A gluten-free beer is one produced using gluten-free raw materials like sorghum, rice, corn and millet. Beer produced using gluten-containing raw materials like wheat, barley and rye cannot be labeled as "gluten-free." The FDA and TTB state that, in absence of a scientifically valid testing method (which they say does not currently exist), one cannot substantiate a gluten-free claim for a malt beverage that is crafted to remove gluten. However, if a malt beverage starts with gluten-containing raw materials and has been crafted to remove gluten, the designation "crafted to remove gluten" may be used, with qualification that the gluten content cannot be verified and the product may contain gluten. At New Belgium, our beers start with barley malt and have been "crafted to remove gluten" through the utilization of an enzyme (Brewers ClarexTM) capable of breaking gluten proteins down into small fragments.
The method we use to detect and quantify gluten is the industry-supported R5 Competitive ELISA. This method has been recognized by the American Society of Brewing Chemists (ASBC), American Association of Cereal Chemists (AACC), the Codex Commission and the American Association of Analytical Communities (AOAC) as a reliable gluten-detection method, although we must qualify that the TTB states that there is not yet a scientifically valid method for testing gluten in fermented products. We do not package or ship Glutiny beers until we have used the R5 Competitive ELISA method to test that the gluten content is below the standard of 20 parts per million of gluten. Extra caution is taken to prevent cross contamination with gluten-containing beer in the brewery, and we test the reduction of gluten throughout the process and in the finished product using the R5 Competitive ELISA method.
The gluten content in Glutiny is below the standard of 20 parts per million of gluten as tested by the R5 Competitive ELISA method. The gluten content in products fermented from grains containing gluten (wheat, barley and rye) cannot be verified and therefore may contain gluten. At New Belgium, we have procedures in place to prevent cross contamination of our Glutiny products with our other products in the brewery, and we test the reduction of gluten at different stages in the process using the R5 Competitive ELISA testing method. We test all gluten-reduced beers throughout the process and will not release products that have any detectable gluten using the R5 Competitive ELISA testing method.