More than 3 million Americans suffer from celiac disease — and brewers have taken notice. A few gluten-free American lagers have been joined on local carryout shelves by imports and craft beers made with sorghum and other nontraditional grains.
Because gluten is found in beer grains like barley, wheat and rye, many people with celiac disease can’t stomach a normal pint. An auto-immune response to the compound destroys tissue in their small intestines, causing a range of symptoms and discomforts.
But more breweries across the globe are helping celiac sufferers reclaim a stool at the bar.
“It’s something that’s trending in that direction,” said Bill Denen, operating partner at Barley Hopsters, a beer store in Delaware. “Up here, we afford people the opportunity to try a whole bunch.”
Here are some examples from the increasing range of gluten-free options available in the Columbus area.
Green’s Gluten Free Beers
Green’s is unusually ambitious and makes hearty Belgian ales with gluten-free ingredients — sorghum, millet, rice and buckwheat. The most common is the Discovery Amber Ale, though the brewery also makes the Endeavour Dubbel Ale and the Quest Tripel Ale.
St. Peter’s Brewery Co.
Located in Suffolk, United Kingdom, this beer-maker is known for odd-shaped bottles and interesting brews. Its gluten-free selection is a citrusy ale with a pilsner-like finish.
This Spanish beverage company won several awards in 2011 for its Estrella Damm Daura, which was named the World’s Best Gluten-Free Lager at the World Beer Awards.
Bard’s Tale Beer Co.
Bard’s founders, Craig Belser and Kevin Seplowitz, both suffer from celiac disease and were pioneers in gluten-free suds. Their golden lager is made from 100 percent sorghum malt.
Milwaukee is known for sticking to traditional styles, but Lakefront’s New Grist has become one of the more common gluten-free beers.
Jumping relatively early into the gluten-free game, the beer giant released the Redbridge lager in 2006.