The 2018 Gluten-Free Beer Review
What’s the best gluten-free beer you can buy? We tried them all so you don’t have to.
Editors’ Favorites: Best Gluten-Free Beer
The Gluten Free & More editorial team has celiac disease, so it’s been a long time since we’ve tasted a gluten-containing beer. We are thankful to have wonderful gluten-free options so we can enjoy a cold brew while at a summer cookout or watching a ball game. Although our palates have grown more sophisticated since starting this epic beer party, fair warning that we are not beer experts! We just taste what we love and report back to you.
Best Overall Gluten-Free Beer Brands
Listed in alphabetical order.
Ghostfish took home the title of “Best Gluten-Free Beer Brand” for 2018 in the 8th Annual Gluten Free Awards presented by the Gluten-Free Buyers Guide—and they deserved it! The beers are produced in a dedicated brewery, made from gluten-free grains and are celiac safe. You can purchase Ghostfish in stores in the Pacific Northwest and the Northeast. Outside of that, you can purchase Ghostfish online at marinamarket.com, if your state permits direct-to-consumer beer shipments. If you are in Seattle, stop by the Ghostfish taproom for delicious gluten-free food and beer.
This company out of Quebec, Canada, is taking the United States by storm with its high-quality canned beers in a variety of styles. They’re made in a dedicated brewery, made from gluten-free grains and are celiac safe based on ELISA testing. They took third place for best gluten-free beer brand for 2018 in the 8th Annual Gluten Free Awards, and it’s no surprise—except that they should have been ranked higher!
Some varieties contain tree nuts (chestnuts).
These imported Belgian beers are made from gluten-free ingredients without any top allergens. Green’s beer is outstanding in quality, full body and flavor, and that’s reflected in the high price point. Green’s is available nationwide at natural grocery retailers, distributed by Merchant Du Vin.
We’re not sure what we fell in love with first—Portland or this gastropub and its gluten-free beer. Regardless, Ground Breaker beer will transport you to your happy place. The beers are produced in a dedicated brewery, made from gluten-free grains, are certified gluten free by GFCO and are celiac safe. We love this company’s constant innovation with seasonal experimental flavors. Their award-winning beers are always tops on our list.
Contains tree nuts (chestnuts).
The advent of gluten-free beer means that every day can be a holiday. Holidaily takes this to heart, producing great-tasting gluten-free beer. Their beers are produced in a dedicated brewery, made from gluten-free grains, are certified gluten-free by GFCO and are celiac safe. You can visit their taproom in Golden, Colorado, for some fresh pours.
Lakefront Brewery, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, pioneered the gluten-free beer category. Light and refreshing, New Grist Pilsner Style and Ginger Style beers are smooth and crisp. These beers are produced in a dedicated brewery, made from gluten-free grains, certified gluten free by GFCO and are celiac safe.
Out of Boulder, Colorado, New
Planet brews gluten-free Pale Ale and Blonde Ale beers made from gluten-free grains (millet, gluten-free oats and maize) that are certified gluten-free by GFCO and are celiac safe. With a recent reformulation, we’ve seen their taste improve to become one of our favorite gluten-free beer brands. Note that New Planet’s Seclusion IPA and Tread Lightly Ale are crafted to remove gluten and may not be appropriate for those with celiac disease.
Best GF Beer by Type
Listed in order of preference.
IPAs are hugely popular and we’re loving these top brands. IPAs are known for their bitterness and these brands deliver on hoppy flavor.
#1 Ground Breaker Brewing IPA No. 5, which won silver for gluten-free beer at the 2018 World Beer Cup, is a sorghum-forward IPA with notes that will remind you of the Pacific Northwest.
#2 Ghostfish Brewing Company Grapefruit IPA, an award-winning beer, is bright and citrusy. If you’re looking for less citrus in your pale ale, try Ghostfish’s Kick Step IPA.
#3 Glutenberg IPA uses millet, buckwheat, corn and black rice for this unique pale ale that has a citrus aroma and hoppy freshness.
#4 New Planet Pale Ale is incredibly drinkable and hoppy.
#5 Evasion Brewing Hoptensity DIPA features the aromas and flavors of stone fruit in this bright double IPA.
Looking for an APA? An American pale ale isn’t easy to find gluten-free. While several brands produce one, only Glutenberg American Pale Ale makes our cut.
A blonde ale is light, balanced and drinkable and pairs so nicely with citrus notes. Is it true that blondes have more fun? Maybe in beer! We are totally impressed with the blondes and whites in gluten-free beer.
#1 Ghostfish Meteor Shower Blonde Ale is so good that it’s no surprise it won silver for gluten-free beer in the 2017 Great American Beer Festival. It’s a great overall beer and a superior blonde.
#2 New Planet Blonde Ale is a very smooth and refreshing drink.
#3 Green’s Tripel Ale has been a favorite for years—drinkable and delicious.
#4 Glutenberg Blonde has a lemony floral taste with a golden hue. It’s totally drinkable and perfect for summer.
#5 Holidaily Favorite Blonde is a more intense blonde with a malty taste.
We’re loving whites, especially for the summer, paired with gluten-free crackers and a cheese or a crudité plate. These fruit- and herb-forward beers are light and bright.
#1 Holidaily Buckwit Belgian, a Witbier, contains orange peel and coriander for summery fun. It was recently released, but we’re already seeing big things for this beer.
#2 Ghostfish Shrouded Summit Belgian White Ale contains coriander, orange peel and juniper berries to make it a crisp white beer.
#3 Glutenberg White is a refreshing Witbier-inspired beer that has flavors of spiced grains from amaranth and quinoa.
BEST Lager/Light Ale
These summer-friendly lagers are drinkable and thirst-quenching.
#1 Anheuser-Busch Redbridge is readily available and very drinkable. Is it the best beer on the market? No. However, we are very thankful that mega-brewer Anheuser-Busch has made this ground-breaking beer so everyone in the United States has access to safe gluten-free beer at an affordable price.
#2 Lakefront Brewery New Grist Pilsner Style Beer is light, clean and clear. We could easily drink a six-pack of these. We also like New Grist Ginger Style Beer for its unique snappy flavor with a pilsner body.
BEST Dark & Stout
This category includes dark ales, stouts and porter beers. We looked for strong, creamy beers that are malty and roasty. Some stouts, however, were easily overpowered by ingredients like coffee and cocoa.
#1 Ground Breaker Brewing Dark Ale won gold for gluten-free beer in 2017 and 2016 at the Great American Beer Festival and is the best dark ale on the market.
#2 Ground Breaker Brewing Paddy Porter, made with roasted chestnuts, roasted lentils, cacao nibs and dark roasted rice malt, is a strong porter—the first we’ve seen on the market.
#3 Evasion Brewing Tantamount Stout is smooth and drinkable and a perfect mix of coffee, chocolate and molasses without being overpowering.
#4 Tied: Holidaily Riva Stout and Glutenberg Stout (seasonal) are both very heavy with coffee or cocoa finishes but still drinkable.
BEST of the Rest
SOUR: Glutenberg Gose (seasonal) is the only sour beer we found that’s gluten-free and celiac safe. The addition of lemon, lime and grapefruit make this a mouth-puckering but drinkable unfiltered sour beer.
RED: Glutenberg Red is toasty without tasting burnt and has caramel notes, like a British brown ale.
GF Beer + GF Restaurant = Must Visit
The Pacific Northwest is truly the place to be for gluten-free. Ghostfish Brewing Company Taproom in Seattle and Ground Breaker Brewing Gastropub in Portland, Oregon, are dedicated gluten-free breweries and gastropubs. You can drink their limited release beer, including their seasonal beer and taproom exclusives, and also enjoy a great gluten-free meal—a winning combination.
At Ghostfish, dine in and have appetizers, a burger, “Ghostfish & Chips” fish and chips, salads, even desserts—all celiac safe. At Ground Breaker Gastropub, enjoy gluten-free baguettes with seasonal brined pickles, a charcuterie plate with their famous beer mustard, a Cubano sandwich, pizza and artisan desserts—all celiac safe.
A taproom is also the easiest place to purchase gluten-free beer—direct from the brewery. Fill your growlers with gluten-free beer or purchase cans and bottles.
Written by Erica Dermer, originally published in Gluten Free & More.