Yes…I have a writing about drinking problem.
But this one is a biggie. There has been so much ridiculous debate over the years if gluten-removed beers are safe for those with celiac disease. Let me just say this: they’re not. Is my answer scientific? Kinda. Is it backed by studies done, celiac experts and those that have suffered after trying them? Yes.
For those new to the game, gluten-free beer is just that. No gluten ingredients used. Period. Safe to drink. Cheers to that.
Gluten-removed beer actually uses gluten ingredients (usually barley) and through a method that is not scientifically valid (and frankly is pure bullshit), they say enough gluten is removed to get it under 20ppm. But like I said, it’s not valid. The FDA even agrees and does not allow gluten-removed beer to be labeled gluten-free. But that doesn’t stop the gluten-removed beer companies from still marketing their beer as gluten-free. Yeah…they suck. I guess they’re not too proud of being called “gluten-removed”.
Now the gluten-removed beer companies will tell you that their product is completely safe for those with celiac disease. And sadly, a lot of people in the celiac community are either unaware that their beers are actually not gluten-free, or don’t care because “dammit…I want beer that tastes like beer.” (Dude note: There are now several gluten-FREE beers on the market that are spectaculous. Of course they are not nearly as easy to find as the removed beers. Sigh.)
Which brings us to the latest news. There is a brewing company called Hepworth, around since 2001, that produces a gluten-removed beer that they say is safe for celiacs. From their website, here is how they make the gluten-removed beers, which of course they are calling gluten-FREE.
We are pleased to announce the launch of a range of beers which will delight beer-lovers who are gluten intolerant, suffer coeliac disease or who wish to avoid potential allergens. We’ve selected a low protein barley – gluten is a protein. Traditional malting and brewing methods, when employed meticulously, result in the breakdown of the protein and then fine filtration removes any residue. The result is an authentic craft beer, gluten free, traditionally brewed, with no compromise on quality, taste or strength.
Well guess what? They announced yesterday that they are recalling an entire batch of their “gluten-free” beers because…wait for it…it contains EXCESSIVE LEVELS OF GLUTEN (and yes, I’m shouting.) Here is their official statement:
Bottles of Classic Old Ale with a best before date of 20-08-2018 have shown a higher than expected level of Gluten. Accordingly we are recalling this batch of beer, as it is not Gluten free. We apologise, but assure you that the beer is in all other respects a very acceptable brew. Celiacs can expect the next batch to be up to our usual standards.
Let’s break this down, shall we?
- They call their beer “gluten-free” even though it’s not.
- They f*uck up an entire batch, putting the celiac community at serious risk.
- They say the batch, in all other respects, is a very acceptable brew. Seriously…that is what they said. It’s acceptable, you know, except for that one thing that will attack the intestines of the thousands who will unknowingly consume it. Besides that, hey cheers!
- They tell the celiac community “Hey…no worries…you can still trust us. We’ll be using the same shitty process but it will never happen again.” Uh huh.
I will say it over and over and over again folks. Do not consume gluten-removed beers. Please, please STOP GIVING THEM YOUR BUSINESS (and yes I’m shouting again.) If we stop supporting them, they will stop making “gluten-removed” beers and the true gluten-free brew masters like Glutenberg, Ghostfish and Groundbreaker will get even more of the market share and will continue to keep us safe.
And isn’t that what having celiac disease is all about?