Gluten Free Drinking Guide for Philadelphia

As we all know by now, gluten-free does not necessarily mean healthy. It simply means the product does not contain the gluten protein, or at least, it does not contain levels above that which is considered harmful to most, but we’ll come back to that later.

People choose to abstain from gluten for many reasons, such as having celiac sprue, an allergy, a sensitivity, a desire to reduce exposure to processed foods, a desire to look cool, etc. We are not here to judge you. We are here to make it easy for you to go out and have a good time with all of your gluten-loving friends.

Wine
Grapes are your best friend, unless you’re allergic to them (which would be its own tragedy), or you don’t like wine (something you might want to work on). Wine is always a safe and easy choice, and lucky for us, in Philly we have plenty of great wine bars.

For instance:
Jet Wine Bar
Vintage Wine Bar and Bistro
Paris Wine Bar

And restaurants with extensive wine lists like:
Bar Ferdinand
Tinto
Panorama

All three Tria locations: Rittenhouse, Washington Square West, and Taproom

Cider
Ciders are made from fruit, typically apple, but pear makes an appearance from time-to-time as well. Some ciders are sweet and some are dry. Some celebrate the fruit’s natural taste, while some add spice to bump-up the flavor.

Some of our favorite ciders that you can find throughout the city include Philadelphia Brewing Company’s own Commonwealth Cider, Domaine Dupont Etienne Cidre Triple, Strongbow, Spire Mountain and J.K.’s Scrumpy to name a few. More and more bars are carrying ciders both in bottles and on tap.

Check out:
Grace Tavern
Bottle Bar East
North Bowl
Dandelion
The Pub on Passyunk East

Mixed Drinks and Cocktails
There is still some debate over whether or not gluten survives the distillation process. If you’d rather limit your gambling to Sugarhouse and Atlantic City, go for spirits distilled from sugarcane and agave, like rum, tequila and mezcal. Vodka can be tricky, so ask for your cocktails to be made with the likes of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which is distilled from corn, or Chopin, which is distilled from potatoes. And while most bourbons are off limits, Hudson Baby Bourbon is made from 100% corn and is safe for the gluten-intolerant.

Beer
And finally, the moment you’ve been waiting for. The moment where we reveal the magic that let’s you chug along with the rest of the world. But first, a word of caution.

If you have been minding your gluten, you know food labeling can be confusing. Gluten-free? Wheat-free? Casein-free? (Tricked you. That last one is dairy.) To mitigate this, a better practice than relying on the front of the label, is to know what you can and cannot have, and read the ingredients list on the back.

Unfortunately, beer has not escaped the confusing label labyrinth, and some beer labeling is misleading. Celiac.com explains:

“In general, research suggests that less than 10 milligrams (mg) of gluten daily is unlikely to cause significant damage to the intestines in most celiac people. However these small amounts could still be enough to make a person feel unwell.”

Because of this threshold, we’ve divided the beer by Gluten-Free and Gluten-Removed. As you suspect, Gluten-Free beer is made from ingredients that are naturally gluten-free and brewed without risk of cross contamination. Gluten-Removed beer is brewed with traditional beer ingredients, after which it is processed in such a way that practically all (but not all) the gluten is removed. Remember, if you’re an asymptomatic celiac, you won’t feel the damage as you go.

Gluten Free Beer
Typically made from sorghum, which replaces the barley and wheat in traditional beer brewing, this type of beer is a bit on the sweet side. Check out Dogfish Head’s Tweason’ale (Beer Finder), Bard's Tale (Beer Finder) or Fox Tail Gluten Free Ale (Beer Finder).

Bars that carry gluten free beers:
Rex 1516

Grey Lodge Pub
London Grill
Alla Spina
Hawthorne's

Bottle shops and distributors that carry gluten free beers:
The Richmond Bottle Shop
Moore Beverage
Bottle Bar East
Bella Vista Distributor

Gluten Removed Beer
Depending on your sensitivity, you may be able to tolerate a few gluten parts per million. If you have celiac sprue, these may not be for you (sorry), but if your tolerance has a threshold, and you know what it is, these taste as close to real beer as you are going to get. Try Estrella Daura Damm (Beer Finder) or Omission (Beer Finder), both available throughout the city.

Bars that carry gluten removed beers:
Tinto
Bar Ferdinand
Amada
Bourbon & Branch
Cooperage

Bottle shops and distributors that carry gluten removed beer:
Stone's Beverage
Global Beer Distributor
The Bottle Shop

Does your favorite bar carry gluten-free beers or ciders? Give us a shout on Facebook or Twitter.

 

Photo credit: Flickr user Charles Knowles

 


Tags: Beer, Cocktails, Food, Spirits, Wine
Recent Articles
spacer

Feedback

How are we doing? Tell us what you like or don't like and how we can improve. We would love to hear your thoughts!

*Name:
*E-mail:
*Suggestions:
 
A Brewery in Scotland is Marketing the 'World's Strongest Beer'

A Brewery in Scotland is Marketing the 'World's Strongest Beer'

A Scottish brewery, Brewmeister, is marketing the strongest beer in the world: Snake Venom....read more ›

by The Drink Nation Aug 15, 2017
Best Bars For Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2017

Best Bars For Outdoor Drinking in Philadelphia, 2017

Whether it's to enjoy the first warm breezes of spring or the summer's sunshine, Philadelphia is full of great places to drink in the great outdoors....read more ›

by Drink Philly Apr 11, 2017
SPONSORED
Skybrunch Rectanlge Ad
In Case You Had Forgotten, Drew Barrymore Tells Us How to Drink Wine

In Case You Had Forgotten, Drew Barrymore Tells Us How to Drink Wine

Back in April, Drew Barrymore sat down for an interview with Vogue about her latest rose from her wine company...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Aug 15, 2017
Philly's Best Happy Hours: $3 Appetizers, $4 Beers, & $5 Wines at The Dandelion

Philly's Best Happy Hours: $3 Appetizers, $4 Beers, & $5 Wines at The Dandelion

This week's installment is all about The Dandelion, Stephen Starr's British gastropub in the heart of Rittenho...read more ›

by Drink Philly Aug 15, 2017
Effen Vodka is Hosting a Free Live Art Demonstration by Lefty Out There Featuring $8 Cocktails, August 11

Effen Vodka is Hosting a Free Live Art Demonstration by Lefty Out There Featuring $8 Cocktails, August 11

Join Effen Vodka on Friday, August 11 at James Restaurant and Lounge for a free live art demonstration by Left...read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Aug 11, 2017
SEED Fest, Philly's Only Vegan Food & Beer Festival, is Returning on August 13

SEED Fest, Philly's Only Vegan Food & Beer Festival, is Returning on August 13

On Sunday, August 13, Philly's only fully vegan food and beer festival, S.E.E.D. (Sustainable Everyday Edibles...read more ›

by Drink Philly Aug 10, 2017
Manatawny Still Works Tasting Room Now Open on East Passyunk

Manatawny Still Works Tasting Room Now Open on East Passyunk

Manatawny Still Works has a new tasting room and retail store, which are now open at 1603 E Passyunk Ave. according to Philadelphia Magazine....read more ›

by Jessie Donofrio Aug 10, 2017
Get Ready For The Drink Philly End of Summer Boat Party, August 24

Get Ready For The Drink Philly End of Summer Boat Party, August 24

On Thursday, August 24, prepare to hoist anchor for a three-hour tour of crazy proportions. We'll sail down th...read more ›

by Drink Philly Aug 8, 2017
Things No One Asked For: Prosecco Donuts

Things No One Asked For: Prosecco Donuts

In case you were tired of drinking Prosecco the regular way, a New York bakery has introduced a new way to imbibe it: a Prosecco donut....read more ›

by Ryan Hudak Aug 8, 2017
SPONSORED
View all Articles

Sign up to get weekly drinking news, bar reviews, events and more sent directly to your inbox!

Close