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?

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-OK. 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, Wis., 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, N.Y. Is available locally but can also be purchased online.


— Sara Kay, The