Are Hops Gluten Free?

Hops are one of the 4 main ingredients in beer, the others being malt, yeast, and water. They add delicious flavors and aromas to our beers and without them beer as we know it would not exist. However, a question asked by many people, especially those who have a gluten intolerance is; are hops gluten free?

If you are gluten intolerant and have concerns about whether hops have gluten in them, this article is going to set the record straight for you…

Are Hops Gluten Free? 
Hops on a vine next to the words are hops gluten free.
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The answer is that Yes hops are gluten free.

If you have an intolerance or allergy to gluten you do not have to be concerned about the hops themselves.

It is important to understand however that just because there is no gluten in the hops does not mean that the beer itself is gluten-free. Most beer does contain gluten due to the grains used to make it, but more and more there are beers coming on the market that are 100% gluten-free, plus there are many other alcoholic beverages that contain hops that are also gluten free.

What Are Hops?

Hops are the flowers that come from the female hop plant called Humulus Lupulus. These flowers are shaped like a cone. Within the cone towards the bottom, there are glands that create small sticky globules that are called lupins. The resin and oils within are what create the aroma and bitterness in beer.

There are many different types of beer hops that produce many varying flavors and aromas. They are also used to balance the sweetness from the malt, and also act as a preservative. (LINK)

In fact, they were originally used as a preservative by the British who added them directly to the cask of beers they were shipping to their soldiers in India in order to preserve them during the long sea voyage. It is how the style of beer referred to as India Pale Ale or IPA came to be.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I be allergic to hops?

People can be allergic to pretty much anything and hops are no exception. Having said that, reported hop allergies are very rare. However, if you are having an adverse reaction to beer, especially beers with higher levels of hops such as IPAs it could be as a result of the oils from the hops themselves and should be explored further.

Do all beers have hops?

Nowadays the answer is yes all beer does contain hops. However, in days gone by before hops were used in the brewing process different varieties of herbs were used instead. This drink is referred to as Gruit and is making a comeback as more people are discovering it and coming to enjoy its unique flavor.

Are hops good for your liver?

Although there are studies showing that some of the compounds found within the hops are potentially good for the treatment of some liver diseases, drinking alcohol itself can be detrimental for your liver and you should always drink responsibly.

In Summary

Do hops have gluten? No, they do not. However, most beers do so if you want to enjoy a beverage with hops you will need to look for gluten-free beers or other beverages that contain hops such as ciders.

Cheers, Big Robb is Out!

Big Robb with a pint of home brewed beer
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P.S. If you brew beer or have ever wanted to start, I recommend you take advantage of my offer to get the recipes for my top 5 beers from my brewpub. You can quickly make any beer (including these) gluten free by adding an enzyme called clarity ferm to it. Details are on the side of the blog or at the bottom if you are on a smart device. Enjoy!

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