Having a cold beer on a hot summer day is something people around the world enjoy. Imagine having an allergy to beer and not being able to do that. If you are allergic to any of the components in the beer or intolerant to gluten, regular beer is not an option, unfortunately. You must be very thorough and check labels for ingredients. Most beers include gluten in different ranges, mostly above the limit of what is recommended for people intolerant to gluten.
Most beers contain water, malt, hops and yeast. The malt often comes from barley but also wheat and rye. These are the ingredients that make it a problem for those intolerant to gluten to drink beer. How much it will damage to drink a beer when intolerant depends on what grain it contains and how much. If you look at the most common and bestselling beers, they are highly above the limit of 20 mg per kilo. If you make an estimate on those beers, you end up between 20 and 100mg gluten per kilo of beer. The beer containing most gluten is wheat beer. In a wheat beer, scientist have measured content up to, and more than 1000mg per litre. If you look at the beers that are based on barley, more than two thirds are higher than the limit.
Warmth and strength don´t affect the gluten
There is no connection between the content of gluten and the strength or in which country the beer Is produced. Neither does the colour have any meaning. The colour comes from the type of malt that is used and how it´s treated in the process. An example is how and at which temperature you choose to dry the malt. A dark beer doesn´t equal that it contains more gluten than a light beer. Gluten is very stable and not affected in heating processes. Where you can see some effect is in the fermenting process. The fermentation can make the gluten split into smaller constituents. The biggest difference is however what type of grain that is used. Wheat is the type of grain with the highest limit of gluten which makes it the worst kind of beer for a person intolerant to gluten. Some of the people that are intolerant to gluten can be able to eat a small part of gluten every day, but no more than a maximum of 50 mg, but most of the people can´t have even a small part of gluten before they get sick.
Gluten free beer
There are beer brands in the market marked as gluten free. To be able to promote a beer as gluten free the limit of gluten must be below 20 mg gluten per kilo beer, or per litre beer. There are also beers that are completely gluten free. These are made of extracts of sorghum, rice or corn. There are lots of beers making the limit. Among the famous ones you can find beers like San Miguel for example. It is made in Spain and is sold at supermarkets, restaurants and bars. Some examples of other gluten free beers are the Finnish beers Kukko and the Belgian beer Mikkeler. As a gluten intolerant person, you need to be very careful, even if the beer doesn´t contain gluten in a higher level, it can be too much for the stomach if you consume too much.