Want to know more about gluten-free beer? I have you covered with what to look out for, PLUS a list of gluten-free beer brands!
For many people, beer is the ultimate symbol of refreshment and relaxation. It’s cold, frosty, and lightly fizzy, with just enough alcohol to set you at ease after a long day. But is beer gluten-free?
In this guide, I’m sharing everything you need to know about drinking beer if you have Celiac disease or gluten sensitivities.
Keep reading to learn which beers are gluten-free, which are not, and discover some gluten-free alternatives to beer!
Table of Contents
Is Beer Gluten-Free?
No, most traditional beers are not gluten-free. Beer is usually made with malted barley, wheat, or rye — and all of these grains contain gluten. This makes it off-limits for people with gluten allergies or intolerance.
However, there are some breweries making gluten-free or “gluten-removed” beers. These are two distinct types of beers and it’s important to note that there are key differences between the two.
This type of beer is made with gluten, but then the gluten content is reduced with an enzyme. Gluten-removed beers are NOT always safe for people with Celiac disease, since they do contain trace amounts of gluten.
These beers are made without gluten, often using sorghum or other gluten-free grains instead of barley or wheat. It is typically safe to consume on a gluten-free diet. However, not all gluten-free beer is certified gluten-free, so use your best judgment.
Dedicated Gluten-Free Beer
This is the safest type of gluten-free beer. It is brewed in a 100% dedicated gluten-free environment and is tested to ensure that gluten is below 20 ppm.
What Beer Is Gluten-Free?
Most beer is not gluten-free. To find gluten-free beer, you’ll need to look for a specific label indicating that the beer is certified gluten-free. These beers are often made with alternative grains like sorghum, millet, or buckwheat.
Like traditional beer, gluten-free beer comes in a wide range of flavor profiles and styles. The options are ever-growing, and today you can find great-tasting gluten-free options for IPAs, pale ale, golden ale, and even witbiers.
Just be sure to choose 100% gluten-free beer, since gluten-removed beers may contain trace amounts of gluten.
Gluten-Free Beer Brands
Good news! As gluten-free living becomes more common, a growing number of breweries are making delicious gluten-free beers that are a great alternative to traditional beer.
Here are some of the best gluten-free beer options:
- Holidaily Brewing Company BuckWit Belgian
- Glutenberg Craft Brewery Blanche (dedicated gluten-free)
- Ghostfish Brewing Company Grapefruit IPA (dedicated gluten-free)
- New Planet Beer Blonde Ale
- Ground Breaker Brewing Dark Ale (dedicated gluten-free)
- Alt Brew Rustic Badger Belgian Ale
- Anaheuser-Busch Redbridge Lager
- Armored Cow Brewing Whole Lotta Rosie Blonde Ale
- Bard’s Tale Beer Bard’s Gold Lager
Here are some beer brands making dedicated gluten-free beer:
- Aurochs Brewing Company
- B.C. Brewery
- Bierly Brewing
- Brewery Nyx
- Buck Wild Brewing
- Burning Brothers Brewing
- Dos Luces Brewery
- Eckert Malting & Brewing
- Evasion Brewing
- Ghostfish Brewing Company
- NEFF Brewing
- Rolling Mill Brewing Company
Gluten-Free Alternatives to Beer
For some people, gluten-free beer simply doesn’t compare to regular beer. Others simply don’t love the taste of beer in the first place. If you’re in that camp, I have more good news!
There are lots of gluten-free alternatives to beer. Here are some options:
- Hard cider: Made from fermented apples and yeast, hard ciders are a naturally gluten-free alcohol that usually has an ABV of 6% or more.
- Hard seltzer: This alcoholic beverage is made by fermenting sugar with carbonated water and extracts, making it a comparatively healthy option that is naturally gluten-free.
- Vodka: Some liquors are
- Mead: Mead is a lesser-known alcoholic drink that predates beer. It’s made with fermented honey and water, and is typically gluten-free.
- Wine: Wine is naturally gluten-free, since it is typically made from grapes or other fruit. This includes red wine, white wine, sparkling wines, and more.
- Distilled spirits: Certain spirits are gluten-free, including brandy, rum, and tequila.
Most common beer is not gluten-free, but some smaller breweries offer gluten-free or gluten-removed beer. Some of the best options come from Holiday Brewing Company, Burning Brothers, Glutenberg, or Ghostfish.
No, Corona beer is not gluten-free. It is made with barley malt, which contains gluten. Light beers like Corona may contain less gluten than regular beer, but that does not make them gluten-free. Instead, look for dedicated gluten-free beer from breweries like Burning Brothers or Ghostfish.
Some people say Michelob Ultra has been tested and contains less than 20 ppm gluten, but it is not completely gluten-free. So use your best judgment to decide if you want to take the risk!
Some of the most popular gluten-removed beers (also known as gluten-reduced beers) include Duck Foot Brewing Company Drink This or the Bees Die, or Stone Brewing Delicious IPA. These beers are made with gluten during the brewing process, but an enzyme is used to reduce the gluten content to low levels.
Yes, White Claw is a hard seltzer that is made from naturally gluten-free ingredients, including seltzer water, gluten-free alcohol, sugar, and a bit of fruit flavor. Like White Claw, most brands of hard seltzer are gluten-free.
No, Miller Lite is not gluten-free. It is made with barley malt, which contains gluten and is not safe for people with gluten sensitivity. If you’re looking for gluten-free beer, try breweries like Burning Brothers or Ghostfish.
No, as with most light beers, Bud Light is not gluten-free. It is made with barley malt and hops, which contain gluten. It does contain less gluten than full-bodied beer, but it is still unsafe for people with Celiac disease.
Yes, ginger beer is a non-alcoholic soda that is naturally gluten-free. It is typically made from water, ginger, sugar, cream of tartar, and yeast. This makes it a great non-alcoholic, gluten-free alternative to beer.
The Bottom Line
Traditional beer IS NOT gluten-free, since it’s made with gluten-containing barley or wheat.
But these days, there’s a beer for everyone — including those on a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free beer is brewed with gluten-free grain like sorghum or millet to get the same classic taste of beer, without the gluten.
If you have Celiac disease, be sure to reach for gluten-free beer and not gluten-reduced beer or lite beer, which usually still contains a low level of gluten.