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The One Time of Year I Really, Really Miss Gluten … (And Maybe the Best News Ever)

In a lot of ways, I feel like I’ve found my own gluten-free healthy living jam. Gluten and I (and my digestive system) do not go well together (intolerance, not celiac), and I’ve been crafty at recreating my favorite dishes minus the gluten at home (ahem, thank you Pinterest!) and sooo many restaurants are making it easier than ever.

But.

There is one thing that I’m really, really jonesing for that has no gluten-free equivalent. This … oh, dark and heavenly, this.

Dark, creamy and wonderful, especially on St. Patrick's Day. Credit: kengo

Dark, creamy and wonderful, especially on St. Patrick’s Day. Credit: kengo

Most gluten-free beers on the market leave much to be desired. And, thus, when I go out, I sip on a lot of wine. And, for the record, I really, really love wine. But on St. Patrick’s Day, it’s not just the corned beef and cabbage I want to have. It’s a big ol’ glass of dark and malty Guinness. And, as far as I know, there’s no gluten-free option that even comes close to capturing that chocolaty creamy and rich taste other than Guinness.

But then, because assumption is the mother of all — well, you know — I Googled if Guinness was gluten-free. I pretty much wrote it off because wheat is a big part of pretty much all beer, but what’s that? Guinness is only make with malted barley, hops, yeast and water? Say wha?!

My heart beat faster, in hopeful anticipation.

Yes! There is no official gluten in Guinness. BUT, there is the big caveat that it does contain barley that has a protein called hordein in it that acts similarly to gluten. Although the reaction to hordein is generally much milder than wheat gluten for most people. (That said, if you have celiac; I’d stay away!)

So, you know what, I’m going to go “crazy” and have a sip or two later today. I will see how it affects me, and let you guys know with an update in the comments later. Fingers crossed …

Any gluten-intolerance people tried Guinness with or without success? I’m pumped for my St. Patrick’s Day experiment! —Jenn

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14 Comments
  1. Cat says:

    I must say beer is one thing I miss now I’ve pretty much eliminated gluten, but Guiness doesn’t happen every day so I may join you on this one! Coincidentally, I recently found out a friend’s 100 year old great grandmother drinks a half of Guiness every day and attributes this to her longevity..! Sláinte!

  2. Tish says:

    Ya just made my day girlfriend! I have always loved my beloved beer…but now I super love it even more!

  3. Jenn says:

    Here’s the verdict: A couple of small sips have made my belly a little grumbly, BUT, I’ll take it to get my Guinness fix one day of the year! 🙂

    —FBG Jenn

  4. Hi.
    A friend mentioned this article because I have celiac and was moaning about the dearth of GF dark beer.
    I’d like to make a small point about your article- barley, and by extension all beers crafted with barley ( which is like… 99.8% of them) contains gluten. Less gluten than wheat, but gluten nonetheless.
    The only exception to this are those beers labeled *gluten removed. These beers are crafted w/ barley, but an enzyme is added in the process that unwinds the gluten protein chain, rendering it “gluten free”. But the FDA requires those beers to label themselves “gluten reduced” b/c they’re crafted was th a gluten containing grain.

    Beer is not gluten free. Sadly for those of us who are celiacs with a passion for dark beer.
    If you’re gluten intolerant or allergic to wheat, you might be okay w/ Guinness. But not if you’re celiac.

    Hope this helps keep your celiac readers safe!
    Cheers!

  5. Joe says:

    Barley is a hard gluten.

  6. Chris says:

    Guiness is NOT gluten free. If your belly feels ‘a bit grumbly’ go to see your doctor and get tested for Coeliac Disease or gluten intolerance. You could be doing damage to your body that isn’t visible on the surface.

  7. Nikki says:

    What was the outcome???? 🤞🤞🤞🤞

  8. Jake says:

    I’m gluten intolerant and have tried Guinness. Definitely a no-no for me. Had a reaction to it!

  9. Nien says:

    Love it! Yes, I am gluten intolerant and able to have half a bottle of Guinness with no problem. Celiacs can’t have it, it DOES contain small amounts of gluten. The only thing I’ve noticed is that it err moves things along — but seemingly without inflammation. Before I even knew I had a gluten issue, Guinness was the only beer I ever liked or could even tolerate. Go Guinness!

  10. Dina says:

    Please don’t mislead people and do you research first. Barley has gluten, so does Guinness, which is made from malted barley.

  11. Keera says:

    I did exactly the same thing!! Googled it…is guineas gluten free??
    This is my third time trying it. Every time I have, I get blotted up.
    Now, usually, if i eat gluten, i get a running stomach and hey fever and what not. But with guiness, i am blotted.
    Anyone experiencing this?

  12. Josh says:

    Do not drink Guiness if you are celiac. It has Gluten – Gluten comes from Wheat, Rye & Barley and most beers as another commenter has pointed out is made from Malted Barley. True Guiness is Wheat free, but that isn’t remotely the same as being gluten free.

    If you are not having gluten because it makes you feel Blah then maybe a lower gluten beer like this is good. But if you are not drinking it because you actually have Celiac and will have other adverse reactions then hopefully you know that Barley is a no-no and this article should be updated to explain that before people get actually sick.

  13. Phil says:

    I have celiac disease but can handle one Guinness without a problem.

  14. Ciara says:

    I only found out yesterday that Guinness is not gluten free. Well it kind of is, technically. Anyway I enjoy the odd pint every now and again and haven’t noticed a reaction