One of the biggest and most prevalent allergies and sensitivities right now is gluten. A gluten allergy can cause people to err on the side of caution when it comes to drinking. Nobody wants to sit down with an ice-cold beer to relax on a Saturday night only to find themselves in a hospital gown a few hours later. Fortunately, there are plenty of liquors and beers that are now gluten free. You just have to know which ones to suggest!
Gluten is found in wheat and certain grains, which makes it an ingredient found in most beer, though some companies are starting to take initiative to make products that are inherently gluten free. While there are very few people who are entirely allergic to gluten (Celiac disease), there are many people that find themselves sensitive to it because it is difficult for the body to break down and digest. Here are some of the best beers and liquors to suggest to someone who is gluten sensitive:
- Certain Craft Beers – While not all craft beers are gluten free, many brewers are starting to hop on the bandwagon and cater to gluten sensitive consumers. New Planet is one brewer in particular that has three gluten free brews. It is always important to check the ingredients and make sure the label actually advertises the beer as gluten free before suggesting it. Some of the biggest buzzwords for a beer including gluten are barley, wheat, and rye.
- Hard Ciders – Since hard ciders are fermented from fruit, they rarely contain wheat gluten. Products such as Angry Orchard and Woodchuck are big name brands that advertise themselves as gluten free options. Most hard ciders follow this same pattern but some will occasionally add wheat products to enhance flavor. As a note, wine is also totally okay for a gluten free diet since it is also distilled from a fruit.
- Hard Liquor – Tequila, vodka, gin, and most other hard liquors get the seal of approval since the wheat gluten is distilled out of them. It is best to check the ingredients or Google the brand in the case of flavored liquors and liqueurs, just to be safe, but the majority of hard liquor is safe.
Most importantly when you are serving someone with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is to CHECK THE INGREDIENTS. Anything with wheat in it is an automatic no. The best thing to do if you don’t know after checking the ingredients is to look it up. On the bright side, there are many different companies that are now serving (good tasting) gluten free products, which means there is a whole new group of people that you can cater to as a bartender!
Here at the Maryland Bartending Academy, we offer you one free bartending class so you can see what we’re all about. We have an open door policy with no obligation to enroll. And each of our instructors has years of bartending experience and knows the industry well. If you still need to know more, you can always request additional information.
If you have any questions about Bartending or wish to register for an upcoming class, please contact the Maryland Bartending Academy by calling 410-787-0020 or visit MarylandBartending.com today!
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