With summer and backyard barbecue season now upon us, we at Hudson Allergy know that our patients are itching (no pun intended) to get outdoors and make the most out of the weather. You’ve probably got an invite to an outdoor bash waiting in your email right now. Don’t let a gluten intolerance get in the way of your good time.
Gluten is a protein found in many grains, including wheat, barley and rye (common ingredients in beer). Celiac disease is a hereditary autoimmune disorder that affects the digestive process causing damage in the small intestine and leading to inflammatory changes to other body tissues. A gluten intolerance or gluten allergy causes the body to mount a time-limited response that’s different from that which occurs in people with celiac disease. Gluten intolerance will cause the body to respond to a food likely through a cascade of inflammatory mediators; however, it will usually not cause lasting damage to body tissues.
While few people have a true intolerance to gluten, millions of people still follow a gluten-free diet and might be worried about missing out on a summer party staple – good beer. Thankfully many breweries are sensitive to those who wish to eliminate gluten from their diets and have developed new gluten-free beers.
Here are our favorite gluten-free beers that are safe for our patients to enjoy.
Tweason’ale from Dogfish Head
Brewed with fresh strawberries, sorghum and honey, this ale comes in a 4-pack and is available year-round. A mild sorghum base replaces the more traditional barley.
Anything from New Planet Beer
According to their website, this Colorado-based brewery specializes in certified gluten-free craft beer and offers an array of ales that are brewed from 100% gluten-free ingredients. New Planet Beer also processes their beers with care in order to avoid cross contamination and regularly tests their products to be sure they meet compliance standards.
New Grist from Lakefront Brewery
This session ale is brewed without wheat or barley, and each batch is tested for its gluten contents before it’s bottled and shipped out.
Redbridge from Anheuser-Busch
This gluten-free lager, brewed from sorghum, is from the biggest name in the industry. Sorghum is an old world grain that’s safe for people with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance.
Anything from Wood Chuck Cider
Hard ciders are naturally gluten-free because they are made from apples and no grains, so those looking to steer clear of gluten are free to indulge. Wood Chuck Cider is available in all 50 states and has had each of its styles of ciders tested and declared gluten-free.
It’s important to note that some beers that are billed as gluten-free are actually more accurately described as “gluten removed.” Gluten removed beers are still barley-based but the gluten protein is hydrolyzed (broken down) to remove barley peptide fragments, which makes it safe for drinkers with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau ruled that “gluten removed” beers cannot be labeled as gluten-free because the current methods of testing cannot verify the full removal of gluten from these beers.
Omission Beer is a brewery that specializes in gluten removed beers. While many people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance may drink gluten removed beers without experiencing symptoms, some may still have a reaction. Be sure to check the labels of any beer you enjoy.
Do you have more questions or concerns about gluten-free products? Get in touch! Or, if you’re looking for an allergist, we’d love to meet you. We can be reached at 212-729-1283 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.