a ginger steep, which takes up to six weeks to produce, and contains four secret ingredients.
Crabbies is typically served over ice or chilled.
Lets find out if this Scottish brand of alcoholic ginger beer.
Pilsners To Sours Blondes To Wheat Beers The Industry Has Come A Long Way
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These days, you can get just about anything gluten-free, from cereal to jelly beans. And while the food industry was quick to adapt to the gluten-free trend, which brought more options to those with celiac disease, its taken years for the beer industry to catch up.
I have had so many conversations over the past years about the seriousness of celiac disease with distributors around the country, says Mark Ewald, owner of Vermont Beer Shepherd. Many initial reactions are that the gluten-free crowd is really just a lifestyle choice. I then get to explain the seriousness of celiac disease and the dangers that come from drinking a product that is either enzymatically altered or the gluten is removed. These altered and gluten-removed beers are still not safe for a true celiac.
Most beer drinkers wont notice a difference between gluten-full and gluten-free beer these daysthe industry has come a long way over the years, says Lindsi Kay, founder BestGlutenFreeBeers.com. “It can be tricky learning how to work with gluten-free malts, but once a brewer cracks that code it really allows them to color outside the barley lines and experiment with a diverse variety of flavors and textures.
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Differences Between Australias Labelling Of Gluten
Labelling of gluten-free beers varies around the world. For example in the United States, Canada and Europe, a beer is considered gluten free if the gluten level is under 20 parts per million.
In addition to limiting the unavoidable presence of gluten to less than 20ppm, the US Food and Drug Admisintration 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
- An ingredient derived from these grains and that has been processed to remove gluten if it results in the food containing 20 or more parts per million gluten
In Australia, there is a stricter and more confined definition of what is gluten free.
For a beer to be labelled gluten-free it must have zero particles of detectable gluten. If it doesnt reach that requirement it is labelled as gluten-reduced. In fact, there are existing food labelling laws in Australia which have made it a requirement for products containing gluten to be declared on labels at all time whether it is present as an ingredient, a food additive or a processing aid. Contains gluten is an example of what to look for on a product label.
What Qualifies As Gluten Free
Gluten free beer swaps out the grains that typically contain gluten for cereals, such as corn, buckwheat, sorghum, millet, and rice. These are all decent substitutes to wheat, barely, and oats.
In order for beer to be considered gluten free, it must have less than 20 parts per million of gluten in most places around the world, including the US. In Australia, a gluten free beer must contain zero gluten particles.
Need more details about gluten free beer? Check out our article pertaining to low gluten and gluten free beers.
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Who Might Be Avoiding Gluten
Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition which is caused by a reaction to gluten. There is a misconception that coeliacs are just fussy eaters and that the condition has no real consequences. However, coeliac disease is actually a very serious condition and can cause serious health risks if left untreated. The treatment for coeliac disease is to follow a strict gluten-free diet.
This differs from gluten intolerance, which can cause short term discomforts such as bloating and stomach pain, but does not cause long term damage to the body. Both are reasons for avoiding gluten, but those suffering with coeliac disease must be more vigilant.
Safety Of Gluten Free Beer
If you have coeliac disease or another condition where you must avoid gluten, you might decide its safer to avoid any products that contain barley and wheat, even if theyre labelled as gluten free. Most gluten tests can only detect levels of gluten down to 5 PPM, so its impossible to know if a gluten-reduced product is ever completely free of gluten.
You should also be aware theres usually no requirement for breweries that produce gluten-free beer to test the level of gluten in their beer. Most do though. If you need confirmation, you can usually request a copy of a testing certificate from the producer.
Remember also there are situations when non-alcoholic beer can be bad for you, including if you have an addiction to alcohol.
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Two Brothers Prairie Path Golden Ale
Family owned and Illinois-based Two Brothers Brewery has been on the craft beer scene for over 20 years, so when it comes to beer, GF or no, it knows what its doing. Prairie Path Golden Ale, with its floral nose and creamy finish, is a great example of an American Kolsch and a beer that assuages our very real gluten FOMO.
What Are The Popular Brands Of Gluten
Green’s, Glutenberg, Mikkeller Peter Pale and Mary, Lakefront New Grist Gluten-Free, RedBridge Gluten Free Beer, Epic Exp Srs Glutenator Gluten-Free Beer, Bard’s Gold Gluten Free Beer, New Planet Raspberry Ale, Celia Organic Czech Lager, Ghostfish Beers, Ground Breaker Beers, and Evasion Brewing beers are all worth checking out.
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Best Overall: Glutenberg Blonde Ale
Region: Canada | ABV: 4.5% | Tasting Notes: Grainy, balanced, bready
Glutenberg is a Quebec microbrewery that is completely gluten-free. Started in 2011, it has a growing distribution in Canada and the U.S. If you can find the brand near you, it’s sure to have a beer that matches your taste.
All of the beers are made with naturally gluten-free grains, including amaranth, buckwheat, corn, millet, and quinoa. The impressive portfolio starts off with Glutenberg Blonde Ale. This golden, refreshing, 4.5 percent ABV beer was the brewery’s first release, and it remains a favorite. Glutenberg also produces a hoppy American pale ale and a few IPAs, while Blanche is inspired by Belgian wheat ales but brewed without the wheat. A tart gose, robust stout, and nonalcoholic beer round off the collection, and each beer is so well-crafted that they taste like normal beer.
Celia Saison’s Unique Flavors
This small brewer turned to the gluten-free beer market after his wife was diagnosed with celiac disease. Made with sorghum syrup and flavored with Celia hops and Curacao orange peel, this beer is described as having flavors of lemon, orange rind, coriander, peppery spice and yeast.
Its off-beat taste may not be for everyone, but for people who want a wide variety of gluten-free beers, Boston.com pronounces this beer as “absolutely delicious.” A four-pack of this beer, brewed by The Alchemist, costs almost $11.
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Gluten Free Beers In Australia
In recent years breweries have caught on to the fact that there is a niche but essential and relatively untapped market in gluten free beer. As a result, some high quality gluten-free beers have come on to the market with a taste very similar to that of their gluten-containing cousins from the likes of Two Bays, OBrien & Wilde.
Even More Breweries Making Celiac
Here are six more spots to add to your list. I havent made my way out to some of these spots just yet, but theyre on my list!
Aurochs Brewing: A gluten free brewery in Emsworth, Pennsylvania that Ive heard a lot about, but havent been able to find out here on the West Coast. Theyre a 100% gluten free facility, and like many gluten free businesses, they created their beer out of necessity more than anything. The two founders cant have gluten, and they wanted beer. Et voila! Aurochs was born. They source their grains from Grouse, which is a dedicated gluten free malt house in Colorado. Use their beer finder tool to find their beer near you .
Burning Brothers Brewing: Located in St. Paul, Minnesota, Burning Brothers makes gluten free beer using gluten free ingredients in a gluten free facility. In other words, they do it right. They also have a beer finder, which will show you where you can find their beer in Minnesota. They have a bunch of interesting beers on tap at their taproom in St. Paul, and someday Ill make it out there to visit.
Mutantis Brewery and Bottle Shop: A Portland newcomer that Ill be visiting soon that was started by one of the co-founders of Ghostfish. Its going to be part gluten free brewery, part gluten free beer bottle shop, and I cant wait to try it.
Lucky Pigeon Brewing: Maines first dedicated gluten free brewery! Theyre brand new.
Looking for more gluten free travel content? Weve got you covered.
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Six Of The Best Gluten
Important: Bear in mind that some stock may not be labelled as gluten free, especially older stock or specific beers that are produced in multiple regions. Read the label or description carefully when buying and get confirmation from the retailer or brewery if its unclear.
Brewed In Quebec Canada
Just across the border in Quebec is one of the most widely distributed gluten free beer brands in North America. Glutenberg is a dedicated gluten free brewery located in Montréal, but their beers can be purchased across the USA. Im not quite sure what the secret is to their extensive distribution, but Im not complaining because theyve made their way all the way to west coast to Bend, OR.
Glutenberg carries a wide selection of gluten free beer styles and they may be the only brewery I know of that brews and packages a non-alcoholic gluten free beer. I havent had it before, but I think its fantastic that they brew it. I myself have never been in the market for this style, but I get plenty of emails from readers that are seeking out a gluten free non-alcoholic beer alternative.
Heres a few Glutenberg beers to keep your eyes out for:
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Dedicated Gluten Free Brewery In Ohio
Rolling Mill Brewing Co. is the first dedicated gluten free brewery to open in Ohio. You can find them in the historical industrial district of Middletown, where they have restored an old manufacturing plant to serve as their brewhouse.
This brewery has been around since 2016 but due to its location and limited distribution network, I only just recently got my hands on their flagship beers. Each of their beers has a story behind the name which Rolling Mills shares on their website. You can find all sorts of fun rotating styles in their taproom and you can check out their year-round styles below.
- Anti-Federalist American Pale Ale
- 10-09 German Pilsner