Passionate About San Diego
and the Moms Who Live Here

Craft Beer for the Gluten Free Crowd in San Diego County

A few years back, brewery hopping and tasting craft beer had become me and my husband’s favorite weekend activity together. ‘Gluten free’ was not even a ‘thing’ yet.

Then, I quit beer. I had to do it. I realized the best diet for my health was a strict paleo diet which excluded grains. So, Bye Bye Beer.


Greenflash Brewing makes Alpine Beers!

My hophead hubby had been so proud that he had guided my tastes towards his favorite IPAs.  And, then overnight….

No more icy cold refreshing amber deliciousness on a hot and sunny day. 

No more tasters, no more pints, no more fun…. done done duuuuuuuunnnnnnnn.

We continued to go to the craft breweries, but I abstained. Not as much fun as before. 🙁

Then, I found a new thing to do which made going to the breweries fun for me too! I started posting photos of the brewing equipment at each brewery we visited on my instagram account @CaliforniaLo.

Hubs got a buzz from his craft beer. I got a buzz from the love I got on instagram. So fun!

For the last several years, I took and posted pics and literally sniffed the beers as the source of my local craft brewery pleasure. I could smell a flight and know which one my hubs would like best. All good, but there is nothing like that thirst-quenching satisfaction from the first sip of a locally crafted beer on a hot SoCal day.



Food trucks/tents at Duck Foot offer gluten free food!

Wait, what?!?!?!?! 

There are craft breweries in San Diego that makes strictly GLUTEN-REDUCED beers? There is an enzyme that several local brewers use that makes their craft beers gluten-reduced too? HAPPY DANCE!!!!!!

Fortunately, the years I’ve spent making lifestyle changes for better health paid off and enjoying a pint or a few tasters of gluten-reduced craft beer is something I can do occasionally.

YAY ME!!!!

Following are a handful of my go-to craft breweries in San Diego County for gluten-reduced craft beers, which are basically ‘gluten free’ by definition.

Some of their gluten-reduced beers are sold in bottles by local retailers and some can be found on tap around the county.

There are also local craft brews that are gluten reduced, but are not promoted that way. If you ask at the breweries, they may tell you which ones.


Gluten-reduced Craft Beer in San Diego County

Duck Foot Beer Co.

ALL BEERS – Gluten-reduced (confirmed here)

All food trucks/tents at Duck Foot are either gluten free or offer gluten free options.

Brewery, 8920 Kenamar Dr. Ste. 210 San Diego (Miramar), CA 92121


Paleo-style dinners offered at Belching Beaver in Vista!

Belching Beaver Brewery

ALL BEERS – Gluten-reduced (confirmed at brewery)

Appetizers and dinners choices for just about every type of eater.

Brewery, 980 Park Center Dr. Vista, CA 92081

4223 30th St. San Diego (North Park), CA 92104

Stone Brewing Co.

Delicious IPA – Gluten-reduced (confirmed here)

Brewery, 1999 Citracado Pkwy. Escondido, CA 92029

2816 Historic Decatur Rd. San Diego (Liberty Station), CA 92106

310 N. Tremont St. Oceanside, CA 92054

795 J St. San Diego, CA 92101

Also, Petco Park and San Diego International Airport at Terminal 2

Second Chance Beer Co.

Mulligan Irish-Style Red Ale – Gluten-reduced (confirmed at brewery)

Brewery, 15378 Avenue of Science #222 San Diego (Rancho Bernardo/Carmel Mountain), CA 92128

Alpine Beer Co.

ALL BEERS  – Gluten-reduced (confirmed here)

Brewery, 2363 Alpine Blvd. Alpine, CA 91901

Pub, 1347 Tavern Rd. Alpine, CA 91901

Green Flash Brewing Co.

Alpine Brewing Co. Beers – Gluten-reduced

Read about: Green Flash – Alpine Partnership

6550 Mira Mesa Blvd. San Diego, CA 92121

Do you know of any other local breweries serving up gluten-reduced craft beer in San Diego?

Share in the comments!

Yeah, I am a craft beer lover… and gluten free.   So happeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!


Second Chance Beer Co.


If you are celiac or have an allergy, please do your own research to verify with the breweries that their products are safe for you.

Some ‘gluten-reduced’ beers contain lactose, like ‘milk’ stouts, so you may want to check other ingredients to make sure they are safe for you as well.

If you are getting a pint at a pub or restaurant, make sure you are not getting the first draw out of the keg (to avoid residual beer from the prior keg, which may not be gluten reduced). This works for my celiac friend, but trial at your own discretion.


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21 Responses to Craft Beer for the Gluten Free Crowd in San Diego County

  1. Christelle August 8, 2016 at 11:23 pm #

    Belching Beaver has my all time fave: Peanut Butter Milk Stout.. yum!! Great news for many!!

    • Lori C.
      Lori C. August 9, 2016 at 7:24 am #

      My son is a PB Milk Stout fan, but I can’t do it because of the lactose. My fave at Belching Beaver is the Me So Honey Ale Honey. So easy to DRINK LOCAL when you live in San Diego County!!!

  2. Lori C.
    Lori C. August 13, 2016 at 10:03 am #

    Missed a couple of Belching Beaver locations above….

    Belching Beaver Tavern is officially opened and located at 302 East Broadway in Vista 92084

    New Brewery and Tasting Room opened at 1334 Rocky Point Dr. Oceanside 92056

  3. Lori C.
    Lori C. August 22, 2016 at 9:38 am #

    Found another one!!!!

    Booze Brothers in Vista. All beers are gluten reduced, confirmed at brewery.

    Booze Brothers Brewery: 2545 Progress St. Suite D, Vista, CA 92081

  4. Marcos September 4, 2016 at 9:39 am #

    Culture Brewing Company in Solana Beach
    111 S Cedros Ave
    Solana Beach CA 92075

    and in OB
    4845 Newport Ave
    Ocean Beach CA 92107

    The majority of their beers are less than 20 parts per million gluten and the rest are between 20-30 PPM. I like to visit their tasting room and do a flight of tastes and leave with a couple of these cool 22 oz cans you can take home. Best gluten-free IPA I have tasted so far is their 3X IPA which is an absolute mule kick to the face with hops.

    • Lori C.
      Lori C. September 12, 2016 at 6:49 am #

      Thank you!!!!

      Love it! I am in Solana Beach a couple times a week, so this is great news!

      Let’s keep this list growing!

  5. Nick Stango September 20, 2016 at 8:50 pm #

    This is a great article for me. I’ve been battling Colitis for at least five years now and before that I had intestinal surgery removing my Sigmoid Colon due to severe Diverticulitis. I wonder sometimes if the bloating I often get which makes me appear like a pregnant man (in my opinion) is due to yet a third intestinal issue. Could it be Gluten that is causing this bloating?
    My daughter has mentioned it on more than one occasion, but I’m all Italian and to give up pasta, bread, beer and everything yummy is very hard for me. Although I do try to watch what I eat, I definitely have been known for making bad choices when it come to food, not to mention other things!
    So now that I read this article, I’m wondering, should I try a little harder to avoid gluten? I guess a good gluten free craft beer would be a nice start. I live in Temecula and there is a Ballast Point Brew House in Old Town that I love, especially there flights, I wonder if they have any Gluten free beers. Definitely worth looking into. Thank you for this post Lori, great story and info!

    • Lori C.
      Lori C. September 21, 2016 at 7:58 am #

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. My health and digestion improved significantly when I went gluten and dairy free. It is pretty easy to be gluten free these days and the results could be instantaneous, so I say definitely give it a go!

      Once you get the hang of gluten free, you might consider eating ‘organic’ as much as possible (financially and accessibility-wise) because of some of the chemicals used in conventional farming may be contributing to gut issues.

      Making these changes have made a huge difference for me. I think back to all of the digestive discomfort I suffered through and am so thankful that I found the ’cause’ and that the solution was something that I have control over!

  6. John Horton September 30, 2016 at 12:50 pm #

    You can add Amplified Ale Works (Pacific Beach and Miramar) to your list of all beers being Gluten Reduced.

    • Lori C.
      Lori C. November 3, 2016 at 7:21 am #

      Excellent! More Beer!

    • Lori C.
      Lori C. November 14, 2016 at 6:05 am #

      Pacific Beach Beer Garden and Brew Pub:
      Call us at 858.270.5222
      4150 Mission Blvd. #208
      San Diego, CA 92109

      Miramar Tasting Room:
      9030 Kenamar Drive #309
      San Diego, CA 92121

      Mon – Wed: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
      Thu – Sat: 11:00 am – 12:00 am
      Sun: 11:00 am – 11:00 pm

  7. Michelle October 28, 2016 at 9:57 am #

    It’s not a ‘beer’ but Golden Coast Mead in Oceanside crafts mead, which is naturally 100% gluten free. You can get a taster flight and sample everything on tap 🙂 personally, I enjoy it much more than beer and I LOVE beer.

    • Lori C.
      Lori C. November 3, 2016 at 7:22 am #

      I have heard about mead… looking forward to trying it at Golden Coast Mead. Yes!

    • Lori C.
      Lori C. November 14, 2016 at 6:02 am #


      Golden Coast Mead

      4089 Oceanside Blvd, Ste H
      Oceanside, CA 92056

      Phone: 760-630-4468



      Golden Coast Mead

      4089 Oceanside Blvd, Ste H
      Oceanside, CA 92056

      Phone: 760-630-4468

      Oceanside Hours

      W 2pm – 8’ish
      Th 2pm – 8’ish
      F 2pm – 8’ish
      Sa 1pm – 8’ish
      Su 12pm – 5’ish

      Golden Coast Mead

      4470 Julian Rd

      Julian, CA 92036

      Julian Hours

      M-Th CLOSED
      F 11am – 6pm
      Sa 11am – 6pm
      Su 11am – 6pm

      Oceanside Hours

      W 2pm – 8’ish
      Th 2pm – 8’ish
      F 2pm – 8’ish
      Sa 1pm – 8’ish
      Su 12pm – 5’ish

  8. Rich November 1, 2016 at 7:52 pm #

    Widmer Brothers makes an Omission beer line that I have been seeing (and drinking!) and so far it’s been nothing but a delicious experience. I haven’t had any ill effects from their beers (celiac)

    • Lori C.
      Lori C. November 3, 2016 at 7:24 am #

      Before my local gluten free beer quest, I drank Omission from Portland!!!! Love the Portland Craft Beer scene and I feel a Portland Gluten Free Brew Quest coming on…… I am so excited to have soooooooo many choices!

  9. Chris Angel November 7, 2016 at 4:50 pm #

    I am the head brewer for Bolt Brewery and I implemented the enzyme into our process this past year. I am happy to let you know that we have White Labs test every batch to confirm that the gluten content is less then 10 ppm.

    • Lori C.
      Lori C. November 14, 2016 at 5:57 am #

      That’s great! Thanks for letting us know and making beer for us glutenistas who love craft beer!

      • Lori C.
        Lori C. November 14, 2016 at 6:00 am #

        Brew House and Beer Garden
        8179 Center St
        La Mesa, CA 91942
        Tel: (619) 303-7837
        Mon – Fri: 1:00PM – 9:00PM
        Sat: 11:00AM – 11:00PM
        Sun: 11:00AM – 9:00PM

        Tasting Room and Restaurant
        1971 India Street
        San Diego, CA 92102
        Tel: 619-795-3012
        Mon – Fri: 11:00AM – 10:00PM
        Sat: 11:00AM – 1:00AM
        Sun: 11:00AM – 10:00PM

  10. Lori C.
    Lori C. March 2, 2017 at 7:51 am #

    While Belching Beaver beers have been gluten-reduced in the past, the last I was in to the brewery (February 2017) I was told that they have not been using the enzyme which results in a gluten-reduced beer for the past couple of months.

    This substitution may or may not be temporary and there in lies the problem with not having a ‘gluten free’ or ‘gluten reduced’ certification for beer. ALWAYS check with the brewer, even those that have been deemed ‘gluten reduced’ in the past.

  11. Sarah March 16, 2017 at 3:40 pm #

    What great information! I LOVE craft beer and I have been gluten free for 3 years now.

    I have only been drinking duck foot and culture beer. I recently found out about amplified. I am so happy there are more options! Yeah Thanks Again!!

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