Gluten Free Alcohol for People Who Have Celiac Disease

Alcohol and gluten free varieties that are safe to drink for people who have Celiac Disease

So you have or might have Celiac Disease and you have decided to eliminate Gluten from your diet. Making that choice does not have to completely restrict your diet or normal activities and that includes recreational activities like drinking alcohol.

Because Celiac Disease creates long term affects on the entire body, including malabsorption of vitamins and minerals, many people with Celiac Disease experience Hypoglycemia, low blood pressure or inflammation in the body. Drinking alcohol can compound this issue and while drinking, the person may experience more mood swings, low blood sugar and water retention than others who are not afflicted by the disease.

Although on average it takes six months for a persons body to stop reacting to gluten triggers, it may take up to two full years. During that time, it's also very important that any alcohol consumed is also gluten free. Most alcohol is made with grain which is also described as grain alcohol. That includes almost all hard liquors and beer. 

Listed below are common and affordable types of alcohol that are gluten free.


There are hundreds of brands of wine that offer a great alternative to drinking alcohol for those who have decided to eliminate gluten. This type of alcohol is made mainly with berries and fruit that has gone through a fermentation process to produce alcohol and is often accentuated with other flavors to give each brand or variety its unique flavor. Beware however, wine contains quite a bit of sugar that can adversely affect the persons metabolism or blood sugar and glucose levels. It won't trigger gluten allergies, but it may contribute to low blood sugar or glucose issues.

While changing your diet to a gluten free menu, you can keep wine on the list. While your body adjusts and recovers from allergic reactions to food and drinks, wine is a safe choice when consumed in moderation. If blood sugar drops are an issue, make sure you eat food that is low in carbs and high in protein prior to drinking.

Gluten Free Beer

A great new alternative to beer fermented with grains containing the gluten protein is beer made with millet, rice, sorghum, buckwheat and corn. Some experts however, argue that beer made with these other grains and ingredients can still at times trigger an allergic response although slight. Brewers argue as well that these grains are safely converted to non-harmful amino acids.

The best advice is to try these varieties with caution. If your body does not respond favorably, eliminate it from your diet.

There are now over twenty different companies that are producing gluten free beer as an alternative to the gluten counterpart.

Hard Liquor

Sad but true. Almost all hard liquor contains grains that trigger gluten allergy responses. However, some new varieties distil their liquors with other ingredients such as potatoes, berries and fruits.

Vodkas are a popular choice as a gluten free alternative. Be sure the labels are marked with ingredients that state potato, berries or fruit and that no grain alcohol was used in the distillation process. If you are unsure, pass on it.

Some labels can be a bit confusing. Several varieties of Gin actually still have gluten proteins from some of their ingredients.

Here is a simple list below that offer alcohol that is gluten free but again, be sure to read ingredient labels and if they have been distilled with any grains that originally contain the gluten protein, avoid consuming it.

  • Brandy
  • Wine
  • Cider
  • Tequila
  • Mead
  • Rum
  • Sherry

A great tip is to keep a list with you that features gluten free items if you plan to go out and drink with others so that not only can you remind yourself, you can share with others what you can or cannot have. It helps to avoid errors or mistakes that can create an allergic response.

And similar to food, avoid cross contamination. If you are drinking alcohol that has been served in a glass or dish that was not rinsed or cleaned after grain alcohol was in it, you could be consuming small amounts of gluten and not be aware of it.

If you are unsure of the environment you will be in, a great tip is to carry your own container with your or bring your own alcohol that is safe for you to drink.

And as always, drink responsibly in moderation. Know your limit and pay attention the signals of your body. If you are drinking something that is labeled gluten free but you feel a reaction that is consistent with gluten in your body, discontinue drinking it.


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