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Are You Drinking Truly Gluten-Free Beer?

If you're living gluten-free, you know how important it is to scrutinise food and drink labels. But when it comes to beer, the labels might not be telling the whole story. In the UK, a beer can be labelled as "gluten-free" if it contains less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. This is based on testing methods like the R5 Competitive ELISA, which is commonly used for measuring gluten content.

But here's the catch. Many beers labelled as "gluten-free" are actually made from barley or wheat, which naturally contain gluten. These grains undergo a process to remove the gluten and bring it below the 20 ppm threshold. The issue lies in the fact that the R5 ELISA test, while effective for many products, can struggle to accurately measure gluten in these processed, hydrolysed or fermented products.

is this gluten free?
To add to this, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has stated that the R5 ELISA test is not suitable for these types of products. This means that the regulations for labelling a product as "gluten-free" are different between the UK and the U.S.

So, what does this mean for you, a consumer of gluten-free beer? It means there's a potential risk. Even if a beer is labelled as "gluten-free", if it's made from barley or wheat, there's a chance it could contain more gluten than you'd expect.

This is where "No Gluten-Containing Ingredients" (NGCI) beers come in. These beers are made without any gluten-containing grains from the outset. They're a safer choice for those with coeliac disease or a gluten intolerance, and they offer peace of mind that you're not unknowingly consuming gluten.

At AltGrainCo, we believe in clarity and honesty. We make our beers from ingredients that don't contain gluten, ensuring a truly gluten-free product. We're committed to creating beers you can trust, without compromising on taste.

We believe it's crucial for consumers to have the correct information to make informed choices about their diet. While the "gluten-free" label can be helpful, it's important to dig a little deeper. Look for beers labelled as NGCI for a truly gluten-free experience.

In the end, it's about making sure that you can enjoy a pint without the worry. We're hopeful that as understanding of gluten testing improves, so too will labelling regulations. Until then, choose wisely, choose NGCI, and enjoy your beer with confidence.