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If you know anything about beer, you already know that “normal” beer is not gluten-free. However, as more awareness for Celiac Disease and/or having a gluten-free diet gets momentum, breweries have started to listen and make gluten-free beer – woohoo!!
Why is beer not gluten-free?
Well, for those in the back (just kidding), beer has been historically made from malted barley and hops. Yep, those are evil words to a Celiac. So if you are out at your favorite pub and want to order your go-to beer (I personally love dark beers, like Guinness – you know, basically drinking a loaf of bread) – DON’T!! Odds are it has gluten in it and will make you sick (not hangover sick, like praying (from your backend) to the porcelain God sick).
What about Gluten-Removed Beer?
Yep, you guessed it. This was one way the industry thought to handle gluten-free. Buy Celiac, beware. Gluten-removed beers are more for those wanting to omit gluten from their diet, not those who HAVE to due to allergy or Celiacs.
Ultimately, I don’t believe it is Celiac safe to ingest gluten-removed beer. I can’t control what you drink, but there are so many other options out there that are safe and won’t screw with your insides. Just don’t, mmmk!
What Brands are Celiac Safe & where to find them?
Here is a comprehensive list I found (why re-create the wheel?). It lists gluten-free beers and breweries along with beers that are gluten-removed.
Bon Appetit did a bit of research (I need to be on their research team, just saying, lol) of GF beers that “actually tasted good”. I will say, I have only tried one GF beer as my daughter (who currently is 13) who is the Celiac in the house isn’t drinking yet. Call this parental research for the future :).
Odds are, she won’t drink beer at all when she’s older (I’m sure she will find a different adult beverage though). She never liked the taste. Yes, when we were in Ireland, I let the kids try my beer as we sat in a pub in Dublin. It’s acceptable in Europe. The son liked it, the daughter didn’t.
A Word about Seltzers
I have to say I am currently in love with seltzers!! I am a huge carbonated water fan. Funny, I hated it the whole time I lived in Italy – I never ordered water with gas or bubbly water, but now, I am addicted. Weird how that happens.
Seltzers are basically carbonated water, but not. They have alcohol, have fewer carbs if you’re into that, come in tons of flavors (nothing like beer though) and taste super yummy!!!
But are they gluten-free?
Well, yes and no. Some brands are and some aren’t. Good thing, they label their cans so you know. If it isn’t labeled (maybe a new kid on the block who just doesn’t know it’s cool to label), read the ingredients to make sure.
What about hard ciders?
Well, just like seltzers, the majority are naturally gluten-free; BUT (there’s always a but) some are NOT. I can’t stress this enough…
Caution: If a bar has gluten-free beer on tap, but also carries “regular” beer on tap – JUST DON’T. The risk for cross-contamination is great and it totally isn’t worth it. Most places won’t be an issue, your beer will be bottled or in a can, but just in case, beware.
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- Is Liquor Gluten Free? (coming)
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- Our Celiac Journey: The Ugly Truth
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