Have you recently been diagnosed with gluten intolerance, or Coeliac disease? Don’t worry, you CAN still drink beer despite what your doctor says!
I’ve written and updated a number of articles in the past about gluten free beer, not because I have a gluten intolerance and not because I have friends or family who do. No I write about it because it saddens me to hear people say they cannot enjoy beer because of gluten, and with Christmas approaching I am sure there are a few people out there wanting to “crack open a cold one“.
It is a fallacy. You can enjoy beer even if you are gluten intolerant!
Read on and I’ll discuss what options you have.
So just what is gluten sensitivity?
Gluten can be found in many common cereal grains including barley and wheat. Even consumed in small amounts gluten can trigger serious symptoms in those who suffer from Coeliac disease. Symptoms can range from feeling bloated through to diarrhea, lethargy, attention-deficit or hyperactivity as well as joint and muscle pain.
If diagnosed the typical response by your doctor will be to not eat or drink any food that contains cereal grains such as bread, pizza and beer.
Fortunately this is one time you want your doctor to be wrong. There are a number of quality products, including beer, that are produced to gluten-free standards and are safe to consume if you are gluten intolerant.
Beers that are made using rice, sorghum, buckwheat and corn instead of barley are safe to drink and will help you avoid the symptoms listed above. Some brewers will argue the mashing and fermentation process converts the proteins in barley into non-harmful amino acids but this simply isn’t true.
So avoid any beers which contain large quantities of barley and are not brewed to gluten-free standards if you’re unsure. There are a large number of beers available, including home brew kits, that are gluten-free so why take the risk? Don’t forget that most ciders are gluten-free also, meaning you latch onto the cider craze taking over Australia at the moment.
As I alluded to in the start I’ve been writing about gluten-free beer since 2006 and hopefully the following reference guide, which contains details about local support groups and a list of brewers that produce gluten-free beer in Australia, will help you if you’ve been recently diagnosed with gluten intolerance and are wondering what to do.
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