This script is from the first season of Beer Notes, which you can listen to at beernotes.org.

Gluten-free foods are popular these days, and gluten-free beer is no exception. Today on Beer Notes, we’re exploring gluten-free craft beer.

As background, gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. In the U.S., about 7% of the population, or over 19 million people, have conditions requiring them to eliminate gluten from their diets.

Since beer is usually made with these ingredients, our favorite beverage has rarely been gluten-free. Now, creative brewers are exploring ways to create flavorful beers in all your favorite styles that are either gluten-free or “gluten-reduced.”

There are two ways to make beer drinkable for those trying to eliminate gluten from their diets.

The first is to brew with gluten-free ingredients.  This is the case with Dogfish Head Brewing Company’s Tweason’ale, first introduced in 2011. This beer replaced the classic barley foundation with a sorghum base and added a malty buckwheat honey.

The second process is favored by the new brewery in Ocean City, Maryland, Ironweed Ale Werks. Brewer and partner Phillip Rhudy makes all his beer gluten-free by adding a naturally-occurring enzyme to the beer during the brewing process. This enzyme, Brewers Clarex, was designed to reduce the cloudiness in beer, but has been found to neutralize gluten, too.

Whether you have to remove gluten from your diet or whether you choose to, or even if you just want to try a new, flavorful local craft beer, there are now some fabulous gluten-free beers to experience, and some of them are brewed right here on Delmarva. For Beer Notes, this is Anne Neely.

Try these gluten-free beers

You can’t go wrong with a Tweason’ale from Dogfish.

Ironweed Ale Werks’ Mandarin Sunset – When it comes to going gluten-free, you can’t go wrong with any of the beers on tap at Ironweed Ale Werks, the new brewery on 55th Street in Ocean City. This one is an easy-drinking, citrus-y East Coast IPA, dry-hopped with Mandarina Bavaria hops.

Dogfish Head’s Tweason’ale – This fruit ale from Dogfish is made with a sorghum base rather than barley, but retains all of its delicious, juicy flavor with hints of molasses, pit-fruit, and strawberry. You can’t go wrong with a Tweason’ale.

Revelation Craft Brewing’s Buckberry Sour – This blackberry sour comes from Revelation in Rehoboth Beach, DE, and is brewed with pale and roasted buckwheat, flaked quinoa, and biscuit rice. Their Puffa Puffa Graf Sour is gluten-free, too — that one’s a beer-cider hybrid brewed with biscuit and puffed jasmine rice, steeped with cinnamon sticks and red delicious apples.

Stone Brewing’s Stone Delicious IPA – This one’s not local to Delmarva, but it gets a mention because it’s just so darn good. The California brewery’s gluten-free mainstay is brewed with lemondrop and El Dorado hops for a Lemonhead-esque candy flavor with all the bitterness of a traditional IPA. Delicious!

Cover photo by William Strang-Moya.

Kristin Helf
Author: Kristin Helf

Kristin is a writer and picture-taker in Ocean City, Maryland. She likes puppies, pumpkin ales and watching movies for the Ocean City Film Festival in her spare time.

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