If I had a nickel for every time someone asked, “Is alcohol gluten free?”

It’s a great question, too, because the truth is that the answer is complicated.

First, no, not all alcohol is gluten free.

But yes, there are a ton of gluten-free alcohol options.

If you have been gluten free for any amount of time, you already know that traditional beer is not gluten free.

But did you know that even when you think you are safe consuming that alcoholic beverage, there just might be a reason why you still feel ill afterward?

There are many reasons for it, but what I describe here is something you might not have considered. 

Why You Still Don’t Feel Well Consuming Alcohol Even If It’s Gluten Free

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Here are 7 reasons why you might still feel awful after drinking alcohol even if you think it’s gluten free:

  1. Distilling process.
  2. Wine barrel cross contamination.
  3. Sulfites or other preservatives
  4. Other preservatives
  5. You don’t have the proper enzymes to break the alcohol down. This can largely be due to genetics.
  6. Histamine intolerance
  7. You drank too much 🙂

Is Alcohol Gluten Free

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When I was in college, prior to caring about anything health-wise my drinks of choice were always:

  • Rum and Diet Coke
  • Pina Colada
  • Beer –> but wait, that wasn’t by choice, that was forced when there was nothing else around
  • Anything else sweet and sugary, typically dark liqueurs

Back then I could barely drink without getting sick. I should have started piecing the puzzle together then. But of course I did not.

In almost all of my college beverages, there was gluten in the alcohol.

And I still don’t drink much to this day because the truth is that I know alcohol disrupts digestion.

Leaky gut is only worsened by alcohol, so if I go over a glass or two of anything, I’m likely to feel things such as dizziness, stomach discomfort and sometimes joint pain the day following alcohol consumption.

However, you don’t have to give up alcohol altogether if you are gluten free or have IBD and/or IBS. You just need to be smart about it, engage in trial-and-error and not overdo it.

So let’s break down some alcohol categories and brands that are gluten free.

Gluten Free Alcohol List

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Gluten Free Wine

Remember, wine is naturally gluten free. However, some practices — like aging the wine in oak barrels sealed with wheat paste — may add tiny amounts of gluten. 

It’s usually never going to be enough to matter, but if you’re truly concerned, then you should reach out to the brand team to inquire. 

Gluten Free Beer

  1.  Glutenberg
  2. New Belgium Glutiny
  4. Against the Grain
  5. Ghostfish Brewing

Note: This is sort of a non-beer, beer option because it’s a ginger beer. But check out one of my faves, Crabbies Ginger Beer. It’s sweet so I usually only have 1 or 2, but just incredible.

I also love that I can drink it out of a glass beer bottle. 

Hard Cider

  1. Angry Orchard
  2. Fox Barre
  3. Ciderboys
  4. Stella Artois Apple and Pear Hard Cidre
  5. Original Sin Hard Cider


  1. Grey Goose
  2. Ciroc Ultra Premium Vodka
  3. Tito’s
  4. Ocean Vodka
  5. Smirnoff Vodka

Note: If I had to choose one alcohol and only drink that, it would be vodka. For me personally, it’s the easiest to digest. If I have just 1-2 drinks using high-quality vodka, I’m just fine. 


  1. Malibu
  2. Cruzan Rum
  3. Bacardi(only Gold, Superior, 151, and flavored)
  4. Myer’s Rum
  5. Captain Morgan


  1. 1800 Tequila
  2. Patron Tequila
  3. El Jimador
  4. Jose Cuervo
  5. Don Julio Tequila


  1. Jack Daniel’s Whiskey
  2. Maker’s Mark
  3. Wild Turkey Bourbon
  4. Queen Jeenie Whiskey
  5. Hudson Bay Bourbon

Note: I am not a whiskey girl. Well, that was until I tried the Skrewball Whiskey, which is a Peanut Butter Whiskey that’s both vegan and gluten free. 


Gluten should be distilled out in production, but if you’re really concerned be sure to avoid gin derived from wheat, rye, or barely.

  1. Hendrick’s Gin
  2. Monopolowa Dry Gin
  3. Schramm Organic Gin
  4. Aviation American Gin
  5. Cold River Gin


  1. E & J
  2. Paul Masson
  3. Christian Bros Brandy
  4. Mansion House Brandy
  5. Alambic

Best Alcohol for a Sensitive Stomach

So what do I think is the best alcohol for a sensitive stomach?

In my personal experiences, these are the top 3 (from best to worst):

No Alcohol at All

I realize you do not want to hear this.

Believe me, I don’t want to tell you it.

But to pretend like alcohol is good for a sensitive stomach and/or while you’re healing your gut would be false.

In fact, I don’t believe the concept of alcohol and gut healing is discussed enough.

To this day I rarely drink (because it truly does not leave me feeling well usually).

But during the depths of my healing, I maybe had 1-2 drinks per month. 


Make it a super high-quality Vodka then mix with water and a little lemonade and/or fresh-squeezed lemon + limes.

That combination is about as simple as it will get.


Also a clear alcohol that has limited fermentation. 

Honorable mention: Whiskey. It’s approved on many diet protocols, too.

What do you think? How do you do with alcohol? Any favorite gluten-free alcoholic beverages to add to the list?

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy:

  1. Food Tracking {Health and Wellness Focused}
  2. 12 Months of Whole Healing
  3. Why Does My Stomach Hurt {and How to Reset Your Gut}


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Is Alcohol Gluten Free sarahkayhoffman.com Vodka Drink

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  1. That is so weird that you posted this.. I just came across an add for the new Gluten Free Michelob Lite Apple Cider… I was actually rather curious about it myself.

    I actually was a RUM and beer girl.. I even have a pirate kitchen with rum bottles for decor. I miss it when I want to drink but I can’t have pop anymore and rum and cokes were my fave drink. I am sure if I do have SIBO that the bacteria loved my rum obsession ha ha. Whenever I drink beer though I feel insanely bloated and full so I have had to stop drinking it.

    If I do have a drink I now have the following…

    Skinny Girl Bare Naked All Natural No Sugars added Vodka with all natural unsweetened cranberry juice. I haven’t had any issues drinking it so far.

    But like you.. i have to limit my intake .. one thing that bothers me the most is the flare ups in my chest if I drink too much hard liquor…

    1. I find that when I drink, I also need to stay very low carb and low sugar to minimize any unwanted effects. This is the reason I pretty much stick with the vodka/water.

  2. My drink of choice is a shot of good tequila followed by a gluten free beer. I only drink, maybe, twice a month and usually not that often.

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