Your guide to gluten-free beers from around the world

The functional drink market continues to expand as well as products to meet growing dietary needs. Now beers are being reformulated to deliver great taste without the great-tasting ingredients that trigger symptoms of Celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

In honor of October being National Celiac Disease Awareness Month in the United States, the "World's Best Gluten-Free Beer" for 2008 and 2009 Estrella Damm Daura ($7.99/€5.80 for a 4-pack) was introduced for the first time in the US on October 18.

Premium and craft brewers have produced a number of specialty grain beers by sourcing non-gluten ingredients such as the popular buckwheat and sorghum, as well as rice, maize, corn, sunflower, amaranth, flax, millet, quinoa, teff, wild rice, soybean, ragi and rape.

Not all the beers are using specialty grains: Some like Daura have been de-glutened through the brewing process, making them not 100% gluten-free.

However Daura claims its "real beer taste" contains "less than 6 parts [gluten] per million (ppm), far below the 20 ppm required for gluten free products, according to the Codex Alimentarius, the international food and drinks standard set by the World Health Organization and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization," according to an October 18 Estrella Damm and US Beverage announcement.

These are beer ingredients you may want to avoid if you are seeking a specialty grain brew that has not undergone a de-gluten process: barley, kamut, oats, rye, spelt, triticale and wheat.

In 2010, the World Beer Awards did not have a category for the World's Best Gluten-Free Beer; however the World Beer Cup 2010 had ten nominees and awarded:

Gold: Celia Saison, The Alchemist, USA (only available on tap in Vermont)
Silver: O'Brien Brown Ale, O'Brien Brewing, Australia (AUD 64.95/€48 for 24 bottles)
Bronze: RedBridge, Anheuser-Busch, USA ($6.99/€5 for a 6-pack)

Here is a round-up of gluten-free beers from around the world adapted from blogs Bella Online, Switch 2 Gluten Free, RateBeer and No Gluten, No Problem .

Australia

Blonde (also Ginger and Apple Beers), Billabong Brewing
O'Brien Brown Ale, O'Brien Brewery
Austria

BeerUp Glutenfrei, Grieskirchen
Canada

Messagère, Les bières de la Nouvelle-France
Finland

Koff I, Sinebrychoff
Tumma Kukko, Laitilan
Germany

Residenz Bio-Reis-Gold Dunkel, Liebharts
Schnitzer Bräu
Italy

Birra 76 Bi-Aglut, Heineken Italy
Japan

Nodogoshi, Kirin
Spain
Daura, Estrella Damm
The Netherlands
Mongozo's exotic flavorded pilsners
United Kingdom
Against the Grain, World Top Brewery
G-Free, St. Peter's Brewery
Green's Endeavour Dubble, Green's
Toleration, Hambleton
United States
Bards Tale Dragons Gold, Bard's Tale Beer Company
New Grist, Lakefront Brewery
Passover Honey Beer, Ramapo Valley
RedBridge, Anheuser-Busch
Sorghum Molasses Brown, Outer Banks
Tread Lightly Ale and 3R Raspberry Ale, New Planet

The above bottles vary in price and availability depending on your local pub or market and nation's alcohol tax.

To read tasting notes on gluten-free beers, you may want to visit RateBeer.com, BeerAdvocate.com and watch: http://switch2glutenfree.com/misc/gluten-free-beer-tasting-videos/

To create your own gluten-free homebrew here are some recipes via Wikihow: http://www.wikihow.com/Homebrew-Gluten-Free-Sorghum-Beer  and FortuneCity: http://www.fortunecity.com/boozers/brewerytap/555/gfbeer/gfbeer.htm

 

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