Is Ginger Beer Gluten Free?

Is Ginger Beer Gluten Free

Gluten-Free! You might have heard or seen this somewhere in your favorite restaurant and even in your community’s famous grocery. But you might also be just as confused as other people are, and on that note, discuss if ginger beer is gluten-free, whatever that means, right? 

Glad to Meet You Gluten

The first thing you have to know is that gluten is a type of protein. It is commonly found in barley, wheat, and rye. It is also a primary thickening agent and is sometimes added for extra flavor. Apart from this, the stretchy nature of this type of protein is often responsible for the chewy texture of baked items like bread, cupcakes, cakes, and such. Gluten is an underrated protein, as some did not know of it until it posed a threat to the health of other people who happen to have adverse and allergic reactions to it.

Gluten has certain peptides that are a bit hard to digest by stomach acid, which often results in an array of illnesses from simple mild indigestion to the worst, which is celiac disease. People with this kind of disease are immunocompromised, and their body’s immune system attacks the peptides of gluten, which results in some damage to the intestine and an inevitable malabsorption of vitamins and minerals as the body is at war with itself. 

Is there Gluten in Your Beer? 

If you haven’t figured it out by now, barley and wheat are also grains that are used in producing beer. So if the question on your mind is if beer is gluten-free, the short answer is ‘no’ of course, it depends if it is regular beer because, as amazing as it sounds, there are gluten-free beers out there in the market right now. But you are not here for those regular beers and gluten-free beers that are now available but rather for your good ‘ol ginger beer. 

Understanding Ginger Beer

To be honest, ginger beer seems to have its day in the spotlight when it was mentioned in perhaps one of the most popular icons to have showcased the 20th-century British culture or what it might be in a fantastically recounted way through the words of a now popular author and adapted into screenplays that the world has loved, the world of Harry Potter.

There is a strong mention and depiction of the main characters ordering and consuming ginger beer. But what is ginger beer? Ginger beer was first introduced in England around the 1800s and then reinvented by the Irish people into ginger ale in 1851. To be clear, ginger beer and ginger ale are the same and yet different.

They both contain ginger and sugar; however, ginger beer undergoes the process of fermentation, and its main components are cream of tartar, ginger, and sugar added together, while ginger ale is made with carbonated water, ginger, and sugar.

The taste would be, of course, predominantly ginger sweetened by the sugar added. there was a point in time when ginger ale became popular, especially during the time of prohibition, because they could use the scent of ginger to mask the smell of alcohol and escape authorities.… How effective this technique was, you be the judge. 

Some people don’t fancy a ginger beer for themselves. They reckon that it feels like they are drinking some medicine or that they are not a fan of the taste of ginger itself. In some countries, they don’t have the option of a ginger beer but only the good old ginger ale, which is often drunk as tea or given to sick people, especially those who are down with the flu and the common cold.

Mind you, most of the eastern countries looked to ginger ale or ginger tea during the surge of the pandemic, and vaccines were hardly discovered yet. Never underestimate the power of the root called ginger. 

Is There Gluten in Ginger Beer? 

In the beginning, it was mentioned that beer is generally made with grains such as barley, and this grain naturally contains gluten as protein peptides; hence, the conclusion that regular beer has gluten was reached. However, on the subject matter of whether a ginger beer has gluten in it, the answer would be ‘no’. Ginger beer is gluten-free.

The ingredients like ginger, cream of tartar, and yeast alone do not lend themselves to the notion of having gluten. However, if you do some research, you will find some references mentioning barley as an ingredient in ginger beer.

But in general, ginger beer is gluten-free. Anyway, someone who has been avoiding gluten from baked products and anything that contains it won’t be caught dead drinking beer of any sort. So they might as well steer clear of ginger beer.

Make Your Ginger Beer At Home

Suppose you want to try your hand at making your version of ginger beer, much like a craft beer, with your very own brewery at home. Here are the things you need and the steps to follow. The ingredients are ginger (200 grams); golden caster sugar (75 grams); large lemons (2 pieces); muscovado sugar or any substitute you have (100 grams); sparkling water or soda water (1 liter); and mint leaves (optional as a serving suggestion). 

The steps for making your homemade ginger beer are as follows: first, put all the crushed (crushing the ginger will bring out the aroma and juices of the ginger more) and thickly sliced ginger, both the golden caster and muscovado sugars and lemon peels into a saucepan with 500 milliliters of water on low heat and stir continuously until sugars have been dissolved.

After which, you let things simmer for about 15-20  minutes until a syrup-like texture is achieved. The second step is to strain the mixture on a sieve that is lined with muslin cloth into a clean and sterile container or directly into the bottle ready to be stored.

The third and final step is for the serving suggestion, you just need to pour out the stored-up ginger syrup into a serving jug and add the lemon juice and soda water or sparkling water. You can put the mint leaves in the individual sipping cups instead of the jug in consideration of others who might not want the mint added.

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