If you’re intolerant or allergic to gluten or are looking to reduce your gluten intake, then you might be wondering whether beer is off-limits. Believe it or not, that doesn’t have to be the case depending on the beer’s content.
So, is beer gluten free? Conventional beers are NOT gluten free because they contain glutens such as wheat and malted barley. However, there are beers, such as Skinny Lager and Skinny IPA from SkinnyBrands, that are specially manufactured to be gluten free.
Keep reading to find out what beer you can drink if you’re on a gluten-free diet and why you should avoid most of the popular beer brands.
What is Standard Beer Made of?
Most beers on the market contain grains and yeast alongside glutens such as wheat, malted barley and rye. This means that if you have a gluten intolerance/allergy or have coeliac disease, you should avoid beers containing any one of the above-mentioned glutens.
This applies to all types of beer: lager, ale, stout, you name it. Each of those beers is made using gluten.
Does This Mean I Can’t Drink Beer if I am Gluten Intolerant?
No, if you are gluten intolerant you can still drink beer, you just need to opt for gluten-free options. There are different alternatives available on the market, but before you choose one, it’s worth knowing that there are different ways of manufacturing gluten-free beers, which affect their taste.
How is Gluten-Free Beer Made?
There are two main methods by which gluten-free beer is made:
1) by using gluten-free ingredients in the production process and,
2) by removing the gluten to 20 parts per million (ppm) or less.
Using Gluten-Free Ingredients
This method of manufacturing gluten-free beer involves using malt from gluten-free cereals such as buckwheat, quinoa and millet. This is an effective way of producing beer suitable for a gluten-free diet, but there’s a caveat: it’s impossible to achieve the full-flavoured taste of standard gluten beers.
Removing the Gluten to <20 ppm
Some gluten-free beers are made using barley, but the glutens are removed later on in the brewing process. This is done by introducing enzymes during fermentation which break down the gluten protein.
The law requires beer to contain 20 ppm or less worth of gluten for it to be labelled gluten free (Coeliac UK). Beers meeting those requirements are safe to drink if you can’t consume gluten. They’re also more likely to have a similar taste to beers containing gluten.
Which Beers are Gluten Free in the UK?
The table below includes a range of gluten-free beers that are available on the market, alongside their calorie and alcohol content. Check out our comparison tool to find out more.
|Calories per 330ml
|San Miguel GF
What Should I Consider When Choosing a Gluten-Free Beer?
Here are the key factors to think about when choosing which brand to go for:
• Taste: if you love the full-flavoured taste of premium beer (we certainly do!), then consider opting for a beer that’s gluten removed.
• Certification: if you have coeliac disease or are allergic to gluten, then we strongly recommend choosing a brand that’s ‘Coeliac Society Certified Gluten Free’. This will give you the reassurance you need that the beer meets Coeliac Society’s strict criteria. Skinny Lager and Skinny IPA, for example, are certified gluten free and you can see the certification online.
• Calorie and carbs content: carbohydrates are often added to gluten-free beers to enhance the taste, so it’s worth keeping an eye on the number of calories and carbs they contain.
Gluten-Free, Full Flavour
Skinny Lager and Skinny IPA are certified gluten free, while also being vegan and containing fewer calories than other gluten-free beers on the market. And no, we don’t compromise on taste.
We were shortlisted for the Best Gluten-Free Beer at the UK Free From Awards in 2020 and we continue to be rated amongst the top gluten-free beers in the UK. Why don’t you just taste it and see for yourself? Shop now.