Gluten is a protein that is found in many foods that we eat on a regular basis. Foods made with barley, wheat, rye, and triticale are usually heavy with gluten.
The problem we face as consumers of adult beverages is that most ingredients that contain high levels of gluten are staple ingredients in what we drink.
The good news is that brewers and distillers are taking notice to consumers who suffer from gluten allergies. Drinks like ciders and some hard liquor have always been gluten-free, whereas beer has not been.
Brewers like Bard’s, Lakefront and Anheuser Busch really started the gluten-free beer market. In fact, Anheuser Busch’s Red Bridge is probably the most recognized gluten-free beer on the market. It’s brewed with sorghum — a cereal grass that is used to make porridge — instead of barley and wheat like traditional beer.
If you’re not a fan of beer or ciders, here are some gluten-free spirit options for you:
Tito’s (corn); Chopin (potato); Ciroc (grape); Luksusowa (potato); Bombora (grape); Viking Fjord (potato).
All, except some of the flavored rums.
All, except some of the inexpensive brands.
All ciders are naturally gluten free.
And here are some of our favorite gluten-free products:
Angry Orchard Crisp Apple, $8.99 for a six-pack: Angry Orchard is a new line of ciders produced by Boston Beer Company (Sam Adams) that was released this year market-wide. The crisp apple pours a light golden color with bright apple aromas. Its clean, sweet apple flavors make you think that you’ve taken a big bite of a ripe red apple.
Fox Barrel Blackberry Pear, $7.99 for a four-pack: Fox Barrel is made with 100 percent pear juice and blackberry juice with no added sugars. These dark fruit, natural pear and blackberry flavors are the perfect blend for a balanced and refreshing adult cider.
Lakefront New Grist Beer, $8.99 for a six-pack: New Grist was the first gluten-free beer certified by the U.S. government. Instead of being brewed with wheat or barley, Grist is brewed with sorghum, rice, hops, water and yeast. This beer has hints of fruit and malt.
Estrella Damm Daura, $7.99 for a four-pack: Daura is a gluten-free beer from Spain. It is golden yellow in the pour and has fruity and earthy aromas. Daura has many complex characteristics such as fruit, biscuit, grassy and honey.
Other gluten-free beer brands: St. Peter’s Sorghum, Bard’s Tale, Sprecher Mbege and Shakparo, New Planet, Green’s and Schnitzerbrau.