The world of gluten-free beer can be complex if you don’t know where to start. Some argue that gluten-free means absolutely no barley anywhere in the brewing process. Being a coeliac or someone with any other gluten-related condition means being exceptionally careful to steer well clear of wheat, barley, rye and or oats in your diet.
Read on to discover our pick of the best gluten-free beers. For more like this, visit our reviews section where you’ll find 400+ buyer’s guides, including taste tests of non-alcoholic spirits and wines, plus our top low-ABV beers.
The best gluten-free beer to try
1. Magic Rock Brewing – Saucery 3.9% ABV, £2.10 (330ml can)
From the Huddersfield-based brewery Magic Rock Brewing, this lower-strength gluten-free IPA has a tropical papaya freshness. At 3.9% it’s a quaffable can, and it works alongside savoury, un-spiced food – perfect if you don’t like anything too sweet.
2. Purity Brewing – Session IPA 4.4% ABV, £3.50 (500ml can)
From Stratford-upon-Avon farm brewery site of Purity, this brew is a wonderful combination of simcoe, eureka and mosaic hops. It’s an infusion of the perfect amount of real grapefruit peel means this unfiltered, hazy beer offers some incredible tropical fruit notes, with a pleasing oaty smoothness, some sweetness and an IPA bite to finish. The eye-catching can – designed by two final year students from the Birmingham School of Art – is as much of a draw as the beer itself.
3. Birmingham Brewing Co – Witty Brummie 4.4% ABV, £3.10 (330ml can)
This complex wheat beer is bang on the beer style: cloudy in appearance and infused with orange peel and coriander spice, which sweeps across the tongue in a wave of smooth creaminess. It’s part of a wonderful range from a relatively new brewery on the block. Check the website for taproom opening dates and times.
4. Green’s – Grand India Pale Ale 5% ABV, £27 (case of 12 x 330ml)
There are awards in abundance for this beer (Free From Food Awards, Taste and an International Brewing Medal) from Greens, which brews in Belgium. Can you tell I love IPAs? The reason why is that they complement spicy foods so well – like Thai Green curries, the mildest of kormas or a warming homemade chilli.
This Grand India Pale Ale has an attractive dark amber look, with a herbal and aroma, nutty flavour and a firm bitterness, which would go down well with a chunk or two of dark chocolate. Green’s favours the use of naturally gluten-free ancient grains in their brews: sorghum, brown rice, millet and buckwheat.
5. Peroni – gluten-free lager 5.1% ABV, £6.25 (4 x 330ml)
This beer retains the famous crisp and refreshing flavour, with the touch of Italian style that has made Peroni Italy’s number one premium lager beer. It comes in 12 packs in most supermarkets. It deviates a little from its more famous sister – it uses the same ingredients but the gluten is reduced. The beer is also endorsed by the Italian Coeliac Association.
6. Wild Craft Brewing – Wild Summer 4.5% ABV, £8.50 (3 x 500ml)
A pale and hoppy ale with a light nuttiness. The English Challenger and Golding hops offers surprising bursts of citrus and fruity aromas. The quirky labels featuring the pink, long-toothed Brewbacca on all the bottles from this Norwich brewery make their entire range fun and tasty gifts for beer fans.
7. Wold Top – Against the Grain 5% ABV, £1.99 (500ml bottle)
This East Yorkshire pale is a delight for the senses: a lemony nose with a creamy mouthful make this a very drinkable beer. It’s perfect with baked salmon, mash and spring vegetables. Last year, ATG won a gold International Brewing and Cider Award for Reduced Gluten Beers.
8. Chiltern Brewery – Three Hundreds Dark Old Ale 5% ABV, £2.75 (500ml bottle)
This is a classic old ale in every sense of the word. Think dark and smooth with a toffee and raisin-like sweetness that is not off-putting, stridently nutty and bitter. It’s named after the Three Hundreds, reaching across the back of the brewery, which is based in Aylesbury.
The sophistication of this brew has earned it four Great Taste awards. At 5% ABV, this beer is perfectly suited to well-matured strong cheeses.
9. Hambleton Brewery – Gluten and Wheat Free Lager 5.2% ABV, £30.40 (16 x 500ml bottles)
I am largely unmoved by many lagers, but this really is one of the best I have ever tasted. It has a pleasant yet unobtrusively light bitterness and citrussy taste. Lager fans would never notice it was gluten free if they had to blind taste this. Produced in Ripon, it’s the world’s best-selling British Brewer Gluten Free Lager.
10. Brass Castle Brewery – Sunshine IPA 5.7% ABV, £2.60 (330ml can)
This superb beer and Free From Food Award winner is everything an India Pale Ale should be. The dry-hopping process has brought out a tantalising aroma of juicy fruits that’s followed by a stunning combination of maltiness and sweetness, and a flavour of gooseberry alongside a strong IPA bitterness. Based in Malton, North Yorkshire, Brass Castle is committed to certified gluten-free brewing.
This review was last updated in July 2020. If you have any questions or suggestions for future reviews, or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information on alcohol guidelines, read our guide to drinking responsibly.
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