Switching to Gluten-Free can be an overwhelmingly frustrating experience as one begins to realize the foods he or she cannot continue eating. But, what about drinks, specifically, beer?! Whether it is a sunny weekend afternoon, a social gathering or an evening after a long day of work, most of us wish to quench our thirst with an n-ice cold brewski. However, for celiacs, there’s one major problem: all beer contains gluten!
Or does it?
Recently, brewers found that they could create gluten-free beer by substituting wheat and barley with sorghum. Sorghum is a genus of numerous grass species and belongs to the sub-family of Panicoideae and the tribe of Andropogoneae (the tribe of big bluestem and sugar cane).
Anheuser-Busch now distributes their sorghum-based “Redbridge Lager” that is gluten-free! Many other breweries are following suit and are creating their gluten-free alternatives.
Fellow Celiac Pedro Gonzalez founded New Planet Brewery as a 100% Gluten-Free facility in Colorado. New Planet currently offers three beers: Blonde Ale, Pale Ale and Raspberry Ale.
Lakefront Brewery based in Wisconsin has been recognized as the first brewery to make certified organic beer. It was also the first brewery to certify a gluten-free beer with the US Government. Lakefront’s “New Grist,” is a Pilsner-styled beer with an ABV of 5.1%.
Both Lakefront and New Planet breweries have received critical acclaim at The Great American Beer Festival, which one of the most highly-regarded beer-tasting events in the world.
There are several other craft/mirco-breweries that are dedicated to making gluten-free beer. Deschutes Brewery, one of the more recognizable micro-breweries, is currently working on creating a Gluten-Free Option. The website, glutenfreebeer.org is an excellent, up-to-date resource for finding breweries that offer gluten-free alternatives.
So, is it happy hour yet?!