Courtesy CCA National
This year, the range of beverages that do not contain gluten is larger than ever before thanks to the popularity of ciders, hard root beer, and what the industry likes to call “one pour” or “ready-to-drinks” beverages.
The concern is that you need to determine if there is gluten in the form of barley malt in the product based on its category. Hard root beers are a good example: Crazy Uncle has no gluten ingredients; Mad Jack is a combination of a regular lager beer (containing gluten) and root beer. Nearly all of the ciders contain no gluten but a few include barley malt. Holy Crow Bruised Apple Cider Ale tells you right from its name that it contains gluten.
If you live in or near Quebec the problem gets even worse. Some beverages sold at the SAQ (Quebec liquor stores) are fine but the beverage with the same name sold at Costco has malt added to it. In Quebec, only malt beverages can be sold in alternate outlets like Costco and corner stores.
The solution is to extend the motto “read every label every time” to “read the ingredient list ON THE BOTTLE YOU ARE ABOUT TO CONSUME every time”. A bother? Yes. Worth it to keep yourself safe? Absolutely.