Did you know that here at Abbeydale Brewery we produce a wide range of beers which are Gluten Free, including Heathen and Heresy? Read on for an explanation of our processes, how we label these beers, and where you can find all the details you need to make an informed choice.
These beers are not produced without gluten containing ingredients, and do use barley and often wheat and other grains too, as can be clearly seen on the ingredients list of our beers in can. However, we use an enzyme called Brewer’s Clarex as part of the brewing process, which can reduce the gluten to below the 20ppm threshold required to label a product as gluten free. This means our beers brewed in this way can be safe to drink for many of those amongst us who are sensitive to gluten. This has no effect on the taste of the beer and is not in any way detrimental to the flavour – such a clever little enzyme!
Our beers are regularly tested to check the gluten content at a UKAS accredited laboratory, and we use a lateral flow test prior to packaging by way of double checking the GF status before each and every batch of beer leaves the brewery.
You can always check the Gluten Free status of each of our beers by looking for the logo shown to the left on our website – it is clearly visible on the “Our Beers” page, as well as on our online shop. The permanently available beers of ours which are always produced using Brewer’s Clarex are Heathen, Heresy, Voyager and Serenity, plus Deception and Black Mass from our heritage range. In addition, many of our specials are also brewed using Clarex. For our permanently available beers in can, we also clearly display a declaration of the beer as gluten free on the label (look for the little logo shown to the left).
For our more unusual recipes and one-off specials, this logo may not appear on the can label itself, as these must be ordered prior to our final lateral flow check which confirms the gluten level is below 20ppm. We will always indicate where Brewer’s Clarex has been used in the list of ingredients, however we are aware of rare occurrences where the gluten level has remained slightly above the 20ppm threshold in beers with adjunct heavy recipes, for example. We want you to have 100% confidence in our beers, and will always make sure our website and online shop clearly displays the GF logo for all beers which have successfully been evidenced to contain less than 20ppm gluten via lateral flow and/or external laboratory testing to ensure full and complete compliance.
You will not find the logo on the pump clips for our cask and keg beer. This is because, whilst our beers are produced in the same way no matter what format they’re released in, we cannot guarantee that the beer is being served through a gluten free line, which may affect certain customers (although some pubs and bars may choose to dedicate a line to GF beers). As with our canned beers, our website is a great resource to check which beers have been evidenced to contain lower than 20ppm gluten at the point of package.
The vast majority of beers labelled as gluten free that you see on bars and shelves of pubs and bottle shops around the country will have been produced in a similar way to that described above (so you will still see grains such as barley clearly highlighted as allergens in our ingredients lists).
Whilst there are gluten free beers available that have been brewed with no gluten containing ingredients, these are few and far between. The reason for this is that gluten free grains generally do not hold the same characteristics as those more commonly used in brewing, and so a wider change of process and a huge amount of investment would be needed for us to be able to utilise grains such as rice and sorghum effectively on a large scale. At the moment, this isn’t a direction we are in a position to take, so we have looked at other ways that we can make our beers as accessible to as many people (over the age of 18 of course!) as possible. We are aware that this isn’t a one-solution-fits-all scenario, but we hope to provide sufficient information to let you, the drinker, make an informed decision about our beers, and therefore hopefully enable more of you to enjoy them!
We hope this system helps to reassure you that we are taking the utmost care to ensure the safety of our customers, alongside of course offering a great range of flavourful beers that are accessible to as many of our drinkers as possible. We’re keen to ensure that you are fully informed about the processes our beer undergoes before it reaches the glass – as part of this, we’re also more than happy to answer any questions you may have, and are very willing to take feedback on board if there’s anything you think we could communicate more clearly, so please get in touch if you think there is anything we are missing!