Gluten-Free Boozing

How to imbibe on a gluten-free diet


I recently made the conscious choice to start eating and drinking gluten-free. While many people in this country are troubled with gluten allergies that force them into this decision, I made this choice on my own, with no allergies to succumb to.

I view this as more of an experiment for myself rather than a random health kick, but if the lack of wheat in my diet gives me a supermodel body, so be it. However, about three days into my gluten free diet, I was plagued with a very crucial question.

How am I going to drink?

Gluten-free image via Shutterstock
This is a very valid question since many distilled spirits are made with gluten in the beginning of the distillation process. Have no fear my gluten-free brethren! Specialists on gluten-free living have determined that nearly all distilled spirits are gluten-free by the time they get to your glass. This happens because the gluten molecules are actually left behind during the distillation, leaving drinkers with spirits that are a-okay. The only exception to this rule is anything that is flavored, i.e., vanilla vodka, flavored brandy, peach schnapps, etc. For a more specific list of what you can and cannot drink with a gluten allergy, check out this list.

So spirits are in the clear, but what about beer? Yes, you guessed it, gluten-free beer! Gluten-free beers are made primarily with sorghum, which is made from sugar cane and conveniently gluten-free. There are some fantastic gluten-free beer options out there that are not only readily available, but pretty damn tasty as well.

Below is a list of some great gluten-free beer options. Try them for yourself and let us know what you think. Cheers, and happy gluten-free drinking!

Redbridge - Made from sorghum. Can be found in large supermarkets across the United States and in restaurants that have gluten-free options.

Green’s Gluten Free Beers - Made from millet, buckwheat, sorghum and rice. Available mostly on the West Coast, but can be ordered online.

Bard’s Tale Beer Company - Made from sorghum. Is carried in large health food stores such as Whole Foods, or can be ordered online.

New Planet Beer - Has three gluten-free beers: Tread Lightly Ale, 3R Raspberry Ale, and Off Grid Pale Ale. All sorghum based. Currently New Planet is only available in Colorado.

Schnitzerbrau - Has two gluten-free options: a premium pale ale and a lemon-flavored beer. Both are brewed with millet. A few North American retailers import Schnitzerbrau, but it is predominantly available in Europe and Australia.

New Grist - Makes a pale ale from sorghum and rice. Brewed in Milwaukee, Wisc. and can be found in large health food stores, but is available in most Milwaukee bars and restaurants.

Ramapo Valley Honey Beer - Makes a gluten-free and kosher for Passover honey beer. Brewed in Hillburn, NY. Is available locally but can also be purchased online.

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  • Snooth User: RCox
    Founding Member
    6462 183

    Been spending a lot of time in the UK, where I have been introduced to Ciders... no where near as sweet as cider in the US and MANY are gluten free ...just check with the manufacturer !

    Nov 15, 2012 at 1:36 PM

  • Snooth User: Sara Kay
    Hand of Snooth
    1073521 1,420

    Wow, that is great! I'll have to get my hands on some of that as well. Thanks for letting us know @RCox!

    Nov 15, 2012 at 2:17 PM

  • Snooth User: MidwestGal
    1159940 8

    Hello, Sara: I do not normally comment, but felt it was necessary as we need to clear some items up for other readers. First, sorghum is not made from sugar cane. Yes, they are both in the Poaceae - Grass family, but they are different crops. See the USDA site here:

    Second, you did not include Estrella Damm Daura Gluten Free beer, which won a Gold Medal at the World Beer Championships, a Gold Medal at the International Beer Challenge and the World’s Best Gluten-free Lager Award at the World Beer Awards. See here:

    Third, it is sort of silly that you think you should lose weight by turning to a gluten-free diet. I am allergic to gluten and would not wish it on anyone. Exercise and reducing your caloric intake is best for losing weight. Making adjustments to your gluten consumption is fool's gold as most gluten-free alternatives have more calories than their normal wheat counterparts. For instance, whole wheat has lovely nutrition (vitamins, minerals, FIBER!!) and it is wonderful if it does not cause you other problems. In fact, you should read this post I found which summarizes some common myths about gluten-free diets in response to a recent Dr. Oz show on gluten-free eating.

    When I order gluten-free beer or gluten-free crust pizza when I dine out on occasion, sometimes people will ask me if it's a good way to lose weight and it makes me sad as so many are misinformed. If you're having problems with gluten in your diet, then it's worth investigating. However, let me repeat, going gluten free is not a good method for weight loss as it has complications that come with it. Try the treadmill and less beer -- gluten free or not!

    Thank you for reading.

    A concerned gluten-free gal

    Nov 15, 2012 at 2:26 PM

  • Snooth User: WineTJ
    1159990 8

    Kinky Liqueur and Opulent Vodka are both gluten-free and delicious spirits.

    Nov 15, 2012 at 4:49 PM

  • Snooth User: antoclarke
    1160079 14

    I am a big fan of the Estrella Daura also and have taste tested most of the alternatives for our list of offerings at our Irish Pub in Annapolis, MD. The Estrella, made in Spain, has got to be one of the best and they do not even heavily market it as such. to the other comment by RCox - most Irish pubs will carry a cider on tap the most popular one here in the US being Magners whcih is made by Bulmers in Ireland but marketed here as Magners due to name ownership

    Nov 15, 2012 at 10:21 PM

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