Gluten-free beer is beer made from ingredients that do not contain glycoproteins, i.e. gluten. Consuming gluten-free foods is particularly important to people that suffer from celiac disease, gluten intolerance, or dermatitis herpetiformis. Patients with celiac disease will suffer injuries to the lining of the intestines if gluten is consumed. Therefore beer that contains barley or wheat will cause an allergic reaction to patients that have celiac or gluten intolerance.
Gluten-free beer plays an important part in a gluten-free diet. Beer is traditionally made from barley which has resulted in those suffering from diseases such as celiac being unable to consume one of their most preferred beverages. However, some brewers produce beer brewed from cereals such as corn and argue that it is safe for those with gluten intolerance to consume their beer. But these statements are controversial and therefore it is recommended that they are avoided.
Today with the advent of modern technology, research, and development, major brewers both local and international are experimenting with gluten-free beer production with the use of rice, millet, and buckwheat-based beers, enabling those with celiac disease with a wider choice of gluten-free beer.
Formulas are now available for gluten-free beer to be brewed at home. Sweet sorghum syrup is used as a carbohydrate, while other sugars such as honey and malt dextrin are added for character and feel.
Home brewed gluten-free beer has been made easier with the introduction of commercially available gluten-free home brewing kits that contain sorghum syrup, hops, yeast, and other items. Even though these kits are relatively more expensive than standard brew kits, they produce very good gluten-free beer for less than the cost of what you will pay for standard commercial beer.
It is important to note that some breweries use a filtering process that renders gluten undetectable in low gluten beer. This is a serious concern to those that suffer from celiac disease as beer needs to be completely gluten-free for consumption. Therefore it is important to check and recheck before consuming gluten-free beer that tastes like real beer for any kind of additives or ingredients that may contain gluten.
Some of the gluten-free beer brands available in the market are produced by Anheuser-Busch, Bard’s Tale Beer Company, Green’s Gluten-Free Beers, New Grist Beer, Nick Salford’s Hambleton Ales, Rampo Valley Brewery, and Sprecher Brewing Company.