Gluten-Free Cider Boxes with Crafty Nectar. No nasty surprises just honest labelling and some of the most delicious craft cider from the best of UK cider producers.
For those who suffer from celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, it is necessary to maintain a constant guard on what foods contain gluten. As restaurants and supermarket stores have become more aware of gluten sensitivities, the availability of a wider array of foods has become a reality.
Yet when it comes to going out socially, avoiding gluten becomes more challenging, especially for those newly diagnosed. Beer is a UK staple for social drinking, but it is extremely difficult to find gluten-free beer in bars.
Craft cider is typically found in most bars and is a reliable and safe alternative to beer when avoiding gluten.
While cider has been around for centuries, it really only has recently come into popularity across the UK through a recent surge in popularity and access to exciting new brands. It’s that popular there is even a craft cider subscription company!
It is also seeing a huge growth and revival across the Pond in the U.S. As Colette Bloom explains in her article, ‘Cider is Currently All the Rage and it Has the Gluten Free Movement to Thank’ , hard “cider’s popularity has skyrocketed in the U.S.” in recent years.
While it may still only comprise 1% of the American beer market, it is still the fastest growing sector of the alcohol market. What this means for those with gluten concerns is that cider has become more accessible and available, especially in bars, and especially since the sudden increase in consumption coincides with the rise of the gluten-free movement.
Beer has been the most popular UK alcoholic beverage for generations. It has practically become an British pastime with our great love for pubs and especially with the rise of the popularity of craft beers. As microbreweries pop up across the country, these beers have become a standard for social gatherings.
But enjoying beer while suffering from celiac disease or another gluten intolerance is nearly impossible. While gluten-free beer does exist, as the Gluten-Free Survival Guide explains, the beer is still often brewed with barley, “which contains gluten.” The barley is removed from the final product, but the process may still make those avoiding gluten uneasy.
Cider, on the other hand, is comprised from apples instead of hops and barley, both of which naturally contain gluten. Dating back to as early as the Norman invasion in Britain, cider is not new to the alcoholic beverage scene, but its benefits are becoming more well-known.
Apples are an obvious safe alternative to gluten-ridden beers, while offering a brighter and different flavour than beer. Craft cider is created from fermenting apple juice, instead of brewing grains as is the process of brewing beer. Cider is also naturally sweeter and also has a greater appeal to women, in addition to those seeking a gluten-free alternative.
As Bloom describes, women account of 50% of cider drinkers, “as opposed to approximately 30% of beer drinkers.”
Not only is cider primarily gluten-free, but it offers other health benefits that are not available through beer. Studies have shown that cider is a superfood, containing nearly as my antioxidants as wine (Dangerfield 2013). These antioxidants provide defenses against ailments like asthma, diabetes, and heart disease. Beer, by comparison, is not made from fruit and while it contains protein, it does not have the same nutritional value as craft cider.
Additionally while gluten-free beer has been made available, breweries are also noting the rise in the consumption of cider. In 2011, Sam Adams began its Angry Orchard line of ciders which now comprises of nearly 20% of the company’s sales (Bloom 2015).
And it isn’t just breweries getting on board.
The Seattle Cider Summit presented only 40 ciders in the 2010 festival, compared to the 2014 festival which presented nearly 160 ciders. As breweries become more aware of the possibilities of craft cider, bars will maintain a better stock of it as well, furthering the possibilities of those suffering from gluten intolerances.
Craft cider has been gaining popularity along with the gluten-free movement, giving a constant increase in accessibility to consumers watching their gluten consumption. Social eating and drinking while being on alert with any kind of food intolerance is extremely challenging and may result in not wanting to go out at all.
This is a plight especially dire with those suffering with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. But where beer was off-limits to those suffering from gluten intolerances, craft cider is presenting an opportunity to be social as well as safe with your health.