If you can’t eat gluten but still want to indulge in the occasional beer, there are actually a lot of great gluten-free beer options out there. From dark and heavy IPAs to light and fizzy lagers, you can find just about anything to satisfy your wheat and hops cravings—no need to throw in the towel and settle for cider.
It’s important to note that there’s actually a big difference between gluten-free beers and gluten-removed beers. Gluten-removed beers are made by fermenting grains that contain gluten, and then removing the gluten after the fact. Unlike truly gluten-free beers, which are made with zero gluten from the start, gluten-removed beers may still contain trace amounts of gluten, which would make them dangerous for anyone with celiac disease.
“There’s confusion in the gluten-free community about safe alcohol,” Feriha Bilgen, M.P.H. in nutritional sciences and founder of Celiac Simplified, tells SELF. She adds that current testing methods are not accurate enough to determine if/when reducing gluten in beer is 100 percent successful and what trace amounts of the proteins may still remain. In general, if you have celiac disease or any form of gluten intolerance, make sure to talk with your doctor or R.D. about what foods and drinks (including beers) may or may not be safe for you to consume.
For those who can’t have any gluten whatsoever, we rounded up some of the best gluten-free beers that are definitely worth trying. Here, gluten-free folks (who also happen to love beer) share which bottles they personally swear by. Their picks are easy to find and so delicious that even their friends who can have gluten love them, too. Here’s everything you need to know.