It’s summer, which means it’s officially beer drinking season. And there are few greater pleasures than a cold beer while floating down the river, grilling up some burgers, or catching live music on a summer night. We did the dirty work of tasting a lot of the gluten-free beers out there (some over and over again) so we could report back with our findings. With this, we officially earn our martyr card. Crack open a cold one and cheers to good GF beers!
Green’s Quest Tripel Blonde – ★★★★☆
This Belgium-brewed ale is a sweet, fruity beer with a dry, appley finish. As one of the many GF beers coming out of Green’s dedicated-GF brewery, choose Green’s when you want a pint of Belgian-style, GF goodness.
Notes: Cider-style, sweet, green apple, edgy yeast, fruity lemon, grape, grainy notes.
St. Peter’s Sorghum Beer – ★★★★☆
An ale with a pilsner-lager twist. Think clean, crisp, citrus that goes down easy on the beach or on a boat.
Notes: orange marmalade, zesty, tropical, pale, grassy.
Redbridge Lager – ★★★☆☆
From Anheuser-Busch, this sorghum-based lager will fit right in at your local dive bar or baseball game. Think of it as the gluten-free equivalent of a Bud Light – nobody’s clamoring to get to it, but you’re glad it’s there.
Notes: Grainy, pale, balanced, moderate hops, fruity.
New Planet Raspberry Ale – ★★★★★
A beer that’s perfectly balanced and delicately sweet, we see this fruity friend pairing perfectly with a herb, spiced-based meal or a dark-chocolate dessert. Reach for it on a summer night spent on the patio for a slightly sweet, fruity nightcap.
Notes: Raspberries, orange peel, clean, crisp, refreshing.
Glutenberg India Pale Ale – ★★★★☆
Did you wake up this morning craving both a bowl of cereal and a boozy beverage? Glutenberg’s got you covered. This grainy, toasty beer with floral, fruity tones has hints of cereal and caramel packed into one beach-friendly, BBQ-ready can. Bottoms up!
Notes: millet, buckwheat, black corn, grainy, floral, fruity, medium body.
Sprecher’s Shakparo Ale – ★★★★★
A West-African style beer, this light, crisp beer is as essential to your summer vacation as a bottle of sunscreen. Pairs perfectly with sandwiches, salads, and the summer sun.
Notes: Cider/fruit profile, dry finish, sorghum, millet, comparable to wheat beer.
Lakefront New Grist – ★★★☆☆
New Grist was the first certified GF beer on the scene, and for that we’re eternally grateful. A pilsner-style beer that’s crisp and refreshing, break it out when you’re looking for something that goes down easy on a summer night.
Notes: light body, rice, sorghum, green apple, tart, pale, sweet finish
Joseph James Fox Tail Pale Ale – ★★★★★
All hail the canned gluten-free beer! Nothing makes you feel like a normal, summer-lovin’ beer drinker than a sweaty can of cold beer. This beer packs a solid punch of bitter hops balanced with notes of pear that will make any Pale Ale lover give two thumbs up.
Notes: rice-based, solid, bitter, dry cider profile, citrus, nectars.
A few words on “gluten-removed” beers…
Wondering why no gluten-removed beers made our list? It’s because gluten-removed (also known as “gluten-reduced”) beers are not proven to be safe for those with Celiac Disease. Nonetheless, new gluten-reduced beer offerings are popping up at every turn, and they’re a godsend for those who can tolerate a touch of gluten now and then. Some of our favorite craft breweries are now able to brew traditional-tasting beer and add an enzyme that breaks down the gluten into much smaller fragments. The result? Delicious, gluten-reduced craft beer that actually tastes like beer. Here are some of our favorites – and Celiac folks: we’re really sorry. Just look away and pretend we never said anything.
Omission Lager– ★★★☆☆
Omission stands out from the crowd because they are the first brewery to focus solely on crafting gluten-reduced beers. They were the pioneers of the trend, and they’re transparent and persistent in their testing, research, and education. As for their lager, it’s refreshing, crisp, and we can picture drinking it at a concert or a music festival this summer.
Notes: pale, malty, tropical, crisp, sweet, light hops.
New Belgium Glutiny Golden Ale – ★★★★☆
This golden ale pours like a glass of sunshine and delivers a full-bodied profile of flavor and aroma. Bring a six-pack to share with friends and bask in the golden glow of their disbelief when you tell them it’s a gluten-reduced beer. Pro tip: don’t miss Glutiny’s Pale Ale equivalent.
Notes: tropical hops, piney, floral, crisp, clean.
Stone Delicious – ★★★★★
Clear your calendar, this IPA demands your full attention. For the gluten-anxious IPA lover, Stone Delicious is the beer you’ve been waiting for. With a flavor profile that could inspire a novel, expect intense fruit notes that check both the tropical and citrus boxes, a wallop of hops, and that bitter kick you’ve been craving. Don’t bother pairing Delicious with a hearty meal – this rich beer is the meal.
Notes: dry-hopped brew, citrus, caramel malt, hoppy spice, assertive, bitter.
Short’s Space Rock – ★★★★★
This Michigan craft beer is just plain fun to drink. The American Pale Ale is infused with “nuggets of alien technology,” which we’re taking to mean florals, citrus, and those handy little enzymes that reduce gluten. Keep this light, hoppy ale stocked in your fridge and grab it when you need a refreshing, grassy mid-summer’s night pick-me-up. Bonus: it comes in both bottles and cans.
Notes: light, citrusy, thin body, warm, tart, balanced, crunchy hop.
That’s our Summer Beer Guide – which GF beers make your list? Shout out your area’s best GF beers in the comments below and let us know which brews we should add to our short list this summer!