May marks Celiac Disease Awareness Month across the U.S., aiding support for celiacs and research for this disease. Celiac disease is a serious genetic autoimmune disorder where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine. According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, an estimate of 1 in 100 people worldwide are affected by celiac disease. Two and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications such as iron deficiency anemia,infertility, central and peripheral nervous system disorders, and even cancer.
Contrary to the belief that there are little great tasting beers available to celiacs, rest assured because there are actually many beer options available to celiacs ranging from gluten-free to gluten-removed!
Gluten-Free vs. Gluten-Removed
While gluten-free and gluten-removed beers are deemed safe for celiacs to consume, there is a difference between the two categories.
Gluten-free beers are brewed using naturally gluten-free malted grains such as corn, quinoa, buckwheat, and sorghum. Some gluten-free options are New Planet’s Pale Ale (brewed with gluten-free oats, millet, and maize) and New Grist’s Pilsner (brewed with rice and sorghum), and Holidaily’s Favorite Blonde (malted millet and buckwheat).
Gluten-removed beers may contain barley, wheat, spelt, rye, and other gluten-containing ingredients. However, these beers are acceptable for celiacs to consume since they are brewed with an enzyme that breaks down the gluten down to under 20 parts per million, acceptable to the “gluten-free” standard, according to the Food and Drug Administration [FDA]. Gluten-removed beers that are worthy of picking up include New Planet’s Tread Lightly, Stone’s IPA Delicious, Omission’s Lager, and New Belgium’s Glutiny Pale Ale.
Although the FDA states that gluten-free and gluten-removed beers are safe enough for consumption, know your level of sensitivity to your allergy and what you are comfortable with before purchasing your beer.
Not a fan of beer, there are dozens of ciders made in New York that are all 100% gluten-free such as Graft (Newburgh), Brooklyn Ciderhouse (New Paltz), Wölffer 139 (Sagaponack), and 1911 Cider (Lafayette).