Monday, February 27, 2012

Gluten Free Alcohol!! What's Safe??

When seeking information nowadays, where does one turn?  Wikipedia,(and google) of course!  As a Celiac, it's so very important to have a completely gluten free life, but, you're alive and want to have fun too! Important to know, is what you can and cannot drink! 

I turned to Wikipedia, where I found a great breakdown of what alcohols are gluten free.  Specifically, I was very curious if all wines are gluten free, whether the sulfites and corks are an issue, which alcohols besides the obvious beer do us Celiacs have to stay away from and much more...  Keep reading to get the low down!

Here's what Wikipedia had to say.

Several celiac groups report that according to the American Dietetic Association's "Manual of Clinical Dietetics"[37][38] many types of alcoholic beverages are considered gluten free, provided no colourings or other additives have been added as these ingredients may contain gluten. Although most forms of whiskey are distilled from a mash that includes grains that contain gluten, distillation removes any proteins present in the mash, including gluten. Although up to 49% of the mash for Bourbon and up to 20% of the mash for corn whiskey may be made up of wheat, or rye, all-corn Bourbons and corn whiskeys do exist, and are generally labeled as such. Spirits made without any grain such as brandywinemeadcidersherryportrumtequilaand vermouth generally do not contain gluten, although some vineyards use a flour paste to caulk the oak barrels in which wine is aged,[39] and other vineyards use gluten as a clarifying agent (though it's unclear whether gluten remains at the end of the clarification process).[40][41] Therefore, some coeliacs may wish to exercise caution. Liqueurs and pre-mixed drinks should be examined carefully for gluten-derived ingredients.
While many spirits were traditionally made without grain, such as tequila, rum and vodka, today they are more commonly made with barley, wheat or rye (instead of agave, sugar or potatoes, et cetera). Often, only high-end specialty alcoholic brands are made with what are considered the traditional ingredients. In addition, many people diagnosed with celiac disease still experience symptoms when drinking distilled alcoholic beverages. Therefore, it is advised that a person with celiac disease check with a manufacturer about the ingredients that have been used in a hard liquor, and to proceed with caution if choosing to drink a liquor that is made with wheat, barley, oats or rye.[citation needed]
Almost all beers are brewed with malted barley or wheat and will contain gluten. Sorghum and buckwheat-basedgluten-free beers are available, but remain a niche market. Some low-gluten beers are also available, however there is disagreement over the use of gluten products in brewed beverages: Some brewers argue that the proteins from such grains as barley or wheat are converted into amino acids during the brewing process and are therefore gluten-free;[42] however, there is evidence that this claim is false.[43]
Want all of this in a handy dandy list?! takes care of that for you (I've copied the relevant portion below with some great suggestions and added some of my own commentary for you)!  

  • Armagnac - made from grapes.
  • Beer - A number of premium and craft brewers now produce specialty grain gluten-free beers using non-gluten ingredients such as buckwheat, sorghum, rice, corn, etc. Not all the beers listed below use specialty grains, and some of them have had the gluten removed using special filters and/or enzymes, and in such cases they may not be 100% gluten-free (although each claims to test below 20 PPM gluten). 

    • Against the Grain, World Top Brewery (United Kingdom)
    • Bards Tale Dragons Gold, Bard's Tale Beer Company (USA)
    • BeerUp Glutenfrei, Grieskirchen (Austria)
    • Birra 76 Bi-Aglut, Heineken Italy (Italy)
    • Blonde (also Ginger and Apple Beers), Billabong Brewing (Australia)
    • Daura, Estrella Damm (Spain)
    • G-Free, St. Peter's Brewery (United Kingdom)
    • Green's Endeavour Dubble, Green's (United Kingdom)
    • Koff I, Sinebrychoff (Finland)
    • Lammsbräu, Neumarkter (Germany)
    • Messagère, Les bières de la Nouvelle-France (Canada)
    • Mongozo's exotic flavorded pilsners (The Netherlands)
    • New Grist, Lakefront Brewery (USA)
    • Nodogoshi, Kirin (Japan)
    • O'Brien Brown Ale, O'Brien Brewery (Australia)
    • Passover Honey Beer, Ramapo Valley (USA)
    • RedBridge, Anheuser-Busch (USA) -- Gluten Free Beat LOVES RedBridge!
    • Residenz Bio-Reis-Gold Dunkel, Liebharts (Germany)
    • Schnitzer Bräu (Germany)
    • Sorghum Molasses Brown, Outer Banks (USA)
    • Toleration, Hambleton (United Kingdom)
    • Tread Lightly Ale and 3R Raspberry Ale, New Planet (USA)
    • Tumma Kukko, Laitilan (Finland)

  • Bourbon - Makers Mark
  • Brandy
  • Champagne
  • Cider - fermented from apples or other fruits. Some are safe, however, many add barley for enzymes and flavor.

  • Cognac - made from grapes.
  • Gin
  • Grappa
  • Kahlua
  • Kirschwasser (cherry liqueur)
  • Margarita Mix:

    • Jose Cuervo.
    • Mr. & Mrs. T.

  • Martini:

    • Club Extra Dry Martini (corn & grape).
    • Club Vodka Martini (corn & grape).

  • Mead - distilled from honey.
  • Mistico:

    • Jose Cuervo Mistico (agave and cane).

  • Mixes & Cooking Alcohol:

    • Club Tom Collins (corn).
    • Dimond Jims Bloody Mary Mystery.
    • Holland House - all EXCEPT Teriyaki Marinade and Smooth & Spicy Bloody Mary Mixes.
    • Mr. & Mrs. T - all Except Bloody Mary Mix.
    • Spice Islands - Cooking Wines - Burgundy, Sherry and White.

  • Ouzo - made from grapes and anise.
  • Rum
  • Sake - fermented with rice and Koji enzymes. The Koji enzymes are grown on Miso, which is usually made with barley. The two-product separation from barley, and the manufacturing process should make it safe for celiacs.
  • Scotch Whiskey
  • Sherry
  • Sparkling Wine
  • Tequila
  • Vermouth - distilled from grapes.
  • Vodka
  • Wine - all wines, including port wines and sherry, are safe for celiacs.
  • Wine Coolers:

    • Bartle & James - their wine-based beverages (EXCEPT their malt beverages - read the label carefully!).
    • Boones - their wine-based beverages (EXCEPT their malt beverages - read the label carefully!)

    What's your favorite gluten free alcohol?  


    1. I am soooooo happy you made this site I just found out I am a celiac and this is soooooo helpful! Especially since my 21 is this month!

    2. Happy Happy Bday! Drink safe!! Let me know what you try!