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People with celiac disease need to be careful about what they eat and drink. Many foods and drinks contain gluten, including some alcoholic drinks. Beers made with hops and barley are not recommended for people with celiac disease because they contain gluten. The good news is that some types of alcohol do not contain gluten.

1. Beer

Distilled alcoholic beverages do not contain gluten, but beer made from grains containing gluten is not distilled and therefore contains gluten. Avoid beer made from wheat, barley, and rye if you have a gluten intolerance. Malt and malt flavorings also contain gluten. People who eat gluten-free foods should avoid beer unless the beer is labelled gluten-free.

2. Wine and champagne

Wine is gluten-free because wine is made from grapes. Fruit is gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease. Champagne and sparkling wines are also made from grapes and gluten-free.

3. Spirits and other drinks

Gin, vodka, and whisky are usually safe for people with celiac disease because they are distilled. Distilled alcohol does not contain harmful gluten peptides because the gluten peptide is too large to be carried in the distillation process. People with high gluten sensitivity may have a reaction, however, because not all distillation processes are extensive enough to remove all the gluten, and some drinks contain a grain mash for flavor or color. Japanese Sake is always safe because it is made from rice, which is gluten-free. Other safe drinks include sherry, port, brandy, cognac, triple sec, and ouzo because they are made from grapes or other fruit.

Other considerations

It can be difficult to avoid gluten if you drink alcohol, as the flavoring in some hard liquors contains gluten and the drinks cannot always be distilled. The safest thing for people with gluten intolerance is to abstain from alcohol or drink gluten-free wine, champagne, and beer. If you consume only a small amount of gluten, the reaction may be less severe.

If you want to find out about cosmetics, check out our article on this topic: Is gluten used in cosmetics?

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