The Difference between Gluten-Free & Gluten-Reduced

By Robin Loomis

Many of our customers at Pettyjohn’s seek gluten-free drinking options, and thankfully there is plenty of variety to choose from these days. The most important development in the gluten-free beer world has come in recent years with the development of an enzyme that eats up gluten proteins, effectively reducing gluten until it is nearly undetectable. Since some of the early gluten-removed beers (i.e. Stone’s Delicious or Omission Beers) have hit the shelves, it is ever important that the consumer knows there is a big difference between these beers: one is truly gluten-free the other has it removed after a gluten beer is made. This enzyme is even available for home brewers now through White Labs and is called “Clarity Ferm.” I personally very much enjoy the gluten-removed beers, they taste more like traditional beers and I drink them despite not having a gluten allergy. For the many who have gluten allergies I encourage you to explore these new options such as New Planet’s caned six packs, Glutiny from New Belgium and all Odd 13 beers, which are all local! For those who suffer from celiacs or have an extreme sensitivity to gluten, perhaps it is best to avoid these newer gluten-removed beers that can still cause allergic symptoms for some. True gluten-free beers can be made with all kinds of grains: oats, corn, rice, millet, buckwheat, sorghum, teff, triticale, quinoa and amaranth and tend to have a noticeably different body then most other beer. A few of the favorite gluten-free beers at Pettyjohn’s are Boulder’s own New Planet, and Spain’s Estrella Damm Daura. So come on down to PJs and check out all there is to offer in the gluten-free(or removed) world.

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