Gluten-Free Hard Cider and Other Alternatives to Beer

Most hard ciders are considered naturally gluten-free

Hard cider in a glass

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

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Although gluten-free beer options are expanding and the selections are getting tastier, some people simply want alternatives to beer. Fortunately, there are several options, including a wide variety of gluten-free ciders.

You're not going to find some of these at your corner supermarket. However, you can order most of them online (depending on your state's laws), and you may be able to persuade your local liquor store to bring them in for you to try. In a few cases, you may even discover gluten-free cider on tap in one of your favorite hangout spots.

Gluten-Free Hard Cider

Here's the list of hard cider brands that are recommended for people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity:

  • ACE Cider. ACE Cider (also known as the California Cider Company) makes several different kinds of cider, including Apple, Blackjack 21, Joker, Perry, Pineapple, and Pumpkin. According to the company: "All our ACE ciders are gluten-free and suitable for consumers with celiac disease." ACE Cider has distributors nationwide.
  • Angry Orchard Cider. Angry Orchard is quite popular and makes more than a dozen different standard and seasonal ciders, many of which can be purchased at larger grocery stores. All are considered gluten-free. According to the company: "Angry Orchard ciders are made with naturally gluten free ingredients. Just to be safe, we still test our cider-making equipment to be sure there’s been no cross-contamination."
  • Blue Mountain Cider Company. This Oregon brand offers cider on-site for tasting and in some stores. The cider is considered gluten-free, according to the company.
  • Crispin Cider. Crispin makes seven different ciders: Original, Rosé, Pacific Pear, Pearsecco, Brut, Honey Crisp, and Brown's Lane (which comes in a can). All are gluten-free, according to the company.
  • Jack's Hard Cider. If you crave variety, Jack's is the brand for you. The company makes: Original, Helen's Blend, Dry-Hopped, Peach, and Pear, in addition to two seasonal varieties (Conewago Orchard and Fireside). Jack's uses apples and other fruit from Pennsylvania. Jack's comes in cans and is considered naturally gluten-free by the company.
  • Magners Cider. Magners bills itself as "the original Irish cider." The company makes three different ciders, Original, Pear, and Berry and all are billed as gluten-free. Magners is available in a majority of U.S. states.
  • Original Sin Hard Cider. This brand, crafted from apples grown in upstate New York, makes eight different ciders: The Original Apple, Black Widow, Dry Rose, Elderberry, Pear, Cherry Tree, Northern Spy Dry Cider, and Newtown Pippin. All ciders are considered to be all-natural and gluten-free, according to the company.
  • Rekorderlig Cider. Made in Sweden, Rekorderlig's ciders come in a variety of fruit flavors, including passionfruit, spiced apple, wild berries, and strawberry-lime. All are gluten-free, according to the company.
  • Strongbow Cider. This English import is available in some outlets in the U.S. According to Strongbow, the ciders are considered gluten-free.
  • Woodchuck Cider. Vermont-made Woodchuck Cider makes a variety of regular and limited edition ciders, including Amber, Granny Smith, Dark 'N Dry, Crisp, and Raspberry. The company features a prominent gluten-free statement on its website: "We take Celiac Disease seriously, and since Woodchuck has always, and only, been made from apples (not wheat, barley or rye) none of our cider varieties have ever contained gluten. Further, we have all our ciders tested by an independent lab and we maintain a completely gluten free facility."

Mike's Hard Lemonade

There's some controversy over the gluten-free status of Mike's Hard Lemonade and other products. The products contain malt, which is made with barley. However, according to Mike's, a proprietary filtration process removes the gluten. Mike's provides a thorough explanation on their website:

"Our process removes gluten to less than 5 parts per million (ppm) as measured by the R5 competitive ELISA test. So, while Mike's is crafted to remove gluten, we cannot say it is 100% gluten free. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), which oversees gluten labeling for alcoholic beverages in the U.S., recently rules that fermented products made from gluten-containing grains cannot make a gluten-free claim but are allowed to make a claim that a product is crafted to remove gluten with a disclaimer that there may be traces of gluten as the gluten content cannot be verified."

Some people have reported getting sick from Mike's products, just as people report getting sick from so-called "gluten-removed" beers (made from barley) and other forms of alcohol made from gluten grains.

If you're one who gets sick from gluten-grain-based distilled alcohol, I'd steer clear of Mike's. If you can handle alcohol made from gluten grains, meanwhile, you may do okay with Mike's. Either way, it's your call.

Alcoholic Beverages

There are many brands of bottled and canned alcoholic beverages that are NOT gluten-free, generally because they contain malt (almost always barley malt). These include:

  • Coney Island Hard Root Beer
  • Four Loko energy drinks
  • Henry's Hard Soda (ginger ale and orange flavors)
  • Not Your Father's Root Beer
  • Smirnoff Ice malt beverages
  • Sprecher Hard Root Beer

Whatever you do, don't make the mistake of assuming these are gluten-free since they're not beer—they're not safe for those in the gluten-free community to drink.

A Word from Verywell

If you're gluten-free and looking for alternatives to beer, it would be difficult to go wrong with any of the hard cider brands listed above. However, you need to be very cautious with other beer alternatives, including wine coolers and hard root beer, since almost all of those contain barley malt and are not gluten-free.

3 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Beyond Celiac. Is beer gluten free?.

  2. Celiac Disease Foundation. Gluten-Free Foods.

  3. Celiac Disease. ACE Premium Cider offers pumpkin cider for fall.

By Jane Anderson
Jane Anderson is a medical journalist and an expert in celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, and the gluten-free diet.