Some of us can eat all the gluten we want, like pudgy little kings presiding over a castle made of baguettes and sourdough. Some of us take one bite of it and spend the rest of the night rolling around in agony, wishing that our bodies were not rebelling against us. The beer situation for those of us with a gluten intolerance was pretty bleak until very recently. With this issue on the rise (yes, that is a bread joke), lots of breweries are finding ways to make refreshing and delicious beer that won’t upset your delicate system. Are you confused about how a beer can be gluten-free? Do you want to know where and how to find these magical brews, in Brooklyn and beyond? Are you interested in an option that is not cider? Great. We’ve got answers, after the jump.
What Is Gluten-Free Beer?
Gluten-free beer is made with stuff other than barley or wheat, including buckwheat, sorghum, millet or rice.
Is there really a taste difference?
Honestly, not really. A lot of these beers use fruits as flavoring, but there are also gluten-free IPAs and gluten-free pilsners and other lagers. The difference is being able to drink these beers without being at the mercy of your digestive or immune system afterwards.
Amazing! Show me where I can get some of these beers?
Brooklyn is nothing if not inclusive to dietary restrictions in all forms. Here’s a list of bars in the neighborhood where you can find gluten-free brews.
Spritzenhaus: Quiet during the early afternoon and full of delicious sausage, Spritzenhaus also has two GF options on tap — Dogfish Head’s Tweason’ale, made with fresh strawberries and honey, and Green’s Gluten Free Amber Ale, a delicious offering out of Belgium.
Uncle Barry’s: Venture to what some of our friends call “South Brooklyn” and head to this unassuming pub. Revel in its beer selection, then exalt in the inclusion of Lakefront New Grist, an all-sorghum and gluten-free yeast brew.
Bushwick Country Club: This bar is in Williamsburg, a little off the beaten-path, and claims to be the creator of the pickle back. Pro tip: get your pickleback with whiskey, because it’s also gluten-free.
The Woods: Rest easy that you will no longer have to chug vodka sodas while your friends drink beer and grind on strangers at this South Williamsburg dance party. If the inside gets to be a little much, head to the backyard for a breather.
Bar Matchless: This place has two things we are deeply passionate about — buffalo wings and Two for Tuesdays. They have Red Bridge in bottles and their wings are made without flour, a gf two-for.
Washington Commons: Tucked away on a quiet block in Prospect Heights, this bar has a lovely backyard, popcorn and a happy hour that lasts until 8pm.
The Black Swan: This neighborhood joint boasts a daily brunch, a Bloody Swan with a beer chaser and gluten-free beer offerings. If you’re feeling fancy (you probably are), head there from 6-8pm, where there’s a $12 unlimited Prosecco special that will send you floating towards the stars, ready to take on the night.
Friends fighting the GF fight, what’d we miss? Tweet us @brooklynmag if you’ve got a hot tip.