I was wondering; how much gluten is contained in your "average" beer? I understand that it will no doubt vary and some may be lower-to-none and some higher-than-others but I am after some indication or comparison? For example is one "average" beer the equivalent of eating a piece of bread? Or a bite of a piece of bread?
Like many of you I noticed dramatic health improvements once going paleo and ditching gluten grains; and it is like night and day when I do binge and cheat on a pizza or something similar (I'll spare you the details). However I have not noticed the same issues after a night out and drinking 3-5 beers, thus the reason for this question :)
Wait, what? Since when does malted barley not contain gluten?
My gluten intolerance first made itself known via beer - I had more problems from beer, especially craft brewed beer- than from any other food.
Some beers have a lot of corn or rice, and those should be lower in gluten. Finding out the actual content of beer is another matter, as it does not have the same labeling standards as food.
I was primarily a beer drinker, and I don't like any of the gluten-free beers I've tried. Redbridge is the best of them, IMO, but New Grist Mill might please others more. It really depends what style of beer you are looking for.
This is an older thread, but I'd like to contribute to it.
In my experience as a Celiac sufferer and GOOD beer lover is that the only non-gluten free beer I can tolerate more than a few sips of is Estrella Daura Damm. It has its gluten content listed on the label as fewer than "6ppm".
Other beers I have had good luck with and find relatively tasty are Bards Tale Dragon's Gold (recently relabeled as just "Gold", I believe), New Grist, and a surprising entry by Rogue (two actually) - Soba and Black Soba which are buckwheat (not a true wheat). Tue Black Soba occasionally causes a reaction, but a mild one by comparison.
As a comparison, my favorite beers are Great Divide's Yeti Barrel Aged and Bell's Expedition Stout. These are at the top of my list, but they create more than slight discomfort and vast unhappiness for those I live with (as well as a high potential for a methane explosion)!
I've tried a few British beers that I was advised were Gluten free, and were good, but their availability is spotty at best, and I forget the names.
Even though this is a brew related thread, I'd like to inform the uninitiated that it's not only beers that cause gluten intolerant individuals problems. Vodka is a big one. My current favorite is Glacier. It's a potato Vodka, and is quite good. I will try Tito's Handmade Vodka soon as it's also a potato variety and is very highly regarded. There are several whiskeys, bourbons, blends, and others that are problematic, too. Celiac truly sucks, but thanks to growing demand for good tasting wheat gluten alternatives, it's a far better time to have the disease than just a few short years ago when there either weren't any alternatives or the ones that existed were generally awful.
nobody ever answers the question. "I have no idea, but let me offer you some gluten free choices". Look; I want to know how fast I can go over the speed limit without getting a ticket, not alternate routes to take.
I would point at this article:
Distillation quite effectively removes the gluten and it is very unlikely that splashes of fermented (we call it "moutwijn", i.e. malt wine, can’t remember the correct English word for it) will be carried over to the final distillate. If they are present they must have been added afterwards. A couple of years ago we analyzed some distilled liquor for presence of gluten proteins but we couldn’t detect any in this set (about 40 different types). The beer test, which consisted of a set of 50 different brands, showed that most brands (35) did contain immunoreactive protein in amounts between 1 and 200 mg/liter. Only 15 contained less than 1 mg/liter. There was a strong correlation between the gluten content and whether wheat had been used as an ingredient!
1 and 200 mg/liter is enough to trigger some, but not all, sensitive people.
Eating only gluten free productions is critical to any celiac or gluten intolerant person, so what in regards to alcohol in general?
Firstly it appears that there are three distinct types: General liquor, gf beer and gf wines.
GLUTEN FREE ALCOHOL Many articles suggest that as long as alcoholic beverages are not based on wheat or other gluten grains that they will be without gluten. They suggest using liquors such as grappa (made from grapes), ouzo (aniseed, fennel seed aromatic plants ) rum (sugar Cane ), sake (rice ) etc. Other articles have suggested that the protein is destroyed in the distillation routine so that all alcoholic beverages will be gf. However a 1992 Flemish Celiac Society report found gluten in various varieties of distilled liquor. The levels varied from zero to 200-mg gluten/liter with the most eminent amount in “Creme de Framboise” (200 mg/liter) and French brandy VSOP had 180 m g/liter. Subsequently, websites have speculated that the “protein might be derived from the caramel coloring” and proposes that it is best for celiacs to “abstain from brown colored liquor”
There is a note of caution that the detection of the protein in alcoholic drinks is very undependable as “the proteins could have been broken down to little (but still toxic) peptides and in that case a sandwich-type ELISA might give rise to untrue negative results because in that case you always need to two epitopes (binding web sites for the antiserum) on one molecule to get a positive reaction.” The difficultness with general liqueurs is that since this has not been recognized as a major problem in society, and as testing is difficult and potentially expensive, liquor makers are improbable to test and label their productions as gf any time soon. Your best option appears to be either to stay clear from liquor completely or choose types not based on g grains, such as whiskeys.
GLUTEN FREE BEER The beer area seems comparatively clear cut. In the same study as above “The beer test, which consisted of a set of 50 dissimilar brands, showed that most brands (35) did incorporate immunoreactive protein in amounts amongst 1 and 200 mg/liter. Only 15 contained less than 1 mg/liter. There was a strong correlation amongst the gluten content and whether wheat had been used as an ingredient!” The Technical Officer of The Coeliac Society of Australia also agrees by saying that ” the (beer) brewing procedure unluckily does not render ‘normal’ beer gf” “beer holds gluten, either in the grains employed within the brewing process, or even the yeast itself may be grown in a medium which holds the protein. Therefore if you are a Celiac, you may not drink Beer that holds G other than as supposed or expected you will become sick.” All articles are definitive on the point that if a celiac wishes to drink beer, they will have to drink gfree beer only.
GLUTEN FREE WINE Wine is one of the most contentious areas of the liquor industry. The majority of articles suggest that wine is naturally free of gluten as it is made from grapes and no grains are involved in the preservative process. However other articles suggest a dissimilar story.”Some wines are aged in barrels that once contained another substance that could have kept a glutinous product. This is rare, but may happen. Also you will want to refrain from Wine Coolers. Wine Coolers are NOT GF, because they incorporate scarcely malt.” “There is also galore concern with cross contamination with wines that involves the exercise of sealing the barrels with a flour/water paste that is mutual with European Union barrel manufacturers. Most US based manufactures presently use a neutral feed grade paraffin to seal the barrels for the duration of the construction process, but there are a lot of manufacturers that import and use the flour/ water based barrels.” A hard paste that is part of the wheat glue may not be to the full or entire extent got rid of in the cleaning routine and that you may for the most part trust wines that are “almost always” made without a barrel aging routine such as: “Whites – Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, Italian Pinot Grigio, Bag-In-The-Box wines; and Reds: Bag-In-The-Box wines.” Many wineries list themselves as g-free but this is because their cafes provide gf food. And this is often times a matter of just including particular bread in their offerings. While rare, but still in existence, are wineries that likewise trade wine labeled as g free.
The Barley based beers are technically Gluten Free, but they have hordeins, which function similar to gluten based gliadins, causing a response in Gluten sensitive or Celiacs.
You can get Buckwheat and Sorghum based Beers that are Gluten Free. Redbridge is a commonly found brand. Some Celiacs tolerate it just fine, others have a gluten response. Varies by individual.
Heres a retail locator: (Busch should pay me.)
I have celiac. I rarely drink beer -- years of aversion therapy when trying to drink beer while having undiagnosed celiac kind of turned me off it permanently -- but there are GF options if you really need a brew. Redbridge is one, as Stephen-Aegis said... I'm glad that Redbridge exists, but there are better beers with reasonably wide distribution. Bard's is a decent brew in a Sam Adams vein, New Grist is a fine hot-weather session beer (think Rolling Rock made with a bit more care), and Green's makes a family of gluten-free Belgian ales that are quite passable. Their dubbel is especially fine, IMO.
I will say this, though: The one place I really enjoyed drinking beer before I was diagnosed was Fenway Park, where the stuff I drank -- Budweiser on tap -- didn't really seem to affect me in what I now recognize as a gluten-related way. That was the only place I ever drank Bud. Take that for whatever it's worth.
John R., This wiki article indicates Budweiser has less than 20 ppm gluten content, which apparently is low for a non-gluten free beer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gluten-free_beer
I personally prefer beer made primarily from rice such as Sapparro.
Have learned some neat Paleo things on this site, to the admin - Thanks You
Gluten content of regular beer... this is the one thing on the internet that is damn near impossible to find! This is what I have found out so far-
Both Estalla Damm Daura and Widmer's Omission are brewed with barley, and have the gluten removed to fall below the 20 ppm limit that is considered gluten free for food (but not beer).
Heineken has also made the claim on their website that their beer falls below this limit.
On another one of these old "gluten content of beer" threads on Chowhound, someone named "Mashtun" posted just recently that he purchased the Glutentox home screening gluten test, and started testing some beers. He tested Stone IPA, Corona, Kirin Ichiban, and even some home brewed Bock that contained a 20% wheat grain bill, and found them all to fall below 5ppm in gluten content. Seriously, this comment is the best source of beer gluten content I could find!
So none of this is peer reviewed science or official data. But going back to the "How fast can I speed and not get a ticket" analogy earlier in this thread, no police department is ever going to give you an official answer, either.
Personally, I've found darker beers to be problematic, but don't seem to get any reaction to Budweiser or Corona, or even Kona Lager, which appears to be brewed with wheat. Oddly, light beers (like Bud Light) have caused negative reactions, but regular Bud has not. Maybe light beers use some weird ingredients or process, I don't know. Going forward, I'll stick to the wheat-free lagers, not worry about the barley too much (it has much less gluten than wheat does), and grab a gluten free Greens when I want something more exotic. Greens is actually pretty good.