Gluten Free Beer Boom!

Olive Branch Gluten Free Beer

Gluten free beer availability is growing rapidly. Could it eventually become mainstream? I think it’s possible. Recently, my mother was visiting Colorado Springs and took the picture you see here. Although more places are carrying gluten free beer, there are very few that have gone to the effort to advertise it like The Olive Branch has. I tip my hat to you, Olive Branch!

As you know, our goal at the Association is to increase availability of gluten free beer worldwide. We have been working on a secret, sister project that will help facilitate this goal, along with creating overall gluten free beer happiness and goodwill. Our secret project is a gluten free beer guide designed to be an online and mobile resource to help you find gluten free beer in your neighborhood and around the world. Stay tuned for more details and be part of the first to join us and find your favorite gluten free beer!

So, let’s get back to the fact the gluten free beer market is growing. Recently, I was talking with the president of a gluten free beer company about sales numbers in the last 5 years. I expected to hear modest gains in this “down” economy. What he told me was a bit of a surprise. His sales have seen roughly a 50% increase over the last 5 years. This is exciting news, don’t you think? (Interestingly, this is contrary to what is preached in the gloom & doom news, by the way.) With your help, his gluten free beer company can increase another 50% over the next 5 years.

Here’s to you and to Gluten Free Beer.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Celiaco sin gluten - Juan September 19, 2011 at 4:43 am

Undoubtly, we are recently seeing lots of good news regarding celiac community, even still a lot of work to be done to have a wide variety of products…I just discovered your website and I think you are doin a terrific job with it…already bookmarked, I’ll keep reading you ;)


Joey September 19, 2011 at 10:14 am

I completely agree Juan, because this is a quickly growing market, there are many products that are coming to grocery store shelves that are not really gluten free as well as good products. We are a market that businesses want to reach and they are willing to do it with products that are not necessarily the right products (read that truly gluten free products). Given that, I hope folks are not going to the store and picking up items and seeing gluten free on it and thinking, great it’s gluten free, without checking it out. Just because the package says it is, at least in the US, does not mean that it really is. This would be comparable to putting gluten free on all oats even though most oats are processed with wheat. It is definitely buyer be ware. We need to support those companies that do provide truly gluten free food and encourage them to expand distribution. Thank you for your input Juan! We will keep you posted on happenings in the gluten free beer world.

Meagan Whitfield February 21, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Hello! I am a student at James Madison University working on a gluten-free beer business plan. My team is trying to make the connection between an increase in the gluten-free market and an increase in the craft beer market.; we are looking for hard facts and figures that suggest we have a market for our beer. In addition, we are forecasting sales. Any information you may have that would help us would be greatly appreciated! Also, in reading some blogs and reviews of GF beer it seems that sorghum is the substitute for barley and that it may result in a bitter after taste, we’ve heard that replacing the sorghum with GF oats would provide a better tasting beer, any thoughts?

Joey February 22, 2012 at 10:28 am

Hi Meagan,

My best advice to you would be to talk with the breweries that have been in business for 3+ years. They will be able to tell you what their sales have done over those years. The industry is still in it’s infancy so there are not studies to reference for your research. Direct data is going to be your best source. You will find that all of the brewers have seen significant increases in sales over the last 3 to 5 years. I hope the project goes well and I look forward to your sharing your results with us.

There are several grains that can be used besides sorghum. I would agree that sorghum is the most common and widely used replacement for barley. Toasting oats or quinoa are both grains that can be used but there are a number of other options as well, teff, buckwheat, etc. All of these grains have their place in gluten free beer production. Again, we look forward to hearing your results. :-)

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