10 Great Gluten-Free Beers to Try

Going gluten-free doesn't mean you need to give up good beer — really.

In years past, beer lovers with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity had very few gluten-free options, and those options honestly didn't taste very good. But the beers available today that are made with 100% gluten-free ingredients actually are pretty decent.

Many stores, even supermarkets, carry Redbridge beer. But if you branch out to microbreweries, specialty markets, and online, you can find many different gluten-free beers to suit most any palate.

Below is a list of what's available in gluten-free beer and where to buy it. Meanwhile, if you want to try a gluten-free alternative to beer, you might want to check out the list of gluten-free cider and other beer alternatives. Enjoy!


Redbridge Beer

Anheuser Busch Introduces Wheat-Free Beer
Scott Olson / Getty Images

Anheuser-Busch's Redbridge beer, made with sorghum, remains the most visible gluten-free beer on the U.S. market.

It's generally possible to find Redbridge in large supermarkets across the U.S., and I've found that smaller ones can order it for you, as long as they carry other Anheuser-Busch products.

Redbridge is also available by the bottle in some restaurants, especially in those that feature a gluten-free menu. It's passable, although not as good as some of the other, more specialized gluten-free offerings.


Bard's Tale Beer

Bard's Tale gluten-free beer advertises itself as the only beer that's brewed from 100% malted sorghum, which the company says adds to the taste of the brew.

The beer, created by two diagnosed celiacs, is crafted in an entirely gluten-free environment with sorghum carefully sourced to make certain it's free of gluten cross-contamination. You may be able to find (or special-order) Bard's Tale in local large health food stores (such as Whole Foods) that carry beer.


New Grist Beer

Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee, Wis., makes a variety of different beers, including its gluten-free New Grist beer, a pale beer crafted from sorghum and rice. Each batch is tested for gluten before it's released.

Like many of these other gluten-free beer offerings, you may be able to find New Grist in large health food stores. You also can order it in many Milwaukee bars and restaurants.


New Planet Beer

If you're in Colorado, you can enjoy New Planet Beer's offerings. The gluten-free brewer makes three different types of gluten-free brews — Blond Ale, Pale Ale, and Raspberry Ale. All are certified gluten-free to 20 parts per million by an independent testing laboratory.

Also, note that New Planet makes two "gluten-removed" beers: Seclusion IPA and Tread Lightly Ale. These are made with barley processed to remove most of the gluten.


Green's Gluten-Free Beers

Belgian brewer Green's Gluten-Free Beers makes five brews for import into North America: India Pale Ale, Enterprise Dry-Hopped Lager, Discovery Amber Ale, Endeavor Dubbel Ale, and Quest Tripel Ale.

All are free of major allergens and also are suitable for vegetarian and vegan diets. Green's gluten-free beers, made with millet, sorghum, rice, and buckwheat, are available mainly in outlets on the West Coast (where the U.S. distributor is located), but also can be ordered online.


Sprecher Brewery Shakparo Beer

Another Milwaukee-based brewery, Sprecher Brewery, makes Shakparo Ale, a traditional West African beer. Barley and wheat aren't grown much in Africa, and these beers rely on millet and sorghum.

Sprecher beers are available in Wisconsin and nearby states, but the company does not currently ship alcoholic beverages.


Schnitzerbräu Gluten-Free Beer

One or two North American retailers are importing six-packs of German brewer Schnitzerbräu's gluten-free beer, which also is available in Europe and Australia. 

Schnitzerbräu, an entirely gluten-free brewery, makes a premium pale ale and a lemon-flavored beer. Both are brewed with millet in a gluten-free plant.


Les bières de la Nouvelle-France

Les bières de la Nouvelle-France is a microbrewery located in Quebec that offers four gluten-free beers: Messagère, a gluten-free pale ale, Messagère Red Ale, Messagère Millet, and Messagère aux fruits.

The company uses an independent laboratory to test its Messagère beers for gluten cross-contamination. The beers are widely available in Canada, and the company hopes to begin distributing to the U.S. soon.


Ramapo Valley Honey Beer

Another small brewery, Ramapo Valley Brewery in Hillburn, N.Y., makes a gluten-free beer that's also Kosher certified for Passover: Honey Beer.

The beer, which is made from fermented honey on dedicated gluten-free equipment, is available in stores locally and via online ordering.


St. Peter's Brewery Gluten-Free Beer

United Kingdom-based St. Peters Brewery offers two gluten-free beers: G-Free and Dark G-Free.

The brews are not in wide distribution in North America, but you may be able to find them, or (more likely) order them through a specialty distributor.


What About "Gluten-Removed" Beers?

Multiple breweries now craft so-called "gluten-removed" beers, which are beers made with barley (yes, a gluten grain) that then are processed with enzymes to "remove" the gluten.

The problem with these beers is that the gluten protein isn't really removed. Instead, it's broken down into smaller fragments that are too tiny to detect by testing but may not be too tiny to detect by your body.

Some people do just fine with gluten-removed beers while others have horrible glutening reactions. In addition, celiac disease experts question whether currently available gluten testing technology really can detect the remaining gluten fragments in these beers.

People with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity will need to do their own research and make their own decisions about whether or not to try gluten-removed beers. However, we urge extreme caution with them.

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