The 12 Best Gluten Free Beer and Cider Brands

Happy Oktoberfest, friends! Since ’tis the season for both Sunday football and Bavarian day drinking, I wanted to take a little time away from wings and cheese bread to talk about the second most important part of your fall recreational meals: beer. Specifically, for us special diet folks, gluten-free beer and cider brands that will help you blend in with the crowd, regardless of whether said crowd is wearing jerseys or lederhosen.

The Best Gluten-Free Beer and Cider Brands (available in US and Canada) | Feed Me Phoebe I’ve recently hit my 5 year gluten-free anniversary. Which is crazy, because it feels like a lifetime ago that I could go to a sports bar and actually eat something besides peanuts. The things I miss most are still bread baskets, fried clams on the side of the road, and homemade pastas at hole-in-the-wall red sauce joints. But each summer, beer moves to the top of the list.

Sure, when it’s warm outside and you’re feeling like a little mid-afternoon siesta, without loosing your mental cool, there’s nothing better than a cold frosty beer. But for me it’s really the social aspect – porpoising by the pool, relaxing next to a red cooler at the beach. A vodka soda just doesn’t cut it under those conditions, unless you plan on your mid-afternoon siesta turning into a 12 hour nap.

At least during summertime, there’s rose to the rescue. But for fall tailgating and Munich-style merrymaking, you’re better off finding an adequate replacement for the contents of that boot-shaped stein.

Gluten free beer can sometimes be hard to find, and though I’m usually a pretty good planner when it comes to packing a whole loaf of gluten-free bread in my weekend bag, I often forget to prepare for what I’m drinking with it. Luckily, gluten-free cider beers are a lot easier to come by, especially thanks to so many great craft brands cropping up that your gluten-free friends might actually want to sample too.

Read on for some of the best gluten-free beer brands (I included recommendations from long-time gluten-free friends and readers), and my favorite ciders. Some are more niche than others, so I made sure to keep a few mainstream ones on the list in case you find yourself thirsty from all those peanuts at a sports bar.

Have I missed any of your favorites? Please let me know in the comments! Looking for the best Gluten-Free hard liquor? I have a great list here.

Xo
Phoebe

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The Best Gluten-Free Beer and Cider Brands | Canada & US

Omission
For those who used to drink Sierra Nevada as their summer beer, this is the GF IPA for you. Unlike some of the other brands, it uses a gluten-removal process. If you’re extremely sensitive, proceed with caution. I’ve never reacted to it, but have heard from some celiacs that the removal process still leaves some slight traces. If you can tolerate it though, the lager is the closest thing to the real deal.

Magners
I would consider this the Bud Light of ciders. It’s the most widely available at bars, and probably the most widely consumed by people who can drink the rest of the tap options if they wanted to. Still, I put Magners towards the top of the list because of it’s drinkability, which is kind of what you want in a go-to beverage….otherwise, why would people drink Bud Light?

New Grist
My friend Oliver, who’s had CD for over a decade, says that this is his all-time favorite. In the early days of my gluten-free-dom, when I was reeeeally unprepared, I would often steal from Oliver’s beer stash at parties. I didn’t pay much attention to the brands, but I assume this is probably what I was drinking, and it wasn’t bad at all. It tastes like a standard ale.

Down East
This cider has been cropping up more frequently on the East Coast. It’s unfiltered, so you’ll noticed a more cloudy consistency. The flavor is delicious if you like your ciders slightly on the sweeter side. It’s not as cloying as Angry Orchard and some of the other mainstream brands.

Green’s
I haven’t tried this one. But it was recommended to me by my acupuncturist, Heidi, who claims that non-glutards like it as well. She’s never led me astray on any GF recommendation (I am forever grateful for an awesome pizza joint called Mozzerellis), so I’m going to take her word for it. beers2

Anthem
This craft cider produced in Oregon has a nice balanced sweetness. Like many smaller-scale operations, the finish is drier than what you’ll get from the big commercial brands like Woodchuck or Angry Orchard.

Woodchuck (original)
This is my go-to cider whenever I’m buying at a store or bodega on the East Coast. You’re also likely to find it on many restaurant menus. It’s a bit on the sweeter side now that my palette has adjusted to some of the newer craft ciders, but has great flavor – a little bit heavier and more concentrated than Magners. I would equate the difference to how Coke tastes from the soda machine versus the bottle. I will note: I accidentally picked up the “summer” version once and it was undrinkable. It had blueberry flavoring in it, and that is clearly not my thing.

Bard’s
This is a sorghum-based craft beer. It’s a bit harder to find, but a great option if you don’t mind seeking it out.

Schilling Cider
This niche cider is harder to come by, but if you’re on the West Coast you might see it on restaurant menus. I tried it for the first time at Joule in Seattle and was blown away. It’s definitely on the drier side, so don’t expect to satisfy your sweet tooth with this one.

Crispin
With a nice clean (dare I say, crisp?) finish, this cider is one of my go-to’s. Even though the company is based in California, it’s fairly easy to find nationwide. If you love pear, their Pacific Pear flavor is top notch.

New Planet
If you’re an IPA lover, this craft gluten-free beer company out of Boulder has a great option for you. I’ve also tried their blonde ale, and it tasted great without being overpowering.

Domaine Dupont
This French cider maker is considered the most artful in the business. For a special occasion meal at home, consider picking up a bottle. It’s organic, extremely dry and nuanced — like a fine wine!

Click here for my full list of The Best Gluten-Free Hard Liquors

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79 Responses to The 12 Best Gluten Free Beer and Cider Brands

  1. GW says:

    Strongbow and Crispin ciders are near the top for me. They’re a bit dryer than Magners, which means no sugary aftertaste. Everybody should try them, with some ice!

    • Thanks GW! Yeah I don’t know why I don’t drink as much Strongbow. I think it reminds me of highschool and college, pre-GF, of ordering it when I didn’t really want to get drunk. Mike’s hard of cider? But it’s nothing against the taste I suppose!

  2. Dave says:

    Great list. Thanks for putting it together!

    I’ve not had Strongbow, but I’ll second the Crispin and Woodchuck ciders. New Grist is light and summery, but a bit too acidic for my taste. Bard’s is good, but I like Redbridge better and I can find it at almost any place that has a GF menu.

    Omission is the big taste winner to me – brewed like a “normal” IPA and then the gluten is removed by an enzyme that was designed to remove chill haze. So it’s real beer that just happens to be GF.

    • I’ve had crispin too and it’s delicious. I don’t know why I didn’t add it to the list – maybe because it feels fancier and less everyday? Glad you guys are talking about it though. Taste-wise, it’s a total winner for cider.

    • Andrew says:

      Omission, though tasty, is not technically gluten-free. It is gluten reduced. This is also clearly stated on Omission’s website as their beer “may contain gluten”. It’s just important to be aware of this as some people are highly sensitive and may not like the side effects, especially if they thought it was “safe”. Otherwise, I find that the Pale Ale is much better than the Lager!

      • Interesting. It was recommended by one of my celiac friends who hasn’t had a problem. but a very important caveat. Thank you for mentioning!

      • Kathleen in Baltimore says:

        I definitely love the taste of Omission; however, I’m always glutened and sick the following few days! Beware, it does contain gluten, as its packaging states- “May contain gluten”

  3. Bailey says:

    love this! beer is what i covet in the summertime and my absolute favorite is Daura Estrella. you can find it at whole foods and some harris teeter’s along the east coast. i personally love it because it reminds me amstel light- here’s their website! http://www.estrelladamm.com/en/daura_gluten_free_beer/

  4. Anna K. says:

    Love angry orchard apple & ginger blend, I think they may be around me (northwestern mass) somewhere because they seem to have it on tap all over the place and it’s just so nice and refreshing.

  5. Kim says:

    Love this list. Thanks for the recommendations!

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  7. McKenzie says:

    New Planet beer is another great gluten free beer! It’s not widely available, but the raspberry is definitely the best of the varieties that I’ve tried. http://www.newplanetbeer.com/

    I second the vote for Crispin. I also really like Original Sin & Scrumpy’s http://organicscrumpy.com/.

    • Thank so much for the recs, McKenzie! Will definitely try the new planet. xo

      • Brad says:

        I honestly can’t say enough about New Planet. I’ve tried a majority of the gluten free beers out there. My main issue is that by the secondone of the night i’m done with the flavor and dont want that beer again for along time. new Planet is different, it feels a lot more like a normal beer to me. i’ve literally embraced this like it was a long lost relative or something. my fridge is never without it. There are 5 different varieties that they’ve come out with and they’re all amazing. Popping up in a majority of liquor stores including chains like bevmo and total wine. They’re also in sprouts and whole foods. As interesting(disgusting) as this might sound, their raspberry beer with OJ is like a non-headachy version of a mimosa with more flavor (ratio is somewhere around 50/50 beer to oj). I had a chance to meet with a few people that work there, and they’re incredibly warm welcoming, nice and most importantly knowledgable about gluten free anything. The owner is Celiac and is extremely sensitive. Again highly recommended. Varieties include a pale ale, blonde, the raspberry, Belgian and a brown. The brown is amazing, it reminds me why i enjoy beer, which i never thought i would again after being diagnosed celiac.

        • Brad! Thank you so much for the great info. It comes at the perfect time: I just received an amazing care package from New Planet and can’t wait to crack open one of the brown ales to try. I foresee an addendum to my list. Love the idea of the beer mimosa. Thank you so much for sharing your GF wisdom with me + my readers! – P

  8. Connie says:

    Foxbarrel is my cider of choice…. Love all the different flavors. I prefer pear to apple ciders.

  9. Debs says:

    Another amazing gluten-free beer is by Dogfish – it has a tricky label that doesn’t clearly look gluten-free (it is in funky print), but you should really try this one:
    http://www.dogfish.com/brews-spirits/the-brews/seasonal-brews/tweasonale.htm

  10. Trace says:

    In Canada (and perhaps in the States as well) we get a beer called Against the Grain. It’s sometimes difficult to find, but well worth the search. I am almost 2years GF as well, and beer is #1 on the list of things I truly still miss the most. Thanks for your list, though. (PS – love your site)

  11. Weezee says:

    Estrella Damm is wonderful if you like a more full-bodied, darker-tasting brew.

    I also tried Redbridge recently, a sorghum-based beer by Anheuser-Busch that was good but definitely not a light-tasting beer.

    I would love a calorie count list along with the gluten-free beer. I think many of the ciders have upwards of 300 calories per bottle and a TON of sugar. Yikes!

  12. Diana says:

    The only one we have available in our area is Redbridge beer, and I actually really like it! There is only one restaurant in town that serves it but there are a couple of grocery stores that carry it.

  13. Kerry says:

    Greens Amber Ale is definitely my new favourite. Don’t feel like I’m being deprived of the real beer taste when drinking it. I have also tried New Grist and did not enjoy it. Still siting in the fridge. 🙁

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  15. Leta Rogers says:

    i love Omission, and also New Planet’s Belgian Ale helps me from morosely mourning Fat Tire’s Trippel lack in my life:

    http://www.newplanetbeer.com/gluten-free-beer/belgian-ale/

  16. Steffen says:

    Hi, beside the various GF labelled beers I can recommend Corona – the regular Corona you can get anywhere which is probably half-price to Omission & Co.

    I just started a website for beer lovers who are sensitive to gluten or diagnosed with CD. I tested Corona with a gluten home test kit where the detection limit in beer is around 1-2 ppm. And it was negative. You can find the complete test with pictures here: http://www.lowgluten.org

  17. Steffen says:

    I don’t know how they do this. They still list barley malt in the ingredients but it seems to be confirmed by some professional assays that it contains no gluten. Please see here a Swedish study, page 14: http://www.slv.se/upload/dokument/rapporter/kemiska/Gluten_i_maltdrycker_SLV-rapport-3_2013.pdf
    It says something like: no gluten in all three analysed samplesof Corona

    I also tested Heineken using another test kit which works with thresholds. Carlsberg and some German beers are next on my list. But as most of my visitors are from the US I will test Bud, Miller etc. very soon. Stay tuned.

  18. MB says:

    After trying a sorghum based beer from Trader Joe’s (Im spacing on the name) I definitely appreciate how good the Omission beers are in comparison. One note regarding the ciders too – the Magners comes in with 11g of sugar while the Angry Orchard was around 30g if I am remembering correctly. IMO Magners is the better tasting option and with 20g less sugar per bottle, there is no reason I would go back for another A.O. cider.

    • That’s so good to know, MB! I actually have always felt magners felt the lightest and least sugary. Good for people who are watching their sugar intake. Thanks for the advice!

  19. Suzanne says:

    I just want to warn people to be very wary of claims that things like Corona are “secret” gluten-free options, unless you have a testing kit and know you level of sensitivity. I tried Corona a few times, elated at the “news” that the gluten was not supposed to have survived the brewing process (the rumor-spreaders’ claim not the company’s). The first two times I had one, and did not notice any symptoms, but the third time, I had two in one sitting, and felt sick (like a major, unwarranted hangover) for about 2-3 days, so I’ve decided not to mess with non-gluten-free beers. Corona is probably best for people with very mild sensitivities. The same thing happened to me with a lesser-known variety of Guinness my celiac friend had researched and said he had no symptoms (he always seemed more sensitive than me). It’s possible I am more sensitive to the gluten in barley (vs. wheat) than some people, but now I take no chances. My favorites have been Green’s and Bard’s. My favorite cider is Strongbow.

  20. DM says:

    I love mad bark cider. They have awesome seasonal flavors. My sister loves the peach one in the summer and I am a huge fan of the winter apple cinnamon one that tastes like pie.

  21. Nikki says:

    I Live In Canada And I Have Tried The following Kinds Of Gluten Free Beer:

    Bard’s – Decent
    Mongozo – My Favourite So far
    Estrella Daura – Second On My list
    Glutenberg – Did Not like
    Lazy Mutt – Awful
    La MessagerG
    New Grist
    I’vE Only Tried The Last Two Once, But They Were Pretty Good, I Would Buy Them Again.

    (Sorry Abou The Capitalization, My Phone Is Acting Up)

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  23. Ethan says:

    I bought some Peak Organic IPA from Whole Foods and the cardboard box said Gluten-free but their website does not mention it. =/

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  27. amy says:

    For cider lovers out there, I highly recommend Samuel Smith’s Organic Cider – I prefer a dry cider, like Magners or Original Sin, but I think the Sam Smith’s tops those.

    And Omission’s Pale Ale is pretty darn good – thanks to whoever pointed out that some people may not be able to tolerate it since there may be traces of gluten.

    *Some ciders may also have trace amounts of gluten, due to the yeast being used – but if you look at the US vs European standards for parts per million (ppm) of gluten to be considered GF, the European standard allows a bit more. just interesting.

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  30. Kimberley says:

    Be careful with the Omission beer I tried it it got sick quickly which tells me Gluten!
    So if you can not handle gluten this is a bad choice!

  31. Gil says:

    Check our BSG (Brasseurs San Gluten) from Montreal – distribute across Canada and US .. http://glutenberg.ca/usa/locations

  32. JS says:

    I’ve been gluten free for 5 years. I MISS real beer. Omission is the best for me (not sure how someone got sick off of that since it’s specifically created as a gfree beer but stranger things have happened. I just found out about this tea fermented gfree beer out of Columbus Ohio. I hope to try it this week when I visit Columbus. Check it out 🙂

    http://lunakombucha.com

    Happy gfree beer hunting!

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  34. Dave says:

    The beers made with traditional ingredients like Omission and Estrella Damm are not able to remove all the gluten. They are ok for someone who wants to reduce their gluten intake but generally not ok for someone with celiac.
    This is from Omission…
    “The gluten content of this product cannot be verified, and this product may contain gluten.”

    ~Dave

  35. Dan says:

    I have been Celiac for 15 yrs. and was an avid beer drinker .
    But with the first gluten free beers available , gave up beer .
    With GF beers becoming available there are some good choices now .
    My 3 favourites are gluten reduced as i have no problems with them .
    #1 Brunehaut BIO Blonde
    #2 Omission IPA
    #3 Mongozo Premium Pilsener

  36. Mark Blommers says:

    you should check out BrickWorks Cider: Batch 1904 Delicious and no added sugars

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  44. Peggy Moore says:

    Do you know what ciders are sulfite free? I have tried Stella Artois which is gluten free and I like it and does not list that it contains sulfites. Some list the sulfites just as wines do and I am allergic to the sulfites.

  45. cecil says:

    i like to know why peolpe that do not have ceilica want to go gluten if i had a choice witch i dont i wouldnt go gluten free and u people out there that dont have celica ur crazy and the other its not good not healthy for people that dont have celica i ask my doctor and siad non celica people should go gluten free with out being test first to see if u have it or not the reason is if u have celica and dont know it and u eat gluten free and then u go back to ruglar food u could die its 10 times harder for ur stmack to heal and it usely doesnt and u will die after so long mabe coulpe years down the road or it could be 2 months down the road the reason i say this is because my friend went gluten with out being tested and he went back to ragarl food and he was tested after his stmack started hurting realy bad he then went back to being gluten free but 1 year later he died could not get his stmack to heal again so u guys need to get tested by a speiclist first and thats a fact jack my favrite and number 1 beer is greens gluten free beer it tops all of them and thats a fact jack and i dont care if u all get mad wht i said i am just trying to help yens out so u dont get hurt thk u

  46. Have you tried Cliffton Dry?

    Cliffton Dry is a golden, crisp and refreshing sparkling cider made organically in The Finger Lakes Region of New York. Cliffton Dry offers a low-alcohol (5.5%), low sugar, gluten-free bubbly, that serves as the perfect stand-alone refreshment or accompaniment to the finest farm-to-table meal.

  47. Jenna says:

    Don’t forget about Somersby cider!! It’s naturally gluten free and ranges from medium to sweet in taste! I certainly don’t mind one every now and then.

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