Want a brew but know it will upset your stomach? Try one of these delicious gluten-free beers

Want a brew but know it will upset your stomach? Try one of these delicious gluten-free beers

Given most beer is made from malted barley or wheat, it lands squarely on the banned list when it comes to eating (and drinking) gluten-free. And while a cider may be the next best thing, it’s no replacement for a cold brew at the end of a long day.

Fortunately, a number of breweries have started producing gluten-free beers that taste pretty close to the real thing, so you can have your brew and enjoy it too. It will taste a little different from what you may be used to, because 100 per cent gluten-free beers are made from sorghum, millet, rice, buckwheat or corn, and tend to taste a little sweeter than your average bottle of Bud.

Most BC Liquor Stores and many Vancouver restaurants and bars now have at least one gluten-free beer option, so you can join your companions in a foamy cheers. Look for the following gluten-free beers.

New Grist

New Grist

The stalwart of gluten-free beers, this Pilsner-style beer made by Lakefront Brewing in Milwaukee goes down easy, and is probably the closest thing to the genuine article you’ll find – without wheat or barley on the ingredients list. Made from sorghum and rice, it was also the first gluten-free beer to be granted label approval by the US Government, and has been winning awards since 2006. It’s widely available in restaurants and at BC Liquor Stores.

Daura

Daura

This Barcelona-made lager by Estrella Damm is light, crisp and smooth, and it actually tastes a lot like regular beer. That’s because it’s made with barley malt, then stripped of gluten using a high-tech process the company developed with the National Scientific Research Council. The beer contains less than 3 parts per million (PPM) gluten (under 2o PPM is considered safe for Celiacs, though everyone’s sensitivity level can differ). It has been winning international awards since 2011, including World’s Best Gluten-free Lager at the World Beer Awards. Daura is available at Firefly Wines and Ales in Vancouver and Maple Ridge.

Glutenberg

Glutenberg

Montreal-based BSG brews a complete line of gluten-free Glutenberg beers including a Blonde, an American Pale Ale, a Red and a Belgian Double. Founded by two entrepreneurial friends in 2011, the beer quickly became a hit in Quebec and subsequently won the gold, silver and bronze awards in the gluten-free beer category at the World Beer Cup in 2012. It’s available at private liquor stores in Vancouver including Legacy, Liberty and Firefly, and served at Biercraft, St. Augustine's and the Alibi Room.

Bard's Gold
Credit: Bard's Beer

Bard's Gold

The only beer brewed with 100 per cent malted sorghum, this American lager-style craft beer by Bard’s Tale Beer Company in Minneapolis is made to exacting standards to prevent cross-contamination in grain storage and transportation. It also tastes a lot like a regular lager due to its malting process. It’s available at select BC Liquor Stores and served at The Academic Public House, Bitter Tasting Room and Yagger’s.

Mongozo
Credit: Mongozo

Mongozo

Looking for something a little more exotic? Mongozo beers are made with ingredients like coconut, mango and bananas. Its gluten-free option is a traditional pilsner with the gluten removed, and contains less than 10 PPM gluten. It’s also organic and fair-trade, and it won best gluten-free pilsner at the World Beer Awards in 2012 and 2013. Brewed in The Netherlands and distributed worldwide, it’s available in Vancouver at Biercraft.

Green's
Credit: Green's

Green's

This line of gluten-free beers, craft brewed in Belgium since 2004, is one of the largest families of gluten-free beers available. The label includes every style of beer you could want – from Pilsner to Amber to Dark Ale. Some of Green’s beers are made with de-glutenized barley malt, while others are made with a combination of sorghum, millet and buckwheat. They’re available in Vancouver at Biercraft.

Got a favourite gluten-free beer that didn’t make this list? Let us know in the comments below!