Are you sure your beer’s gluten-free?

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Guest post provided by Bards Beer – www.

Gluten Reduced is not Gluten-Free

Gluten-free beers are those beers made without barley, wheat or rye (grains which contain gluten). Sorghum is the most common substitute gluten-free grain. These beers are allowed to make a gluten-free claim on their label, packaging and marketing materials. Bard’s is a gluten-free beer.

Gluten-reduced beers are those beers made with barley with the gluten reduced through the use of an added enzyme. These beers are not allowed to make a gluten-free claim on their label, packaging and marketing materials as both the FDA and TTB recognize there is no scientifically validated method to accurately determine if fermented products (beer) contain less than 20 ppm gluten – the FDA gluten-free guideline. Omission is an example of a gluten-reduced beer.

Gluten-reduced beers must make the following legible and conspicuous statement if they make any gluten-content claims.

“Product fermented from grains containing gluten and (processed or treated or crafted to remove gluten. The gluten content of this product cannot be verified and may contain gluten.”

Why This Is Important

Individuals with celiac disease or other gluten-intolerance cannot consume anything with gluten without potential adverse health consequences. A product’s label must adequately inform them of the nature of the product.

There are reports from the celiac community of individuals reacting (getting sick) after consuming gluten-reduced beers.

Dr. Stephen Taylor. Ph.D., co-director of the Food Allergy Research and Resource program at the University of Nebraska states Omission beer “may still contain pieces of gluten that are large enough to be hazardous to celiacs. No one knows for sure.”

The Gluten Free Watchdog has stated, “It is my belief that individuals with celiac disease should avoid these types of beers until the LC-MS data is released by Omission and reviewed by the true experts.”

Implications for retailers

Retail personnel need to learn about the differences between gluten-free and gluten-reduced beer to help their customers make an appropriate choice.

Off-premise retailers should separately merchandise these beers

On-premise retailers should indicate gluten-free or gluten-reduced on their menus, if either or both offered.

If an on-premise retailer offers only one choice, it should be a gluten-free beer rather than a gluten-reduced beer to better serve the celiac consumer.

– Bards Beer

PS. For a sample of 7 GF recipes that incorporate Bards Beer please email


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