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Is Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy gluten free?

Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are becoming increasingly common, so it’s understandable that those avoiding gluten want to know if popular beers like Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy are safe to drink. In this article, we’ll take a close look at Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy and whether it contains gluten.

What is Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy?

Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy is a wheat beer produced by Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, which is owned by MillerCoors. It’s one of Leinenkugel’s most popular beers and has been produced since 2007.

Summer Shandy is an American wheat ale or “weissbier.” It’s made with a combination of malted wheat and barley. In addition to the wheat and barley, Summer Shandy also contains lemonade flavoring, giving it a crisp, refreshing lemon taste.

The beer has an alcohol content of 4.2% ABV. It’s a seasonal summer beer, available from May through September in most parts of the United States where Leinenkugel beers are distributed.

Does Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy contain gluten?

Yes, Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy does contain gluten. The two main ingredients – wheat and barley – both contain gluten proteins.

Gluten is a type of protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. People with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity cannot tolerate gluten and experience symptoms when they consume it.

Beers made from gluten-free grains like sorghum, rice, millet, buckwheat, corn, or quinoa would be gluten-free. However, traditional beers made from wheat and/or barley contain gluten.

There are no special gluten-removed or gluten-reduced claims on Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy packaging. The company also does not claim the beer is gluten-free or safe for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.

So while Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy may be a refreshing summer beer for many, it’s not considered safe for those following a strict gluten-free diet.

Gluten content of different beers

The exact gluten content can vary among different beers depending on the ingredients and brewing process. Here’s an overview of the typical gluten content of some common beer styles:

Beer Type Typical Gluten Content
Lagers, ales, wheat beers, stouts Contains gluten (from wheat and/or barley)
Gluten-removed beers Less than 20 parts per million (ppm) gluten
Gluten-reduced beers 20 – 100 ppm gluten
Gluten-free beers Less than 20 ppm gluten

Beers certified gluten-free by an independent organization generally contain less than 20 ppm of gluten. Gluten-removed beers go through additional processing to reduce gluten content to below 20 ppm.

Gluten-reduced beers have some gluten removed during processing, but may still contain over 20 ppm. Most conventional barley and wheat beers contain significant gluten levels.

Risks of consuming gluten with gluten intolerance or celiac disease

For those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can trigger a range of unpleasant and potentially serious symptoms and health issues. Possible symptoms and risks include:

  • Digestive issues – diarrhea, vomiting, gas, bloating, abdominal pain
  • Nutrient malabsorption – inability to properly absorb nutrients from food
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Neurological symptoms – dizziness, headaches, depression
  • Skin conditions – rashes, itching
  • Joint pain
  • Anemia and related issues
  • Potential long-term damage to small intestine
  • Increased risk for other autoimmune disorders

In those with celiac disease, gluten triggers an autoimmune response that attacks and damages the small intestine. Over time, this can lead to impaired nutrient absorption and an array of complications.

While non-celiac gluten sensitivity may not cause permanent intestinal damage, it can still lead to debilitating symptoms that negatively impact health and quality of life.

For these reasons, it’s essential for anyone with gluten intolerance or celiac disease to avoid gluten as much as possible by being diligent about checking labels and understanding ingredient information.

Alternatives to Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy

While Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy contains gluten, there are some great gluten-free beers that can provide a similar light and refreshing drinking experience. Here are some popular options:

Glutenberg American Pale Ale

Glutenberg brews a range of gluten-free beers, including their American Pale Ale. It’s made from corn, millet, buckwheat, rice, and hops. The company’s beers test below 5 ppm of gluten.

Ground Breaker Pale Ale

Ground Breaker Brewing focuses exclusively on gluten-free beers, produced with gluten-free grains and certified at less than 5 ppm gluten. Their American Pale Ale offers citrusy, hop-forward flavors.

Ghostfish Grapefruit IPA

For a gluten-free India Pale Ale with citrus notes, Ghostfish Brewing’s Grapefruit IPA is a popular choice. It combines grapefruit peel and juice with gluten-free grains.

New Planet Pale Ale

New Planet Beer uses gluten-free ingredients like rice, millet, sorghum, buckwheat, and tapioca. Their crisp, easy-drinking Pale Ale offers notes of honey and orange.

Omission Ultimate Light Golden Ale

Omission brews gluten-reduced beers, removing gluten through a special enzyme process. Their light golden ale retains a malty, smooth flavor at under 20 ppm of gluten.

Takeaways on Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy and gluten

Here are the key takeaways on whether Leinenkugel’s popular Summer Shandy contains gluten:

  • Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy is a wheat beer made with wheat and barley, both gluten-containing grains.
  • The company does not claim the beer is gluten-free or safe for gluten intolerance.
  • Those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should avoid Leinenkugel’s Summer Shandy due to gluten content.
  • Gluten can trigger uncomfortable or even dangerous symptoms in those with gluten intolerance.
  • There are many tasty gluten-free beer options available, like pale ales and IPAs from brands using gluten-free grains.

While many beers contain gluten, there are still plenty of high-quality gluten-free options to enjoy. With the rise in gluten-free diets, most major cities have at least a few breweries offering gluten-removed or gluten-free beers. Checking labels and contacting manufacturers directly can help identify safe gluten-free beers.

Those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance don’t have to give up on enjoying an occasional beer. With some research and care when selecting beers, it’s possible to find flavorful, gluten-free options to fit any taste.