Defying Gluten: A Guide to What Beer Is Gluten Free
If you’re a beer lover with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, finding a gluten-free beer that tastes good can be a challenge. Luckily, the popularity of gluten-free diets has led to an increasing number of tasty gluten-free beer options on the market. In this guide, we’ll show you what gluten-free beer is, how it’s made, and some of our top picks.
What Is Gluten-Free Beer?
Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. It is the ingredient responsible for the elasticity and chewiness of bread and other baked goods. Unfortunately, for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, consuming gluten can lead to a host of unpleasant symptoms like bloating, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Gluten-free beer, on the other hand, is made with alternative grains like sorghum, millet, rice, and quinoa. These grains do not contain gluten and are used as a substitute for traditional barley and wheat. Gluten-free beer can also be made with enzymes that break down gluten during the brewing process.
How Is Gluten-Free Beer Made?
There are two main ways to make gluten-free beer:
1. Using alternative grains: Gluten-free beer can be made using grains like sorghum, millet, rice, and quinoa, as mentioned earlier. These grains are milled and cooked like traditional grains, and then added to the beer mash.
2. Using enzymes: Enzymes can also be used to break down gluten during the brewing process. These enzymes are added to the mash during the brewing process and break down the gluten into smaller, harmless molecules.
It’s important to note that while these methods remove most gluten, it’s impossible to completely eliminate it from the final product. Some gluten-free beers are labeled as “gluten-reduced” because they still contain a small amount of gluten.
Our Top Gluten-Free Beer Picks
1. Omission Lager: This light and refreshing gluten-free beer is made with traditional brewing ingredients, including hops, malted barley, and yeast. However, Omission uses a proprietary process to remove gluten from the final product, making it safe for those with celiac disease.
2. Ghostfish Brewing Grapefruit IPA: This citrusy IPA is made with quinoa, white sorghum, and hops, giving it a bold, hoppy flavor without the gluten.
3. New Belgium Brewing Glutiny Pale Ale: New Belgium uses a blend of millet, rice, and corn to make this gluten-free pale ale. It has a light, crisp taste and pairs well with a variety of foods.
4. Green’s Amber Ale: This Belgian-style ale is made with millet, sorghum, rice, and brown rice, giving it a caramel-like sweetness and a rich, malty flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is all beer gluten-free?
A: No, traditional beer is made with barley and wheat, both of which contain gluten.
Q: Is gluten-free beer more expensive?
A: Yes, gluten-free beer can be more expensive than traditional beer due to the use of alternative grains and the specialized brewing process.
Q: Is gluten-free beer low in alcohol content?
A: No, gluten-free beer can have just as much alcohol content as traditional beer, depending on the brand and style. It’s always important to check the label for specific information.
In conclusion, there are many gluten-free beer options available for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. By using alternative grains and specialized brewing processes, brewers are able to create tasty, gluten-free beer that rivals traditional beer in taste and quality. Be sure to try out a few different brands and styles to find your perfect gluten-free beer. Cheers!