What beverages are safe for people with celiac disease or are sensitive to wheat and related foods? As many people know, finding gluten-free craft brew beverages that truly satisfy can be tough. Gluten-free beer, wine, and spirits are now easier to find.

Mead, a sweet alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey and other ingredients, isn’t usually a good choice if you can’t ingest gluten, especially if you’re extremely sensitive to trace quantities of gluten. Mead is usually made with gluten-containing components or processes, such as barley and barley malt, or with the inclusion of gluten-containing additives. Nonetheless, many exceptions to this rule allow you to consume this beverage. There are some important questions to ask before consuming it.

What is the source of mead?

Mead is made by combining honey and water, fermented with yeast until the bacteria in the honey absorb the sugars, leaving behind a delicious alcoholic beverage. These three ingredients can be used alone or add other flavours like spices, fruit juice, and herbs.

Previously, fermentation would occur spontaneously when wild yeast spores blew into water trapped in tipped beehives.

Nowadays, drinking mead from a glass or bottle is far more usual than sipping it from an upside-down beehive. Modern mead combines honey, water, yeast, and maybe other ingredients, which are then fermented.

Unfortunately, modern mead is typically made with gluten-containing ingredients or techniques with a high risk of gluten cross-contamination, which is terrible news for persons with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. These components and methods come in a variety of forms.

You may want to consider making your own products so you can control what goes into it and monitor contamination. Try The Yeast Platform for home brew products to get started.

What do we understand by Gluten?

Most wheat products contain gluten, a protein that is the “glue” that holds grains together. Gluten cannot be removed because it is a natural component of cereals. If the grain already includes gluten, it is impossible to manufacture a gluten-free product.

Is mead gluten-free?

Mead is naturally gluten-free and made from honey, water, and yeast. Today, the vast majority of mead sold is gluten-free.

However, some brewers add various flavours to their beer, some of which may contain gluten. Read the labels carefully to see whether the mead you’re purchasing is gluten-free, as some businesses contain malted barley before fermenting.

There is a mead to fit everyone’s tastes, whether they favour dry, complex, or sweet flavour profiles. When eaten naturally, including fermented honey and water or juice, mead is gluten-free. The only types of mead you should avoid are braggarts, which are malt-based meads. 

If you’re looking for a gluten-free session drink to accompany a meal or over your favourite gluten-free dessert, practically all Pollen Angels flavours are suitable (our hopped flavour being the exception)! We also make several gluten-free Sunset Heights Meadery cysers, but these are not currently available on the market.

Is there gluten in mead?

People are generally confused. Talking is mead gluten free? Although most meads are gluten-free, some manufacturers add gluten-containing ingredients to their brews before fermentation. This gluten cannot be consumed on a gluten-free diet because it is not eliminated later.

When selecting a mead to bring home from the grocery, do your research and pay attention to the labels.

Final Words

It shouldn’t be difficult to drink without gluten. While most celiac disease and gluten intolerance patients know which drinks are safe, mead is sometimes neglected. Because of the rebirth of mead as a craft brew beverage and the rapidly rising number of meaderies in Canada and throughout the world, there are now many more options for your glass.