About Gluten-Free Beers

People with gluten intolerance no longer have to feel left out, as with each passing day, the demand & prominence of gluten-free beers are experiencing incremental attention.

And while time will tell if these types of beer would be available at your everyday grocery stores in a pervasive manner, they definitely are at those whose specialty lies in all kinds of alcohol — such as Total Wine & More. In fact, what really sets these alcohol shops apart is the selection and the variety of beers, wines, whiskies or whiskeys (if that’s how you roll), vodkas, and more.

What Are the Ingredients of Gluten-Free Beers?

Alcohol happens to be one of those industries where you may never know the exact ingredients and proportions. Depending on the organization, some beers will have a partial list of ingredients that were used, while others will not have anything.

Generally speaking, gluten-free beers are made from millet, corn, sorghum, and sometimes even rice or buckwheat. (And yes, despite the phrase “wheat,” buckwheat does not contain gluten).

As an example, the Glutenberg IPA is made from millet, buckwheat, and corn.

Glutenberg IPA - gluten free beer
Glutenberg IPA: This company is more than happy to display some of their primary ingredients in their IPA.

How Do Gluten-Free Beers Taste Like?

Taste and likeness are very subjective, but gluten-free beers can most certainly feel unique on the flavor profile — particularly if one is strongly acclimated to the non-gluten-free types — and, more specifically, wheat-based. However, there are so many out there that can taste & feel very similar to their regular non-gluten-free counterpart.

In its own way, a gluten-free beer can be a good change of scenery, and can often feel refreshing; not to mention, it could be comparatively healthier.

Having said that, it is fair to say that when it comes to alcohol, acquiring a taste is nothing but expected. The only way to truly know, is to try one.

What Is the Difference Between a Gluten-Free and a Gluten-Reduced Beer?

Gluten-free beers use ingredients that do not contain any gluten for the entire beer-making process. On the other hand, gluten-reduced beers contain gluten while making the beer, but then at some point in the whole process, the beer goes through a reduction whereby the intensity of gluten is less than what it was before.

Typically, this isn’t a distinction that many need to concern themselves with; howbeit, those with gluten allergies or severe gluten intolerance should be aware of this difference.

From a marketing or logistical standpoint, some websites may have just one category of “gluten-free” beers, but that could be inclusive of those that are gluten-reduced, which technically, isn’t the same thing.

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Closing Thoughts

The problem with gluten-free beers isn’t availability. If you look for it, you’ll find tons of options — and even great ones. The problem is that of accessibility and probably education. Simply put, they can’t be as readily bought as the everyday beers we’re used to. They’re simply not shelved as often, and perhaps carry this burden of having a negative association and perception of how much inferior quality it may be, just because it’s gluten-free.

But believe it or not, many craft breweries are coming out with their versions of gluten-free beer because they know that not only they can target regular folks like you and me, additionally, they can reach a different class of people who have gluten intolerance. Not convinced? Check out the following few resources below, to realize that a myriad of companies, brands, and organizations are involved with gluten-free beers — including the famous ones.

  1. BON APPÉTIT: In their list, there are a few renowned brands, such as Stone Brewing.
  2. Redbridge, from Anheuser-Busch, gets a mention here, along with others.
  3. Thrillist: Ghostfish Brewing Company gets a first call-out in their list.
REDBRIDGE gluten-free sorghum beer

As it is with many things in life, the only way to most accurately know how something feels like is to get a first-hand experience of it. So if you aren’t sure if a gluten-free beer is for you, give it a chance because everything deserves at least one.