Most gluten free beer is made using barley. Some includes wheat.
The safety to coeliacs of these beers — which are typically made by the addition of an enzyme to break down the gluten fragments — remains hotly debated.
In the UK / EU, such beers can be described gluten-free.
In the US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, they can’t. They are often described instead as ‘gluten removed’ or ‘gluten reduced’, and can be labelled ‘processed to remove gluten’.
Some celiacs, not unreasonably, avoid all such wheat- or barley-based beers — which are now widely available.
So for them, here is a list of beers made only from alternative and GF grain sources — for example, quinoa, rice, millet, sorghum, buckwheat, corn — available in UK, the US / Canada, Australia, and Europe.
Use rice, quinoa and millet.
Three in the range: Bavarian Style Pilsner (#1 — 4.5%), English Pale Ale (#2 — 4.5%, Dark Roast Stout (#3 — 4.5%).
‘Unexpected’ Ale — brewed from sorghum.
Golden Era Ancient Grain
An American beer (pictured right), made with millet, quinoa, and buckwheat, available only from UK stockists Beer Hawk.
Some barley beers, plus five beers made using sorghum, brown rice, buckwheat, millet too.
Include Discovery (an amber ale), Dry Hopped Lager, an IPA, plus stronger Tripel (8.5%) and Dubbel (7%) ales.
Distinguishable from their barley-based beers as they carry ‘naturally gluten free’ labelling.
Two gluten-free beers — G Free (4.2%) and Dark G Free (3.9%)
Unites States / Canada
Buck Wild Pale Ale — made with millet, buckwheat and brown rice syrup.
Large variety of naturally GF beers — from grains such as rice, millet, sorghum and Ethiopian teff.
Large selection — uses millet, buckwheat, quinoa.
‘The Original Sorghum Malt Beer’.
Burning Brothers Brewing
Large selection, including Irish Red Ale, Chocolate Milk Stout and more.
Tweason’ale — sorghum-based fruit ale.
Glutenator — made with millet, sweet potatoes, and brown rice.
Use oats in most products, as well as millet, rice and buckwheat.
Uses rice, millet and buckwheat.
Glutenberg (Canada) / Glutenberg (US)
Use quinoa, corn, millet, amaranth and other naturally GF grains, plus coffee, chocolate, chestnut, orange and other botanicals.
Ten beers, including an APA, IPA and a Stout.
Ground Breaker Brewing
Use ingredients such as chestnuts, lentils, tapioca, brown rice and sorghum.
Includes a Dark Ale, Light Ale and an IPA.
Colorado-based wholly GF brewery.
Ipswich Ale Brewery
Their Celia Saison is brewed with sorghum and citrus peel.
James Page Brewery
Sorghum beer — A Capella.
Joseph James Brewing
Their Foxtail Brown Ale is brewed “from a base of organic rice”, also sorghum.
New Grist, made with rice and sorghum.
New Grist pilsner-style beer — brewed using rice and sorghum.
Vegan millet beers from Oregon.
New Planet Brewery
Some gluten-reduced beers made from a barley base, but also three (blonde ale, pale ale, raspberry ale), using no gluten-containing ingredients (sorghum, brown rice, corn).
Small selection of sorghum-based ales.
Also offer an Oatmeal Cream Stout, which uses certified GF oats.
Whistler Beer Co
Forager Lager — made from millet and rice.
Uses millet, rice, sorghum, amaranth and buckwheat.
Australia Pale Ale and Blonde Low-carb.
This Canadian beer is stocked by Dan Murphy’s.
Use sorghum and millet.
Pale ale, brown ale and several lagers.
Use millet, rice and buckwheat.
Gluten free ale using sorghum — one, raspberry flavoured.
Italian ‘barley free’ beer, made with hops and sorghum.
Quinoa Italia (Italy)
Italian brewed quinoa beer, albeit sold in a sparkling wine bottle!