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Is There Gluten in Beer? Which Are The Best Gluten Free Beers?

More and more breweries around the United States are brewing gluten-free or gluten-reduced beers in the hope of being more inclusive and more accessible to people. Some breweries go so far as to be 100% Gluten-Free breweries.

Gluten-free grains to go with gluten-free beer
Who needs gluten anyway?

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein commonly found in grains, especially the type that produce beer. Barely, for instance. The same goes for rye, wheat and others. Beer is not the only consumed product that has gluten - think bread, cereals, pastry, etc. - it’s just the one we care about most here at CraftJacks.

Does Beer Have Gluten?

Yes, Beer typically contains gluten. The grain, or grains, selected will determine the gluten content of the beer. Lager or ale, it does not matter.

This is important for those with a gluten sensitivity, or, those following a gluten-free diet (and lifestyle). Brewers are doing a greater job of increasing beer’s inclusiveness in recent years.

An infographic showing the ingestion of gluten into a body and its affect on the small intestine, all on a chalkboard
Similar to drinking your Gluten

What Gluten Does For Beer

Gluten helps fermentation in the brewing process. The sugar that gets metabolized comes from the gluten, at least with regard to traditional beer. We skipped chemistry class in High School, so we’ll just say enzymes were involved too.

The amount of Gluten in barley-made beer is far less than wheat-based beer. A wild fact to learn, some wheat beers can exhibit gluten in the thousands ppm.

What are Gluten-Free Beers Made With?

Gluten-Free Beer can be made using a variety of alternative grains and other ingredients. Here are some Gluten-free alternatives:

  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Gluten-Free Oats
  • Maize
  • Millet
  • Quinoa
  • Rice
  • Sorghum
  • Teff

Food labeling matters when it comes to the potential for cross-contamination and the existence of gluten proteins in products being sold to the general public. Best to stay clear of the bad side of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) if you’re a commercial brewer.

A scoop of buckwheat

Gluten-Free vs Gluten-Removed Beer

The difference between Gluten-Free and Gluten-Removed Beer is that Gluten-Removed Beer is beer that was brewed with gluten-containing grains, with the gluten being stripped after the fermentation process is complete. The trouble for sensitive individuals is that traceable levels of gluten can be found even after all is said and done.

The trace amounts, even in the smallest ppm (parts-per-million) can still cause inflammation in the small intestine to those who suffer from Celiac Disease (or Coeliac Disease across the pond). Hence the need for true GF Beer.

According to WebMD, “Celiac disease can be triggered by as little as 100 milligrams of gluten or 1/64 teaspoon of flour a day. In some people, just 10 milligrams of gluten can activate celiac disease.”

There is a burgeoning market for beer brewed with Gluten-Free grains, and we think you’ll appreciate these low gluten options we are about to discuss.

8 Great Gluten Free Beers

Here are some beer brands and types of beer that you should look into if you possess a gluten intolerance. These alcoholic beverages typically tasted different than craft beer created with malted barley. However, the amount of gluten in them is significantly reduced or removed/non-existent altogether.

We’ve enjoyed all of these gluten-free options, which is why we are sharing them with you. Funny story, Element’s Tachyon was one of the strangest experience we’ve had drinking beer, with aromas we couldn’t place.

New Planet Beer Blonde Ale
Millet, Maize and (Gluten-Free) Oats, Oh my!

Blonde Ale (New Planet Beer)

Here is what New Planet has to say about their blonde ale, "Perfect for year-round enjoyment—think of our Blonde ale as your go-to rafting, camping, and skiing companion. This approachable beer is easy-going, refreshingly light and crisp, with subtle hints of citrus."

That's pretty much how we felt about it. We took it for a test drive drink on a camping trip up to North Conway last summer. It was an excellent fireside companion, that's for sure. The millet, maize and gluten-free oats crafted brew paired well with the table top griddle-cooked fish tacos we were whipping up after a long day of hiking through the White Mountains.

Columbidae (Lucky Pigeon Brewing Company)

Lucky Pigeon Brewing is the first dedicated gluten-free brewery in Maine. We think that deserves some recognition, so we included their Columbidae on our list of the best gluten free beers. Columbidae is a classic American Pale Ale. Lucky Pigeon says it's, "dry-hopped, floral with a biscuity malt base."

Located in Biddeford, Maine, a suburb of Portland, this microbrewery recently opened up its taproom back in September of 2021. Show them some support the next time you find yourself touring the Northeast for delicious craft brews.

Lucky Pigeon spans the beer type roster, ranging from Blonde Ale to Stout. If you want a GF Pilsner or GF Sour, they got it.

Glutenberg IPA, a gluten-free beer from Glutenberg
Decent beer, eh?

Glutenberg IPA (Microbrasserie Glutenberg)

Canadian brewery, Glutenberg, gives us this rock solid gluten-free IPA. We thinks that Quebec knows what it's doing when it comes to this sort of stuff.

The astute among you will recognize that Canada knows how to do traditional beer right. It seems they’ve refined their esteemed brewing processes to include Gluten-free ingredients. Or at least, Glutenberg does. Heck, it’s in the name.

Omission Ultimate Wheat Ale

A light and hazy wheat beer that is both gluten-reduced and non-alcoholic. Now that’s quite the feat. Bravo, Omission for dialing in that niche tightly.

Redbridge, a gluten-free beer from Anheuser-Busch InBev
A Gluten-Free beer for the masses

Redbridge (Budweiser)

After 15 years of brewing Redbridge, AB InBev is still enjoying the profits of producing one of the most widespread gluten-free beers available today. A 12oz bottle of sorghum-based Redbridge nearly hits 5 on the alcohol content scale, which is fairly respectable. The beer is generally sold as a 6-pack of 12oz bottles. It's a fairly basic American brew, with an amber-y golden color and easy drinking feel to it. We know it's brewed by the biggest shareholder of Big Bev Beer, but it's not that bad.

Ghostfish Brewing Company Shrouded Summit

Shrouded Summit (Ghostfish Brewing Company)

Shrouded Summit blends orange peels, juniper berries, and coriander in harmony to craft up this "proper" Witbier. In our minds, it's a rock solid yardwork beer. To the Great International Beer, Cider, Mead & Sake Competition and Sip Magazine, it's an award winning Belgian White Ale. Shrouded Summit is brewed with millet, malted buckwheat and malted rice.

Gotta be cool to win an award amongst so many great breweries, cideries and meaderies. Shrouded is a wheat beer win.

Red Leaf Gluten-Free Brewing Woodpile
Woodpile Maple Brown Ale | Photo Credit to Red Leaf Gluten-Free Brewing

Woodpile (Red Leaf Gluten-Free Brewing)

Red Leaf takes Lucky Pigeon's role as the first gluten-free brewery in Maine and raises it up a notch to the first gluten-free brewery in New England. We think a Maple Brown Ale from Vermont is perfect for the occasion.

Red Leaf beers are way better than mass-market lagers, like say, Corona.

Tachyon Sake IPA, a gluten-free beer from Element Brewing Company
Is that ... olive?!

Tachyon (Element Brewing Company)

We're not even sure what to do with this Gluten-Free beer. We're not even sure what it tastes like, as it's unlike pretty much anything we've ever tried. But, we wanted to include Element's] Tachyon Sake IPA because it's just so unique.

Sake IPA screams wild additives we can’t ever comprehend.


Gluten-free beers are tasty and enjoyable. They, along with NA Beers, have come a long way since your parents and grandparents beers. With more and more breweries offering choices for gluten sensitive customers, the beer scene has never been better.

You might also be wondering, what spirits are Gluten-Free, if any? They do exist. In case you’re wondering, we prefer our gluten-free beverages in the form of whiskey, preferably neat.

Note: suggests that Ouzo could contain gluten. Be warned.