Is gluten removed the same as gluten free?

Picture of beers in the sunset. Cheers!

When searching for a refreshing gluten free beverage in the liquor store you may come across a few confusing terms. “Gluten Free” and “Gluten Removed/Reduced” are sometimes posted on certain beer and alcoholic cooler options. So what does this actually mean and can you drink these items on your gluten free diet?

You may be wondering “is gluten removed the same as gluten free?” The short answer is NO. They are not the same and it’s important to know the difference so that you can make an informed drinking decision. And to avoid a possible gluten reaction!

Keep on reading reading below to find out the differences between the two terms and if they are safe for people with Celiac disease, gluten intolerance or gluten allergy to consume.

Picture of multiple cans of beer. It's important to look at the labels and ingredients to determine if a beverage is gluten free vs gluten removed.

What does “Gluten Removed” Mean?

“Gluten removed” (AKA “Gluten Reduced”) is a label given to some alcoholic beer & coolers that are made from gluten containing ingredients such as barley, malt and wheat. The alcohol undergoes a treatment process to remove the majority of the gluten from the beverages. Unfortunately there is no way to guarantee that all the gluten has been removed in this process. This process is different from using gluten-free ingredients to make a product, as it starts with a gluten-containing ingredient and then attempts to remove the gluten.

Many companies claim that their “gluten removed” beverages contain very low levels of gluten, but since there aren’t any regulations set in place for “Gluten Removed” labels, it’s hard to know the amount you are consuming. Even a trace amount of gluten is enough to cause a reaction in many people.

Certain “gluten removed” beverages may be tolerated by some people with gluten sensitivity or intolerance, but they are not suitable for everyone. I would suggest avoiding “gluten removed/reduced” beverages if you have Celiac Disease or a Gluten Allergy as it just isn’t worth the risk. Especially when there are so many tasty certified Gluten FREE options available that are made without any gluten containing ingredients!

Certified Gluten Free symbol. It's important to look for a gluten free certification on the alcoholic beverages you choose.

What Does “Gluten Free” Mean?

Gluten-free beer & coolers are canned or bottled alcoholic beverages that are made with absolutely NO gluten-containing ingredients such as malt, barley or wheat. Not including any gluten-containing ingredients in the production process makes these beverages safe for people with Celiac Disease, a gluten allergy, or a gluten intolerance to consume.

Make sure to always look for a “Gluten Free” label on the beverage (not gluten removed!) and always check the ingredients list!

Gluten Free Coolers

Gluten-free coolers are a great choice for people who are looking for a refreshing and flavourful alcoholic beverage without the gluten. They are a great alternative to beer or other gluten-containing beverages.

Most alcoholic coolers made with natural ingredients such as purified water, natural fruit flavours, and gluten free spirits such as vodka, gin, tequila or rum. This means they are low in calories and added sugar, making them a healthier alternative to traditional coolers (although there are still many sugary options available for those with a sweet tooth!).

Gluten-free coolers come in a variety of flavours for all taste buds with options such as lime, grapefruit, raspberry, and peach (just to name a very select few). They are often carbonated to give them a refreshing, fizzy taste. But if that’s not your preference, there are some non-carbonated options on this list as well!

Click here for a list of the best gluten free alcoholic coolers available!

A pack of High Noon certified gluten free alcoholic coolers.

Gluten Free Beers

Gluten-free beer is a type of beer that is made without using gluten-containing grains such as wheat, barley, and rye. Instead, gluten-free beers are typically made using grains such as sorghum, millet, or rice, which do not contain gluten.

Some breweries also use alternative ingredients such as buckwheat, quinoa, or corn to make gluten-free beer. These alternative grains are milled and mashed in a similar way to traditional beer-making methods, but the resulting product is gluten-free.

It’s important to look for certified gluten free beers, NOT gluten reduced or removed. I recommend checking the labels carefully and doing some research beforehand to make sure the company is reputable on it’s gluten free product processes.

Click here for a list of some of the best gluten free beers available!

I hope this helped to clear up the “Gluten Removed vs Gluten Free” conundrum. Being gluten free can be difficult, but drinking a great beverage shouldn’t have to be!

Gluten Free Coolers and Beer are a perfect option to have on hand when hosting a gluten free guest or a gluten free dinner party. They also taste great with a gluten free snack!

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