Seeing that most malt beverages come from the very products that people with gluten allergies can’t have, the idea of a gluten free beer sounds more like a dream for the future than anything. There is no possible way that people could drink beer with gluten allergies, right? Wrong. Because of the growing demand for beer from people with gluten allergies, beer companies began making friendly alternatives so everyone had something to enjoy. If you feared your gluten free diet was going to stop you from drinking the beer you love, think again.
Gluten free beer can be made from a variety of substitutes to standard ingredients. Honey is a surprising but popular option that a lot of beer makers have turned to for their products. Molasses is often used as well either in the same mix or in a beer all its own.
In American beers, you’ll likely find either sorghum or buckwheat, though there are others used. Other cultures implement everything from rice and corn to soybean and ragi. Regardless of the ingredients though, beer makers have worked very hard to craft drinks that taste like the beer you’re used to.
Since it is a specialty item, gluten free beer may not be readily available at a local bar or liquor store. Many larger establishments will carry it, but if there are two shelves of beer in the whole place, expect to look elsewhere. You can always call a place ahead of time to see if they offer a gluten free choice, or you could bring your own beer from home. Your friends should be understanding of that if they know about your allergies. Otherwise you may have to settle for whatever non-malt beverages you can find at the place.
You do need to be careful about what you look for because there is low gluten beer and gluten free beer. Obviously the low version is not what you want if you are allergic to the substance, so make sure you know what you are investing in. Then you can purchase accordingly. If you ever get sick from a beer that you’re drinking, it likely isn’t clean and should not be ingested. Always remember that you can drink other alcohol as well, as long as it isn’t a malt beverage. Most wines are fine, and so are most clear liquors. There are always options for you.
The 3 most common Gluten Free Beer in the U.S. are listed below.
- New Grist by Lakefront Brewery, Milwaukee, Wisconsin (My personal favorite)
- Redbridge by Anheuser-Busch, St. Louis Missouri
- Bard's by Bard's, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Redbridge is probably easiest to find at larger liquor stores. New Grist and Bards can also sometimes be found at larger liquor stores as well. I've also purchased them both from Whole Foods. If you're having difficulty finding any, you may want to call to see if you can order some. I've had some success doing this.