Gluten Free, or is it.…..


For those of you who are a sensitive to gluten, and have grown up enjoying the odd beer or two, it can be a real treat to find some gluten free beers – unfortunately, many of these simply do not taste too good.

Often the cause of this is the brewers trying to remove the glutens in the end stages of the brewing process either through filtering processes that can also remove some of the flavour or by adding chemicals that are sometimes leave a funny taste in the mouth. The best of the gluten free beers come from barley that has had its gluten removed before the brewing process begins.

We have tried a few over the years, but have remained on the hunt for a selection of beers that are suitable for a coeliac.

So, what does “gluten free” mean when it comes to beers – basically, it has to contain less than 20ppm, some standards call for less than 5ppm – when I started looking into this, I didn’t realised how complicated it was going to get.

Our Gluten Free Beers

For a long time we have stocked some of the Omission beers, recently Omission’s reputation has taken a turn for the worse.  Omission beers have their gluten removed and are considered “gluten free” in as much as they have less than 20ppm of gluten, they don’t give a specific figure, but you can go to their website and enter details from the bottle to see the test results, the ones I checked showed less than 10 ppm. For some this is ok, for others it’s not so good.

Brewdog, one of our favourite Scottish brewers recently launched a pale ale, called Vagabond (4.5%). It’s a great craft pale ale, much as you would expect from Brewdog. This has just 10ppm gluten, so if you are able to drink Omission, you should do just fine with a Brewdog Vagabond Pale Ale.

Another “gluten free” that we in stock is Daura Damm (5.4%), it’s a light lager. This starts with a gluten free barley, which helps and the final product has had the glutens down to a level of 3ppm – for many that suffer problems with gluten, this is fine – but there are still glutens present.

The final offering we have in the “gluten free” section is Brunehaut Bio Blonde, it’s a Belgian triple and comes in at 5%. It rates very well in various “gluten free” tests, even with those who aren’t allergic to glutens. It is made from barley that has had the gluten removed before the brewing process, the result is a under 5ppm – better than some but if your limit is 0ppm then you might be out of luck, but at least from our side, the search will go on.

Do you have a favourite gluten free beer? Let us know,….

For those of you that can’t or won’t try an almost gluten free beer, we have a range of ciders, wine and spirits that contain no gluten – Whisky, yes its gluten free, the distilling process removes any trace of gluten, the same with rum and gin – unfortunately, some additives used to colour and sweeten can contain gluten, ask at the bar for help making your gluten free selection.