Most traditionally brewed beers are made from gluten-containing grains like barley, wheat, and rye, making beer consumption problematic for those with Celiac disease and intolerance to gluten. Gluten-free beers offer a suitable option for individuals who limit gluten consumption due to gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. In Canada, strict labelling standards for alcoholic drinks are in place. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) mandates that allergens, gluten sources, and sulphites, if present at levels of 10 parts per million (ppm) or higher in alcoholic beverages, must be clearly indicated(Canadian Food Inspection Agency, n.d.)¹. However, locating these gluten-free beers among many traditionally crafted beers can be challenging, especially when travelling or hosting social gatherings.

This article aims to deliver the most accurate and current details on gluten-free beer options and brands within Canada. We'll start by exploring various brewing methods used to brew gluten-free and gluten-reduced beers. This will be followed by an overview of the gluten-reduced and gluten-free beer brands available in Canada, along with a discussion of different styles of gluten-free beers. To conclude, we'll present a handy list of Canadian gluten-free beers and address frequently asked questions.

Our Commitment to Accurate and Reliable Information

We rigorously verify our data through random product label inspections to ensure accuracy. Our articles feature copyrighted images of products and evaluate essential label details like ingredients, nutritional content, and certifications. This enables you to make informed decisions even before visiting a grocery store or making a purchase in-store or online. Our commitment to providing reliable and practical information underpins every article, ensuring you receive the most trustworthy guidance on your allergen-free journey.

💡
Last updated Feb 12, 2024.

Verified by Sumit Chhabra, B.S. Pharm, M.S., RPh

Please be aware that the inclusion of products in our listings is based on the manufacturers' claims as stated on their packaging and website. It's important to note that Flappd has not independently verified the manufacturing practices of these products. For more information, please refer to our Disclaimer.

You can search Gluten-Free Beers on Flappd Food Allergy App.

Types of Gluten-Free Beer By Brewing Methods

There are primarily two categories:

  • Gluten-Free Beers: These are crafted from non-gluten grains such as sorghum, rice, millet, corn, or buckwheat, offering a completely gluten-free beverage from start to finish. Some breweries go a step further and manufacture in dedicated gluten-free facilities to avoid cross-contact with gluten ingredients. This brewing technique is often referred to as 'Traditional Brewing' with non-gluten grains. For Celiacs, we recommend gluten-free beers made in a dedicated gluten-free facility.
  • Gluten-Reduced/Removed Beers: These beers are brewed with traditional grains but treated with enzymes to break down gluten to below 20 parts per million (ppm). Twenty ppm is the threshold for gluten-free certification in many countries including the United States (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, n.d.)². This technique is often referred to as gluten reduction by 'Enzymatic Process'. These beers are best for people following a gluten-free diet due to dietary preferences.

Gluten-Free Beer Brands in Canada

Glutenberg

A standout brand in the gluten-free beer market, Glutenberg offers a range of styles from pale ales to stouts, all made from gluten-free grains. Glutenberg Brewery is based in Quebec and ninety percent of their grain is produced in Quebec. They have a dedicated gluten-free facility to prevent cross-contamination. Their beers are vegan and do not contain any sulphites. Fifty percent of their beer is exported to the United States and available in US stores.

Bards Beer

Known for its sorghum beer, Bard's beer is a popular choice for those seeking traditional beer flavours without the gluten. Bards beer is manufactured in a certified gluten-free facility in New York. The founder of Bard's Beer, Craig Belser, is diagnosed with Celiac. Their products are made without wheat, barley, rye, oats or corn and use non-GMO grains. Additionally, their products must pass multiple lab tests and be independently verified by a third party before and after fermentation for 'Below the Limit of Quantitation' (BLQ < 10 ppm). Similar to Glutenberg, Bard's beer is available in the United States and Canada.

Lakefront Brewery's New Grist

A pioneer in the gluten-free beer space, offering both pilsner-style and IPA options made from sorghum and rice. Their brewery is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and is not a dedicated gluten-free facility. However, the New Grist beers are certified gluten-free by Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) and each batch gets tested for gluten content after production. GFCO defines “gluten-free” as individual ingredients and finished products consistently having no more than 10 ppm gluten (5 ppm gliadin), as determined by validated test methods(Gluten Intolerance Group of North America, 2020)³.

Whistler Brewing

Whistler Brewing Company is a British Columbia (BC) based craft brewery. The Forager line of Whistler Brewing is gluten-free and offers lager and pale ale style of beers. Their facility is not a dedicated gluten-free facility.

Helix Biere Sans Gluten

New France, a Quebec-based company, offers the Helix line with four gluten-free beers ranging from Ales to specialty beers. We found their beers to be primarily available in central and eastern Canada. Their beers are made using rice, millet and corn.

Microbrasserie Nouvelle France - La Messagère


Microbrasserie Nouvelle France's brewery is located in Saint-Alexis-des-Monts, Quebec and offers La Messagère, a gluten-free brand of beers, besides classic beers.

Ghostfish Brewing Company

This Seattle, Washington-based brewing company offers a range of gluten-free beers from Pale Ales to Belgian White Ales. All of the beers made by Ghostfish Brewing Company are brewed in a dedicated gluten-free facility using ingredients that are 'naturally gluten-free'. Ingredients that are used but not produced in the facility are 'tested and certified gluten-free'. You can learn more on their website https://ghostfishbrewing.com/. It should be noted that only limited beer types are available in Canada.

Gluten-Reduced Beer Brands in Canada

As these beers are produced by gluten removal rather than the process that is free from gluten, we do not recommend these beers to Celiacs and those with severe gluten sensitivity.

Omission Beer

Omission Brewing is known for its gluten-reduced craft beer and their brewing facility is located in Portland Oregon. Their alcoholic and non-alcoholic gluten-free beers are made from barley, a grain containing gluten, and their beer may contain gluten. However, their finished products are tested in-house and by an independent third-party lab to ensure that the gluten content of the batch remains less than twenty parts per million (< 20 ppm).

Gluten-Free & Gluten Reduced Beers by Style

The variety in beer styles ensures there's something for every age and palate:

Gluten-Free Lager

Including light lagers that are crisp and refreshing, and dark lagers that may present hints of caramel or chocolate.

Whistler Forager Gluten-Free Lager

Six can pack of whistler forager gluten free lager
Whistler Forager Gluten Free Lager

This lager-style beer offers aromas that are light and floral.

  • Key Ingredients: Sorghum and Rice
  • ABV: 5%
  • IBU: 35
  • Gluten-Free Brewery: No
  • LCBO Availability: Yes
  • BC Liquor Store Availability: Yes

Bard's Gold Gluten-Free Beer

This American lager is made using non-GMO sorghum grains in a dedicated gluten-free facility. People looking low bitter lagers and subtle floral aroma would enjoy drinking this beer.

  • Ingredients: Water, malted sorghum, fresh hops, pure water and yeast.
  • ABV: 4.7%
  • IBU: 20
  • Gluten-Free Brewery: Yes
  • LCBO Availability: Yes
  • BC Liquor Store Availability: No

Omission Golden Ale (Gluten Reduced)

This lighter beer is gluten-reduced and made using barley and wheat like traditional beers. Gluten reduction is achieved by adding brewers clarex which breaks the bonds of gluten protein chains. As this beer may contain gluten and testing only confirms <20 ppm of gluten, Celiacs should avoid it.

  • Ingredients: Water, barley, wheat, hops and yeast.
  • ABV: 4.6%
  • IBU: 10
  • Gluten-Free Brewery: No
  • LCBO Availability: No
  • BC Liquor Store Availability: Yes

Gluten-Free Ale & IPA

Ranging from gluten-free balanced and moderately hoppy pale ales to the more bitter and aromatic IPAs (India Pale Ales).

Glutenberg Blonde Ale

Front on Glutenberg Gluten-Free Blonde Ale
Glutenberg Gluten-Free Blonde Ale
  • Ingredients: Water, millet, corn, demerara sugar, hops, and yeast.
  • ABV: 4.5%
  • IBU: 15
  • Gluten-Free Brewery: Yes
  • LCBO Availability: Yes
  • BC Liquor Store Availability: Yes
  • Notes:

Glutenberg IPA

Front of Glutenberg Gluten Free IPA
Glutenberg Gluten-Free IPA

IPA lovers looking for strong beer with apricot flavour notes of lemon, and floral notes wound enjoy this beer.

  • Ingredients: Water, millet, buckwheat, corn, black rice, corn maltodextrin, hops, and yeast.
  • ABV: 6%
  • IBU: 76
  • Gluten-Free Brewery: Yes
  • LCBO Availability: Yes
  • BC Liquor Store Availability: No

Glutenberg American Pale Ale

This orange-blonde gluten-free beer offers citrusy notes. People who enjoy notes of apricot, pink grapefruit, and raspberry would enjoy this beer.

  • Ingredients: Water, millet, buckwheat, corn, candi syrup, demerara sugar, quinoa, hops, and yeast.
  • ABV: 5.5%
  • IBU: 50
  • Gluten-Free Brewery: Yes
  • LCBO Availability: No
  • BC Liquor Store Availability: No
  • Notes: We found it available in Quebec and The Beer Store.

Whistler Forager Gluten-Free Pale Ale

  • Key Ingredients: Sorghum and Rice
  • ABV: 5%
  • IBU: 40
  • Gluten-Free Brewery: No
  • LCBO Availability: No
  • BC Liquor Store Availability: No
  • Notes: We found this beer hard to find in larger stores.

Ghostfish Grapefruit Gluten-Free IPA

  • Ingredients: Water, sorghum, brown rice, Candi syrup, tapioca maltodextrin, hops, grapefruit puree, and yeast
  • ABV: 5.5%
  • IBU: 85
  • Gluten-Free Brewery: Yes
  • LCBO Availability: No
  • BC Liquor Store Availability: No
  • Notes: In Canada, it is only available in stores in Alberta (AB) and British Columbia (BC). You can visit Craft Cellars online for this beer.

Gluten-Free Stout and Porter

These are darker beers, with deep flavours that can include coffee, chocolate, or roasted barley.

Glutenberg Stout

This opaque black-coloured stout beer offers powerful aromas of roasted cereal and cocoa. People who enjoy notes of espresso, dark chocolate, and ripe fruit would enjoy this beer.

  • Ingredients: Water, millet, corn, candi syrup, hops, cocoa nibs, coffee, and yeast.
  • ABV: 5%
  • IBU: 40
  • Gluten-Free Brewery: Yes
  • LCBO Availability: No
  • BC Liquor Store Availability: No
  • Notes: We found it hard to locate in Ontario. Some stores that carry it include Zyn (Alberta) and Cascadia Liquor (British Columbia)

Gluten-Free Pilsner

Lakefront New Grist Gluten-Free

4 pack of New Grist Gluten-Free Pilsner Style Beer
New Grist Gluten-Free Pilsner Style Beer

This Pilsner-style light beer is brewed using sorghum, rice, hops, and gluten-free yeast. People who enjoy citrus and hoppy aromas with a creamy finish would enjoy this beer. This beer is offered in 473 mL cans and 355 mL glass bottles

  • Ingredients: Water, rice, sorghum, hops, malted millet, and yeast.
  • ABV: 5%
  • IBU: 10
  • Gluten-Free Brewery: No
  • LCBO Availability: Yes
  • BC Liquor Store Availability: Yes
  • Notes: This beer is certified gluten-free and kosher.

Specialty Beers

This category includes fruity and spice beers, as well as sour beers, which can vary from tart to intensely sour, often with additional fruit or spice flavours.

Helix Sour Framboise

This gluten-free sour beer is raspberry-flavoured. People who appreciate fruit beers may like this one.

  • Ingredients: Water, Rice, Sorghum, Corn, Hops and Yeast
  • ABV: 4%
  • IBU: N/A
  • Gluten-Free Brewery: No
  • LCBO Availability: No
  • BC Liquor Store Availability: No

In conclusion, the variety of gluten-free and gluten-reduced beers available in Canada provides a wide range of options for those looking to enjoy beer without gluten. From light lagers to robust stouts, there's a gluten-free beer to suit every taste, ensuring that dietary restrictions don't limit the enjoyment of a cold, refreshing brew.

Best Gluten-Free Beer


Canada boasts a variety of gluten-free beer options, catering to different tastes and preferences. Which beer is best entirely depends on your preference for the brand, type, bitterness, alcohol content, and above all, their availability. We covered aspects including International Bitterness Units (IBU), Alcohol by Volume (ABV), and regional availability with specific beer types in the Gluten-Free Beers by Type section.

For celiacs, we would recommend the Glutenberg brand for its variety and easy availability across Canada and the US. For health-conscious Celiacs, we would recommend Bard's Gold Gluten-Free Beer as it is made using non-GMO grains in a dedicated gluten-free facility and multiple tests for the presence of gluten.

Gluten-Free Beers FAQ

Is beer gluten-free?

Traditionally brewed beer is not gluten-free as it is made from gluten-containing grains such as barley, wheat, and rye.

What beer is gluten-free in Canada?

In Canada, gluten-free beer options include brands like Glutenberg, Bards Beer, Lakefront Brewery's New Grist, Whistler Brewing's Forager line, Helix Biere Sans Gluten, and Microbrasserie Nouvelle France's La Messagère.

What is gluten-reduced beer?

Gluten-reduced beer is brewed with traditional grains but treated with enzymes to break down gluten to below 20 parts per million (ppm), making it suitable for those with gluten sensitivities but not recommended for individuals with celiac disease.

Is gluten-reduced beer safe for celiacs?

Gluten-reduced beer is not recommended for individuals with celiac disease due to the use of traditional gluten-containing grains and potential gluten content.

What does IBU mean for beer?

IBU, or International Bitterness Units, is a measure of the bitterness of beer, which comes from the hops used during brewing.

What is ABV in beer?

ABV, or Alcohol by Volume, is a standard measure of how much alcohol is contained in a given volume of an alcoholic beverage.

Is Corona Extra gluten-free?

Corona Extra is not considered gluten-free beer due to the inclusion of barley malt in its ingredients.

Is Pabst Blue Ribbon gluten-free?

Pabst Blue Ribbon does not meet the criteria for a gluten-free beer as it is made with malted barley.

Is Heineken gluten-free beer?

Heineken beer is not gluten-free beer since barley, a source of gluten, is a primary ingredient.

Is Guinness gluten-free beer?

Guinness beer cannot be classified as gluten-free because it contains both roasted and malted barley.

Is Bud Light beer gluten-free?

Bud Light is not gluten-free, as it contains barley, which is known to have gluten.

Is Budweiser beer gluten-free?

Budweiser is not gluten-free, as it includes barley malt among its brewing ingredients.

About the Author

Sumit Chhabra

Sumit Chhabra, B.S. Pharm, M.S., RPh

Founder & CEO, Flappd

Sumit Chhabra is the founder of Flappd, a leader in the food allergy and intolerance sector. His background in pharmacy and role as a father to a child with multiple food allergies give him a unique dual perspective. Sumit combines his scientific knowledge with real-life insights to drive Flappd's mission. He aims to connect consumers with dietary restrictions to safe, suitable products. His personal and professional experiences shape Flappd's commitment to an inclusive and informed marketplace for those with food allergies.

References:

  1. Canadian Food Inspection Agency. (n.d.). Labelling requirements for alcoholic beverages. Retrieved from https://inspection.canada.ca/food-labels/labelling/industry/alcoholic-beverages/eng/1624281662154/1624281662623#c4
  2. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (n.d.). Questions and answers on the gluten-free food labeling final rule. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/food/food-labeling-nutrition/questions-and-answers-gluten-free-food-labeling-final-rule
  3. Gluten Intolerance Group of North America. (2023). GFCO Manual Rev. 2023 [PDF]. Retrieved from https://gfco.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/GFCO-Manual-2023.pdf

Share this post