Gluten Free Craft Beer
We don't advertise the Gluten Free craft beer we stock as GF unless it is clearly labelled as 'Gluten Free' on the bottle/can. We know some breweries say they brew to a Gluten Free recipe but as it hasn't been certified we don't advertise those beers as GF. There are two ways craft beer can be brewed without gluten.
GLUTEN FREE MALT
Some products that are naturally free from gluten can be used in order to produce beer such as rice, millet, quinoa, sorghum, buckwheat or maize. Rice is commonly used in the production of lagers, particularly Japanese style lagers, which gives the beer a light colour and body. These different products can, however, affect the aroma and flavour of beer, so their usage doesn’t come entirely without drawbacks.
To comply with UK standards and certification, beer needs to contain less than 20 part per million (ppm) to pass as being labelled and advertised as gluten free. To meet this standard, once the beer has been produced in its usual method, an enzyme called Brewers Clarex is added at the start of fermentation. This enzyme will break down the gluten within the beer, in an attempt to meet the grading criteria. This means that each batch of beer must be tested, regardless if it has been certified in the past. Should the beer fail to come below 20ppm, then it can be advertised as a gluten reduced beer.
As the beer has been produced using gluten-containing malts, they have to be listed in the ingredients on the can, despite the beer being certified as gluten free. Brewers Clarex, for the most part, does not affect the overall aroma, flavour, texture or quality of the beer therefore is becoming a favoured method with many brewers worldwide.