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Is Beer Gluten Free?

Wave goodbye to gluten – we’re on a one way ticket to the gluten-free galaxy!

If you have to avoid gluten in your day-to-day diet, it probably means you struggle to enjoy a beer with your mates. Most beers use grains that contain gluten as a base. But gluten-free beers DO exist. And they’re blasting off, expanding the horizons of everyone who loves a good brew.

How Much Gluten Is In Beer?

Because beer is brewed with grains, all beer has gluten in it. Unless it’s made without, obvs.

Different beer types have different levels of gluten. So a lager is likely to have less gluten than a stout. Gluten is measured in parts per million (ppm) and for a food to be considered technically gluten-free, whatever you’re eating or drinking must contain fewer than 20 ppm. Although, if you have coeliac disease or are very sensitive to gluten, it’s best to avoid it altogether. 

These numbers are an estimate, and might change depending on the individual beer, but in general each beer as the following: 

  • Lager: 63 ppm
  • Stout: 361 ppm
  • Ales: 3,120 ppm
  • Wheat beer: 25,920 ppm

How Is Gluten Free Beer Made?

There are two different ways that gluten-free beer can be made which are safe for people with gluten intolerances.

The first way is to use ingredients that absolutely do not contain gluten. This means using something like rice, corn, or buckwheat instead of wheat, barley, or rye in the brewing process. The other way involves a bit of special science – a clever enzyme that breaks down the gluten proteins during fermentation.

Does Gluten Free Beer Taste Different?

Most of the flavour from beer comes from the hops, but the grain used does impart some tastebud-tingling flavours and textures onto the beer as well. 

These are some (but not all) of the grains you can commonly see in beer ingredients: 

  • Wheat – gives the beer a foamy head and a fuller body (Hey! Mind out of the gutter).
  • Corn – makes a beer smooth and adds a tasty sweetness.
  • Oats – offer a creamy feel and smooth texture.
  • Rice – doesn’t add a flavour itself. Instead, it helps build a nice bitterness profile. 
  • Rye – adds a complex and crisp taste and gives a beer a little spiciness – yum!

Some people complain that a gluten-free beer doesn’t have the same mouthfeel (yes it’s a word) as other beers – to which we say: you clearly haven’t found the one for you. Try more!

Is Neck Oil Gluten Free?

Unfortunately not. Sorry. 

Gluten Free Beer Tastes Even Better from Beavertown Beer Glasses

You know what sucks? We don’t currently stock a gluten-free beer. We know, devastating. 

But did you know that a Beavertown glass is the best way to make a gluten-free beer taste amazing? The next time you fancy a brew with your mates, break out the Beavertown beer glasses to elevate any gluten-free beer to the next universe.