Beer is traditionally brewed from cereal grains like barley that naturally contain gluten. That makes it a challenge to find good-tasting beer when you need to cut gluten from your diet. Fortunately, a revolution has taken place in the brewing industry and a good selection of gluten-free beers are now available in a variety of styles.
The gluten content varies—some breweries produce only gluten-free beer and don't allow any gluten ingredients in their facility. Other beers are "crafted to remove gluten" ("gluten-reduced," according to U.S. FDA standards). Keep this in mind when choosing a beer that fits your personal gluten sensitivity.
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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, they're 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 Blonde, a golden, refreshing beer that was their first release. They also have a hoppy American pale ale and IPA, Belgian-inspired ale, a tart gose, chestnut-brewed English brown ale, robust stout, and nonalcoholic beer.
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Ghostfish Brewing Company is a gluten-free Seattle brewery that offers an inspiring line up. 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 of the brews also use buckwheat, brown rice, or sorghum.
Beyond the lack of gluten, it's like normal craft brewery with a variety of year-round and seasonal beers. Kick Step IPA and Peak Buster Double IPA are a hit with fans of that hoppy style. Their blonde and pale ales offer a pleasing maltiness and their Belgian white ale has that style's signature citrus notes. The seasonals include sour and spicy beers, a pumpkin ale, and a stout.
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Colorado's craft-brewing reputation extends into the gluten-free realm. The state's first 100 percent gluten-free brewery is Golden's Holidaily Brewing Co. and it's the largest in the U.S. They're impressing beer drinkers, winning awards, and growing quickly in distribution.
The brewery's flagship is Favorite Blonde Ale and the Boombastic Hazy IPA won gold at the 2019 Great American Beer Festival. Among their other beers are brown and red ales, a dunkelwiesse, and stouts, including a seasonal Santa's Nightcap, which is a bourbon-barreled imperial stout. All of these are on-point with the respective styles and to pull that off with such diversity using buckwheat and millet is a real talent.
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Two Brothers Artisan Brewing produces some amazing beers that will impress anyone. Prairie Path is the bottle to look for when you want to cut gluten. This golden ale falls in the "gluten-removed" category, but it tastes like it is untouched. It's bottled at 5.1 percent ABV and has 25 IBUs. The taste is mellow, creamy, and refreshing with its fruity notes. It's designed to be enjoyed with a meal and there are few others that can touch it in that sense.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
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New Belgium Brewing is no stranger to beer drinkers. The brewery stepped into the reduced-gluten scene with Glutiny—a "mutiny" on gluten. Like others, it breaks down the beer's gluten by introducing a particular enzyme during the brewing process. The 6.0 percent ABV pale ale is a very easy drinker. It has tropical fruit notes alongside an herbal grassiness and finishes smooth. Side-by-side with a full-gluten beer, most people would not notice the difference if they didn't see the bottle.
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Omission Brewing Co. produces reduced-gluten barley beers that any beer aficionado can appreciate. They are transparent about exactly how much gluten is in each batch on their website. The tests reveal that the gluten content is consistently at less than 10 ppm (parts-per-million). Beyond that, Omission's beers are simply enjoyable to drink. They offer four styles—golden ale, IPA, pale ale, and lager—and each fits right in with regular beers of that variety. The Ultimate Light Golden Ale is also an excellent choice in the light beer category.
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Stone Brewing is known for a portfolio of India pale ales that are bold, flavorful, and well-distributed. Following the reduced-gluten trend, they released Delicious IPA (7.7 percent ABV) in 2015. The year-round release is hoppy, citrusy, and has a bitter-dry finish. It's everything that the brewery's IPAs are known for, but an enzyme leaves only traces of gluten behind. They also employ methods to reduce gluten contamination in the brewery's equipment that this beer touches.
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Boston's Ipswich Ale Brewery is known for crafting a nice selection of ales. Within their non-seasonal beers, you'll find the alluring Ipswich Celia Saison, which is brewed from sorghum, so it's naturally gluten-free. With that grain, it's interesting how well the brewers stayed as true as possible to the saison style of Belgian farmhouse ales. It has a pleasant sourness of zesty orange and is a fascinating addition to the gluten-free beer scene.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
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From a gluten-free beer perspective, Sprecher Shakparo is pretty good. It doesn't rate highly on many traditional beer drinkers' lists, but they have lots of other beers to choose from. You'll find mixed reviews it, though it's simply best to try it and decide for yourself. The 6.5 percent ABV African-style ale is brewed using wild yeast and a combination of millet and sorghum, the latter of which is traditional in African brews. It has a light body and carbonation with fruity notes and hints of spice that make it intriguing.
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Redbridge Sorghum Beer
Sorghum beers naturally have a sour taste, so a beer like Anheuser-Busch's Redbridge takes some getting used to. It's brewed like a lager and there are some characteristics of the company's macro lagers in the taste. If you enjoy sour beers, it's a good option and the taste can grow on you. Released in 2006, Redbridge has availability on its side. It's stocked in many U.S. supermarkets, making it an easy-to-find option for drinkers who may not have a lot of options in their area.