The Brewing of Beer
The process of brewing beer is not a simple one. It takes a series of biochemical reactions to convert barley to fermentable sugars. The fermentation of beer usually involves four main ingredients. These are-
- Water- Considered as the main ingredient of beer, which comprises of 90% of beer.
- Hops- The bitter taste of the beer that you feel is because of this ingredient. This is a type of flower that adds a unique taste to the beer.
- Grains- This is an ingredient that acts as the source of sugar for fermentation. These grains are the reason why beer contains gluten. Some of the common grains used for fermentation are barley, wheat, and rye.
- Yeast- These are single-celled organisms that convert these grains into alcohol and carbon dioxide through the process of fermentation.
In the middle ages, beer became a staple drink. It was made with only these ingredients without any preservatives. But as time went by, breweries now add other grains, flavorings, and additives to the beer for their unique colors, tastes, and aromas.
Gluten in Beer? Really?
As discussed above, a combination of four ingredients is brewed to beer. Out of these four ingredients, grains such as barley have high gluten content. Instead of barley, wheat is also used which has a high content of gluten.
Do you know how the amount of gluten in beer is measured? It is measured in parts per million (ppm). Conventionally, brewed beer contained more than 20 ppm of gluten. The average gluten content of common types of beer is discussed below-
- Lager- 63ppm
- Stout- 361 ppm
- Ales- 3,120 ppm
- Wheat beer- 25, 920 ppm
“Gluten Bad for Some”. Why?
Yes. That’s right. Eating gluten can be harmful to a specific group of people, especially those suffering from celiac disease or “gluten intolerance”.
Furthermore, these people suffer from symptoms such as inflammation and damage. Celiac disease is an autoimmune response disorder in the body that is triggered by eating gluten.
As soon as a person with celiac disease consumes gluten, the protein damages a part of the small intestine called villi. This ultimately prevents the intestine to absorb the nutrients from food.
Hence, this ultimately leads to malnourishment and a plethora of other issues such as cancer, thyroid disease, osteoporosis, infertility and a host of other autoimmune diseases.
Also Read: Red Wine. Is it good for health?
Varieties of Gluten-free
In most countries, the amount of gluten-content in the beer should be less than 20 ppm to be gluten-free. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), individuals suffering from celiac diseases are allowed to consume this level of gluten without any adverse effects.
In order to cater to a larger segment of the market, breweries have found more new ways to separate the gluten from the beer.
Some breweries make this beverage naturally from rice, corn, sorghum or millet which are gluten-free grains. While others have developed advanced techniques to reduce the gluten in the conventional beer, thereby making gluten-removed beer.
Note- There is no strong evidence that backs up the fact that gluten-free beer is safe to drink for patients of celiac diseases. There is no test that verifies the amount of gluten present in gluten-free beers.
10 Gluten-Free Beers With Good Taste
We’ve got you covered if you are looking for something organic or on a gluten-free diet. Check the following gluten-free beers below.
- Omission’s Pale Ale
It is prepared by brewing the regular barley and then removing the gluten afterward. This is a well-balanced beer made from hops and malts with a slight hint of hops and malts.
- Steadfast Golden Blonde Ale
This beer is brewed with sorghum instead of barley. Steadfast adds honey to its beer which gives it a unique taste.
- Omission IPA
If you want to drink a gluten-free fiber that is not short on flavor, then you should try this. It has a piney taste with a nice balance of citrus.
- Ipswich Ale Celia Saison
This has an orangey flavor due to the orange peel used while brewing. Hazy golden yellow in color, it also has a peppery taste.
- Green’s Amber Ale
This is a very common drink amongst patients with celiac diseases. Green’s only produce gluten-free beer.
- Green’s Dubbel Darl
This is the world’s first dark ale which is produced without barley. It tastes like typical dubbels which are toffee and molasses.
- Estrella Damm Daura
Similar to a style of Euro lager, this beer has a malty, fruity and hoppy taste.
- Bard’s Tale Dragon’s Gold
This gluten-free beer is made of sorghum instead of barley. It has a nice golden color with a sweet aroma.
- Brunehaut Ambree
It has a unique taste which makes it one of the most preferred gluten-free beer. The uniqueness is due to the mixing of mildly spiced hops and a slightly sweet flavor.
- Dogfish Head Tweason’ale
Made with sorghum, this has an overpowering strawberry and honey taste. It is the most unique and favored gluten-free brew on the market.
- Lakefront New Grist
Similar to other gluten-free beers, this beer is also made of sorghum. This has a fruity flavor with a hint of green apple.
Disclaimer- This list of items shared above is solely for informative purposes. Pristyn Care doesn’t endorse any of the above products or supports the practice of drinking alcohol.
Also Read: How does alcohol affect Crohn’s Disease?
Finding a Gluten-free beer
Gluten-free beer is gaining popularity. Unfortunately, finding one is very difficult. Here is a check-list you can follow when you want to get a gluten-free beer.
- To check presence of gluten, read the packaging carefully when you go to buy gluten-free beer.
- To know whether the product is gluten-free or not, look for phrases or symbols.
- If you are unable to figure out if the beer contains gluten or not, you can contact the manufacturer directly.
Beer produced using grains such as barley, wheat or rye contains gluten. This can create symptoms in patients suffering from celiac diseases.
Furthermore, continuous drinking of beer can cause other ailments of the digestive system such as Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis.
These might require surgeries to completely cure the problem. In such cases, you can opt for gluten-free options. Although there are plenty of gluten-free options available, which might not be safe for celiac disease patients.