Gluten Free Beer and Cider

Being a Holiday Weekend coming up, I just wanted to take a minute to touch base on alcohol, especially beer!!!  You can also find more information at this site on wine, and hard liquor.


Let’s talk about beers…I especially want take a minute to touch on Budweiser and Bud Lite, and don’t let this picture fool you!

Gluten Free or Die- on Anheuser Bush, Redbridge and Bud Lite

From a Beer and Brewing Site- Let’s talk about Bud and Bud Lite

I have heard several times since 2009 that Bud lite has claimed to be gluten free, and then again there was a big push in 2012 that this beer is gluten free.  I completely disagree with this statement due to the scientific make up and break down of proteins and grains in their product.  Especially EA1. Budweiser and Bud Lite still use Barley in their brewing process but continuously put out this statement to the public: (Reminder a beer company’s job is to sell a beer, just like a tobacco company’s job is to sell tobacco, and for so many years said it was safe)

“Our beer is gluten free. Its primary ingredient is rice and the barley that is used in brewing is turned into amino acids during the brewing process and our scientists have been unable to detect any gluten. We suggest you contact your doctor or the CSA (Celiac Sprue Association).” My doctor doesn’t see a problem but the CSA says all beer has gluten in it.

So in my opinion NO Budwiser and Bud lite are not gluten free, but legally they could say that their bear is wheat free.  Plus any grain particle stays in the air for about 48 hours after being exposed to it, especially in flour our ground up form.  Therefore there is a huge amount of cross contamination in these facilities.

Lets touch on doctors:  Another factor is MANY doctors especially conventional western medicine doctors are still learning SO many things about gluten and the affects of it on the body, everyone is learning something new every day.  I actually use to work for a doctor in an indirect way.  One day we had a conversation about some of my reactions, just out of curiosity.  I told the doctor that I would have GI reactions withing 15 -20 minutes of eating something with gluten in it or something cross contaminated.  He kinda said in a polite way that, this is impossible.  But I’m living it, and it’s not impossible, and SO many of my friends call me up and say hey Erinn did you go through this when becoming gluten free?  YES and it’s normal to have immediate reaction, I don’t care what western medicine says… I lived it and live it every day.  I know my body better than any doctor.  OK, enough on that tangent.  Bellow are some great articles to read more about Beer and Gluten Free Living.

Excellent Resources

Gluten Free Beer Festival – View a great website here with resources and party ideas

Also, A Celiac’s guide to Gluten Free Beer, with Links to each gluten free beer company

What makes something or even beer gluten free: Any product food or beverage must have less then 20 parts per million of a gluten grain (wheat, rye, barley, malt, spelt, or oats) to be considered gluten free.

The Argument that grains break down during the distillation process: This is a tough one, and in my opinion its like EA1 and how it spirals and hooks to DNA.  So what I’m saying is in a normal food allergy like carrots or apples, normally the protein of this food breaks down with heat.  In return this protein changes and your body no longer reacts to the protein.  So most people with a carrot or an apple allergy can have a cooked carrot or a cooked/processed apple like apple sauce or an apple pie.

However, Gluten, grains, and wheat, rye, barley, malt, spelt, and oats DO NOT BREAK DOWN WITH HEAT, or distillation.  You can not cook a muffin with wheat flower in it and expect the protein to break down so that you could eat it the way you could eat applesauce.

Do grains break down with heat, changing the protein: So, if an alcohol company claims that the distillation process heats the protein of the grain and breaks it down, they are full of it.  But if they claim during the a double distillation process that the grain is extracted and their product tests under 20 ppm in the product, they may be a little closer to the truth.

Can I drink Ciders: Hard ciders, on the other hand, are almost always gluten-free. Most major brands are, but there are exceptions such as Hornsby’s and Harpoon which are not gluten-free. Some brands that have confirmed that their products are gluten-free include Woodchuck, Crispin, Bulmers, ACE, Fox Barrel, Gaymer, Strongbow, and Woodpecker. In fact, several of the bars that I frequent are starting to carry gluten free cider’s on draft.

So, stick to the gluten free beers and ciders, listen to your body and how it reacts.  I usually also suggest for anyone going gluten free, to steer clear of all alcohol and grains for the first 3-6 months.  I to this day, still have a reaction if I have too much gluten free beer, grains, or even gluten free baked goods in one day or one week.  However, my system is a little hyper sensitive compared to some.

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