Sunday, October 3, 2010

Gluten in alcoholic drinks

The gluten content of alcoholic drinks depends upon both the primary source of the beverage (wheat, grapes, hops, rye, barley, sugar, etc) and how much it has been distilled. Finally, the gluten content will also depend upon any additives.

The gluten-free alcohol list

Gluten-free alcohol includes those made from grapes and berries:








The MAYBE gluten-in-alcohol list

Many spirits and liquors are made from fermentation of grains: wheat, rye and barley. But the distillation process removes just about all of the gluten proteins. However, residual amounts of gluten will add to the flavour. So these sorts of drinks must be suspect.

Generally, there are insignificant amounts of gluten in distilled alcohols. However, those who are super-sensitive to gluten do report bad reactions to these grain-based spirits. So – if you experience a gluten-tummy or gluten-brain from a new drink, then be suspicious.

The gluten drinks - beer

Beer! Avoid beer! The basic ingredients of beer are water, barley malt, hops, and yeast. This is brewed with malt (from barley) which contains gluten. Beer is a liquid that is: yeast fermented, hop flavoured and malt sugared. The major variation in beer is the type of yeast used in the fermentation process. Unfortunately, gluten proteins do remain in the beer.

Gluten-free beer

There are some gluten-free beers now available. Look out for them

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  1. What are your thoughts on distilled vinegar made from gluten grains?

  2. Can you give some references about the residual gluten in distilled alcohol? Everything I have read says that gluten does not get through the distillation process.