Gluten free beer?

Discussion in 'Beer Talk' started by rjniles, Aug 23, 2020.

  1. rjniles

    rjniles Initiate (88) Aug 30, 2012 South Carolina

    I have been recently been diagnosed with Celiac disease (gluten intolerance) and placed on a gluten free diet. Since malt is made from sprouted barley, beer becomes a nono. I am an IPA fan and looking for a gluten free replacement. The only gluten free beer I have ever tasted was Omission and it was horrible. Are there any decent replacements with distribution in South Carolina?
  2. beer_beer

    beer_beer Devotee (407) Feb 13, 2018 Finland

  3. GrumpyGas

    GrumpyGas Poo-Bah (2,006) Apr 7, 2009 Illinois
    Society Trader

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  4. Roadkizzle

    Roadkizzle Aspirant (219) Nov 6, 2007 Texas

    A question will be what level of "gluten free" do you need?

    Most "gluten free" beers on the market aren't fully gluten free. They are actually gluten reduced. The brewer uses enzymes to break down the gluten proteins but it doesn't get all of them.

    To truly make gluten free beers you need to start with grains that don't contain gluten. So beers mashed with only millet, buckwheat, sorghum, corn and others.

    I've heard the first category is just fine for people with normal gluten allergies or intolerance. But for people with actual Celiac's the second category is needed.

    I know years ago I enjoyed Belgian beers under the brand of Greens. I think they are the second category. They would probably be the most available made with alternate grains. But they only make Belgian styles that I know.

    My local brewery makes gluten reduced versions of their blonde Lager and IPA that I've heard good things about but they won't make it to your neck of the woods.
  5. realJohnnyHobo

    realJohnnyHobo Disciple (326) Sep 18, 2019 Maryland

    OMISSION or Red Bridge by InBev is national distribution. You could always move to wine.
  6. sharpski

    sharpski Savant (907) Oct 11, 2010 Svalbard & Jan Mayen Islands

    #6 sharpski, Aug 23, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2020
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  7. Grounder

    Grounder Initiate (0) Jun 20, 2019 Illinois

    I love Prairie Path but it is certainly not an IPA the OP seems to be seeking.
  8. beer_beer

    beer_beer Devotee (407) Feb 13, 2018 Finland

    How hard it may sound, this could be an alternative. Reminds me of when I switched to NA beer from whisky. There may just be too few truly gluten free beers for making a hobby of it. Hope I'm wrong though.
    realJohnnyHobo likes this.
  9. MaxLppn73

    MaxLppn73 Initiate (0) Jun 24, 2019 California

    Duckfoot Brewing in san diego, makes gluten-free beers. but, again, i am not sure it's completely zero gluten. but the founder has celiac disease so the brewery was born.
    they make some tasty west coast IPAs that you may enjoy. not sure if they have a distro out there, though.
  10. ESHBG

    ESHBG Disciple (328) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    Stone Delicious IPA is gluten reduced but yeah unfortunately it may be best just to give up beer altogether. I've noticed since cutting back and really watching how much beer I consume (and sometimes more importantly the type of beer) I am feeling better. Nothing is worth suffering over.
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  11. officerbill

    officerbill Defender (606) Feb 9, 2019 New York
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  12. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,890) May 30, 2005 Michigan

    OP, you said you have had Omission, but was it the pale ale or the IPA? I think the IPA is harder to find, but I had the opportunity to drink one during a recent visit to the west coast where I think it's more plentiful. I thought it was much better than the pale ale, so you might want to look for it if you didn't have that one.
  13. rjniles

    rjniles Initiate (88) Aug 30, 2012 South Carolina

    I searched for Stone Delicious IPA and found a distributor near me. I like Stone IPA so Ill give it a try. Thanks for the suggestions.
  14. hbbeeremptor

    hbbeeremptor Aspirant (222) Aug 12, 2018 California

    I'd look out for Glutenberg though I'm not sure if they make it down your way.

    Their beers are made primarily with grass so they are 100% gluten-free or close to it (some of the offerings like their stout have sorgum which contains a small amount of gluten). They're from Canada and labeling on gluten content is much stricter up there than in the States. If I remember my reps stats correctly, in Canada to be labeled as gluten-free it must fall under 5 or 10ppm of gluten; in the US, it's 20ppm.

    I was fortunate enough to sample almost all of them through work and quite enjoyed the blonde, IPA and red ale. I recommend them to my Celiac disease afflicted customers all the time. The Blonde was a pretty typical blonde ale (light, crisp, grassy, a little citrus), the IPA reminded me of Stone IPA and the red ale is an English red so it's more malt-focused and less hoppy compared to an American red. They have an American pale ale, gose and stout as well.

    Good luck in your search!
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  15. Roadkizzle

    Roadkizzle Aspirant (219) Nov 6, 2007 Texas

    Just clarification.

    Barley, wheat, rye, corn, sorghum, and millet are all the seeds of grasses.

    So ALL breweries use "grasses" to make their beer. (They use the seeds of grasses)

    I looked up Glutenbergs beers. Their beers are made with millet as the primary grain with corn, buckwheat, and rice as additional ones.

    I'd really like to try their beers. I've been interested in how to make gluten free beers even though I do not need to.
  16. PapaGoose03

    PapaGoose03 Poo-Bah (2,890) May 30, 2005 Michigan

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  17. rjniles

    rjniles Initiate (88) Aug 30, 2012 South Carolina

    Wheat, barley (malt) and rye are the offenders, they contain gluten. Corn. Sorghum, millet, rice, oats and others do not but can be contaminated growing in a field near the offenders or cross contaminated in a processing plant.
    sharpski likes this.
  18. Urk1127

    Urk1127 Poo-Bah (1,810) Jul 2, 2014 New Jersey

    I’m not trying to be this guy but I know somebody with celiac and they drink blue moon and are somehow ok. because red bridge is not good
  19. skleice

    skleice Aspirant (274) Aug 6, 2015 Connecticut

    Welcome to the club @rjniles. I was diagnosed 3 years ago and went through this same struggle after being a huge beer drinker.

    So, first off, stay away from gluten reduced beers...they are simply not safe whether you get sick or not. You have to be careful, because some of them try to really claim they are totally gluten free, but are really just playing numbers games with PPG.

    Second, sadly if you don't live in the PNW or Colorado, your options pretty much suck. Most likely, the gluten free beers you'll come across will be made with sorghum syrup because it is cheap. It tastes tart and metallic and is gross imo. Not only that, but the product will likely be super old and not well cared for.

    If you're looking for a new hobby, you can brew your own truly gluten free beer using stuff like rice, millet, buckwheat, quinoa, oats, etc. These beers can be really good and can even fool barely beer drinkers. However, it's a costly endeavor because the grains are ~4x the price of barely and you would have to invest in equipment. At this point, I brew all of my own beer and am very happy with the results. If you decide you're interested in brewing shoot me a pm.
    #19 skleice, Aug 24, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2020
  20. hoppytobehere

    hoppytobehere Champion (818) Aug 10, 2012 District of Columbia

    Stone Delicious is actually a pretty solid IPA. If you want a gluten free macro lager that actually tastes like beer try Estrella Daura. My wife has a gluten allergy and that's her favorite.
  21. Roadkizzle

    Roadkizzle Aspirant (219) Nov 6, 2007 Texas

    I've looked into it and Gluten Free Homebrewing website.

    Then I looked at the prices of malted millet and other grains... Added up the cost of a recipe and it was double or so the cost that I normally pay... I decided while I would be happy to make good gluten free beers I can't justify the cost if I don't need it.
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  22. ahuey333

    ahuey333 Initiate (192) Aug 13, 2014 Wisconsin

    I do not tolerate gluten well either but I love beer. (Rough situation). If I limit myself to a beer or two, I can usually handle that. I have a few staple gluten free beers I like that I add to the mix. Stone delicious IPA is my favorite gluten free beer (though technically they can’t call it Gluten free because it’s not 100% removed). New Grist from Lakefront brewery is unique but good to me, and Omission Golden ale is much better than the other omission beers.
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  23. hbbeeremptor

    hbbeeremptor Aspirant (222) Aug 12, 2018 California

    I appreciate the clarifications. My mistake speaking hastily and not being more clear what I meant.

    What I can say is that each beer in their line-up tasted like the beer it's supposed to. It would have been difficult for me to discern between their beers and a non gluten-free beer in a blind taste test, which is why I wholeheartedly recommend them to my gluten sensitive customers.
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  24. Roadkizzle

    Roadkizzle Aspirant (219) Nov 6, 2007 Texas

    I would like to work on malting small scale then I can malt my own millet and sorghum to make it much more cost effective to brew gluten free beers.
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  25. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,975) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

    Depending on how sensitive you are, oats contain a protein similar to gluten that affects some celiacs.

    Celiac disease is actually an autoimmune disease. It is not an allergy.

    If you have been diagnosed with celiac disease, I recommend you seek out a doctor who understands the disease. Most GPs treat it like at allergy, which it is not.

    I speak from personal experience. I have 3 celiacs in my family, and one is extremely sensitive to the point she has to keep separate cookware and dinner ware for her use only. She had a real struggle finding a doctor who knew what actual celiac disease was and how to manage it.

    Hopefully, yours is a milder case, but celiac disease is not the same as gluten intolerance.
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  26. hojo813

    hojo813 Initiate (0) Aug 3, 2018 Virginia

    I have a friend with Celiac's. I've been tinkering with a gluten free IPA for him. Last version was pretty good. If you would like the recipe, let me know. It's a full volume boil with sorghum extract and rice. I'm thinking of toasting some millet next time. It's pretty good though for what it is
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  27. rjniles

    rjniles Initiate (88) Aug 30, 2012 South Carolina

    OP here, thanks for all the comments. I stopped at the beer store and picked up a 6er of Stone Delicious IPA. It is in the fridge now and I will try one tonight and see how I react. And if I like it
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  28. realJohnnyHobo

    realJohnnyHobo Disciple (326) Sep 18, 2019 Maryland

    Might sound odd, but White Claw is GF. Alternatively, you can always go to Cider if you're looking for something with a kick and a ton of different cider makers offer more than generic blended apple juice today. Craft ciders took off 5 years or more ago and still find some well-made alternatives out there.
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  29. Insomniac

    Insomniac Aspirant (235) Nov 5, 2019 Canada (ON)

    Someone else mentioned Quebec based Glutenberg and I would second that, although would be surprised if it is available in your market. Non-beer related, you might want to consider adopting a low FODMAP diet, if this has not already been mentioned to you. Discuss with your physician of course.
  30. DogbiteWilliams

    DogbiteWilliams Initiate (46) Mar 28, 2015 California

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  31. jesskidden

    jesskidden Poo-Bah (2,109) Aug 10, 2005 New Jersey
    Society Trader

    They're available in much of the United States (click on "Points of Sale - United States") including the entire east and west coast (I see it all the time in NJ).
    #31 jesskidden, Aug 25, 2020
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2020
  32. Coronaeus

    Coronaeus Meyvn (1,215) Apr 21, 2014 Canada (ON)

    I was coming here to mention the already mentioned Glutenburg from Quebec. They make the only gluten-free/reduced beer I’ve had that I’ve enjoyed.

    That said, a friend in a similar situation ended up moving to hopped ciders as the lack of variety, and the differing flavours of gluten free/reduced beer were too disappointing for him.
  33. ESHBG

    ESHBG Disciple (328) Jul 30, 2011 Pennsylvania

    One thing to keep in mind with ciders, though, is that generally speaking they are higher in sugar and carbs and can wreak some havoc if you are dieting.
  34. MNAle

    MNAle Poo-Bah (1,975) Sep 6, 2011 Minnesota

  35. realJohnnyHobo

    realJohnnyHobo Disciple (326) Sep 18, 2019 Maryland

    Good point, but if you're drinking you shouldn't be calorie counting. Even diet beers are nearly close to their 'regular' beer Kcal energy and nearly all alcohol will have some fermented sugar levels for alcohol to be produced so there is really no way around limiting consumption and dieting when talking any beverage - outside of vodka that is. :slight_smile: