In fact, we haven't found any decent gluten free beer yet. That is, until we found out that a lot of beer is gluten free anyhow!
When I decided to go "gluten free", one of the things that I was worried about was the fact that I like beer. Sure, I know that I can do without, but I really didn't want to. So, I do what I always do...I researched the gluten content of various popular beers.
I had to do a lot of digging. The beer companies, even if they know their beer is low in gluten, don't want to advertise the fact. I expect it has something to do with the fact that they sell a product containing alcohol and they probably have enough lawsuits simply dealing with that! They really don't need another headache.
Beer is made with barley, and barley contains gluten. Lots of it! But it seems that something to do with the brewing process of lager beers removes most of the gluten.
This is the same with soy sauce. Did you know that there are two types of soy sauce? One is naturally brewed, and one is chemically brewed. If you don't read labels, you could have the wrong one in your fridge! Go check...just to see. Anyhow, the naturally brewed soy sauce is gluten free.
World standards for gluten content generally say that if a product is less than 20 ppm (parts per million) that it is considered to be gluten free. It turns out that you can now buy gluten test strips so that the average person can satisfy themselves whether or not a certain product passes the test. But they're pretty expensive, at between $10-$13 per test.
I found a guy online who does these tests and publishes the results. He found that the majority of lager beers test under the "official" limit. And most Mexican lager beers (Corona being the most popular) test on the lower part of the range because a lot of them are made with 20% corn as well as barley.
But ales are a different story. And ales, or darker beers test much higher. So it's something in the brewing process between a lager beer and an ale that breaks down the gluten protein.
Of course people have different levels of gluten sensitivity and just because something tests under the standard limit doesn't mean that it won't affect you. Obviously if something gives you a problem, you shouldn't drink it no matter what the test strip shows!
Our own experience (especially Ruth's) is that gluten is responsible for a variety of health problems. There's a new book out that looks like it's really good and I'd like to read it. Written by the founder of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Celiac Research.
Gluten Freedom: The Nation's Leading Expert Offers the Essential Guide to a Healthy, Gluten-Free Lifestyle