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.

greenflashsdmb

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.

Dang it!!!!  WHY ME?!?!?!?! WHY DOES EVERYONE GET TO DRINK THE CRAFT BEER BUT ME?!?!?!?!?!?

duckfootsdmb

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.

YAY YOU!!!!


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

Belchingbeaversdmb

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!!!!!!!


2ndchancesdmb

Second Chance Beer Co.

PLEASE NOTE:

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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44 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. http://boozebros.com/ 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 #

      http://www.amplifiedales.com/brewery/

      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

      Hours:
      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 #

      http://www.goldencoastmead.com/#about-gcm

      OCEANSIDE TASTING ROOM

      Golden Coast Mead

      4089 Oceanside Blvd, Ste H
      Oceanside, CA 92056

      Phone: 760-630-4468

      JULIAN TASTING ROOM

      OCEANSIDE TASTING ROOM

      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)

    http://omissionbeer.com/?mobile=desktop

    • 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 #

        http://www.boltbrewery.com/

        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!!

    • Lori C.
      Lori C. May 16, 2017 at 7:08 am #

      You are welcome! More and more all the time are being discovered. San Diego is clearly on to it, but I wish I could find out about the gluten-reduced beers when I travel to other areas.

      Anyone, if you know if of other Gluten-reduced beers ANYWHERE, please post a comment! Thanks to all!!!!

  12. Steve P April 30, 2017 at 7:53 am #

    First of all, thanks for keeping this list. I’ve been a big fan of San Diego craft beer and have recently discovered an intolerance for gluten.

    Here’s another gluten-reduced option.

    http://www.sandiegomagazine.com/San-Diego-Brewery-Guide/index.php/name/Burgeon-Beer-Co/listing/55105/

    Also, White Labs (a brewer’s yeast supplier and the place that makes the ClarityFerm enzyme that reduces gluten) brews most of it’s beers gluten reduced. White Labs tasting room is a great place to visit as they have a unique approach whereby they take a beer recipe and brew it with four different yeast strains.

    Good to see the list growing.

  13. Lori C.
    Lori C. May 2, 2017 at 7:36 am #

    Thank you for all the great info!

    I recently stopped into Burgeon and sampled several of their brews. Great to have another on the GF brewery on the list so close to home!!!

    Here is there address for Burgeon brewery and tasting room in Carlsbad….

    Burgeon Beer Co.
    6350 Yarrow Dr
    Carlsbad, California
    (760) 814-2548

    • Steve P May 14, 2017 at 7:53 am #

      Another one for the list: Automatic Brewing Co. in Normal Heights. Apparently they have been doing this for some time. I checked it this AM because we are going to the Blind Lady Ale House for Mother’s Day. For those of you who don’t know BLAH, as it’s called, it’s a fantastic beer bar and restaurant with Automatic Brewing Co, a small 10 bbl brewery, in the back. They make the best cheese plate and best charcuterie plate I’ve ever had. Bar none. And the kids love the pizza there. Hence the Mother’s Day trip there. So happy to see that Automatic is gluten reduced as I love going to BLAH.

      http://automaticbrewingco.blogspot.com/2014/01/gluten-reduced-beers.html

      • Steve P May 14, 2017 at 8:16 am #

        Oh, and Happy Mother’s Day to Lori and any other moms on this blog……

        • Lori C.
          Lori C. May 16, 2017 at 7:09 am #

          You are welcome! And, Thank you for the Mother’s day greeting!

  14. Marc Intravaia July 7, 2017 at 7:28 pm #

    A friend of mine is the sister of the Mission Brewery owner. She told me that they use the enzyme to reduce gluten in many of their beers. I’m on a mission (sorry, can’t resist a bad pun) to confirm this. Shipwrecked double IPA is a favorite of mine.

    • Steve P July 16, 2017 at 12:02 pm #

      Many thanks, Marc! Very helpful. I’m a big fan of ShipWrecked myself. Anxious to hear what you report back.

      I would like to find a way to encourage other SD breweries to consider using Clarity Ferm. SD seems to be leading the way in this regard. Perhaps you could get some feedback from your contact at Mission as to why they started using Clarity Ferm. And we could create a group to encourage others.

  15. Steve P July 16, 2017 at 12:05 pm #

    Some info for those planning to see a Padres game. I went to a game last nite and would like to report that the Craft Pier serves at least 5 beers that are gluten reduced, 2 from Alpine, 2 from Belching Beaver and Stone Delicious, which seems to be ubiquitous lately.

  16. Steve P August 10, 2017 at 7:52 am #

    Update: Visited Alpine Brewing in Alpine last week on the way back from a trip through Julian and the mountains. Alpine confirmed that they continue to brew all of there beers gluten reduced. I spoke with one of the employees familiar with the topic an he mentioned that they typically test below a limit of detection of 2.6 ppm. And that he knows celiac sufferers who can consume Alpine beer with no ill effects. I thanked him and encouraged them to continue the practice.

    The woman who worked the counter mentioned that Mike Hess brewing is also using the Clarity Ferm t gluten reduce all of their beers but I have not confirmed this yet. Need to make a trip there.

    • Lori C.
      Lori C. August 12, 2017 at 9:41 am #

      Thanks for checking up on Alpine… love DUET! Also, great news about Hess.

      SDMB is having a Networking event there on Sept. 3rd and I YAY!!!!! I can drink their beer! So Happy!

      For deets on the HESS Events go here -> http://sandiego.citymomsblog.com/mom/mama-hustle-networking-event/ there

      • Steve P August 18, 2017 at 4:56 pm #

        Thanks, Lori! Please report back on Mike Hess! They make so many good beers.

        • Maddie M August 24, 2017 at 11:32 am #

          I just emailed Hess Brewing and received the response from Mike Hess that all of their beers are gluten reduced! 🙂

          • Lori C.
            Lori C. August 26, 2017 at 7:30 am #

            Thank you for checking on that! It was on my list of to-dos this week! I love it when my to-do list shrinks by no doing of my own. lol

            Mike Hess Brewing
            http://www.mikehessbrewing.com/

            North Park: World class brewery and public tasting room
            3812 Grim Avenue
            San Diego
            CA 92104

            Sunday thru Thursday Noon to 10pm
            Friday & Saturday Noon to Midnight

            Miramar: Our original brewery and public tasting room
            7955 Silverton Avenue
            Suite 1201
            San Diego
            CA 92126

            Sunday noon to 6pm
            Monday through Thursday 3pm to 9pm
            Friday and Saturday noon to 10pm

            Now open in Ocean Beach! Public tasting room.
            4893 Voltaire St
            San Diego
            CA 92107
            (corner of Cable and Voltaire)

            Sunday through Thursday noon to 10pm
            Friday and Saturday noon to midnight

          • Steve P August 27, 2017 at 6:45 am #

            Thanks, Maddie! Very helpful. Just noticed I have a bottle of Mike Hess in my garage fridge.

  17. Steve P August 19, 2017 at 12:21 pm #

    More good news! I visited the new Viewpoint Brewery in Del Mar last nite. They brew all of their beers with the Clarity ferm enzyme and are thus gluten reduced. I tried three of their beers, all quite good, with no ill effects (beyond a mild hangover 😉 ).

    It was nice that when I went up to the bar to inquire if any of their beers were gluten reduced, the young woman who was bartending knew exactly what I was talking about and informed me that all of their beers are gluten reduced. She also pointed me to a couple of their guest beers (DuckFoot and one other I don’t remember) that are also gluten reduced. Another woman who appeared to be owner or management added more info, that the use the enzyme for gluten reduction though they do not test each batch.

    Nice to see more SD brewers paying attention to gluten reduction. Is this an SD thing because White Labs is here or is the same thing happening in other beer towns??

    • Lori C.
      Lori C. August 26, 2017 at 7:27 am #

      Thank you, Steve for the new info. San Diego is on it! Love it!

      I have not found breweries outside of our area are up to date on the ability of Clarity Ferm to clear their beer of gluten. But, we try to educate as we travel, though!

      Viewpoint Brewing
      http://viewpointbrewing.com/

      2201 San Dieguito Drive
      Suite D
      Del Mar, CA 92014
      858.356.9346

      Tasting Room Hours with Small Bites Menu
      Tuesday through Sunday 12-4:30 p.m.
      Dinner Service
      Monday through Sunday 5-10 p.m.

      • Steve P August 27, 2017 at 8:33 am #

        Hi Lori (and others),

        I recently compiled the info in this blog and another website and it added up to 20 SD breweries that are making at least one gluten-reduced beer, with a good number of breweries that are gluten-reducing all or their beers. I’m sure there are more that we don’t know about yet. A national website with a list of gluten-reduced beers shows that more than half are SD breweries. Clearly there’s a trend forming here and it seems to be led from SD, perhaps due to White Labs present. On the downside, breweries do not like to advertise gluten-reduced beer for fear of getting lumped in with gluten-free beers which typically don’t have good flavor profiles.

        I’ve been wondering what we as interested parties might do to accelerate this trend? Some ideas include encouraging WestCoasterSD to do an article on the trend with some education. The WestCoasterSD website has a section where an e-mail can be submitted. Or encouraging the San Diego Brewers Guild to create a map of gluten reduced breweries as part of their maps. Facebook page?

        Thoughts?
        Steve

        • Lori C.
          Lori C. September 9, 2017 at 7:42 am #

          Steve! San Diego definitely leads!

          I have the growing contact list for all breweries in San Diego and would like to survey each and everyone to create a San Diego County list as a follow up to this post.

          West Coaster did do a brief print article (last year, I think) on White Labs and a couple of local breweries using it and offering gluten-reduced beers, but yeah, we need to accelerate this trend.

          San Diego Moms Blog is going to become more involved in the Craft Beer community very soon, so for sure it is my intent to blow up the gluten reduced beer trend in San Diego. Perhaps our other sister sites will join us and help to make it a national trend.

          BTW, I visited the Samuel Adams Brewery in Boston a month ago and asked about gluten reduced beer. They said they have been working on one, but have not found a flavor profile they like yet. WHY?!?!?! lol There are some pretty tasty gluten-reduced craft beers out there now that people drink every day that don’t even know….. so, WHAAAT?!?!

          Craft on…

          Lori

          • Steve P September 10, 2017 at 8:31 am #

            Hi Lori,

            Sounds like a good plan. I don’t have a huge amount of time but let me know where I can help. I think I will reach out to WestCosterSD and perhaps the Brewers Guild. Do you mind if I mention this blog to them??

            I’d also heard somewhere that Stone is gluten reducing more than just the Delicious IPA. Worth checking into.

            WRT, Sam Adams, I suspect they are looking to make a gluten-free beer versus a gluten reduced beer.

            Best,
            Steve

        • Lori C.
          Lori C. September 10, 2017 at 2:46 pm #

          Yes, tons of work but I will chip away at it over the next month or two and try to enlist some help. Absolutely mention our blog to West Coaster and Brewers Guild! West Coaster ran their print story after this blog posted, so we are definitely on the same page with demand in San Diego for gluten-reduced beer!

  18. Lori C.
    Lori C. September 9, 2017 at 7:51 am #

    Second Chance Beer Co. update… The following beers are gluten reduced according to the Brewery.

    Lumimous Blonde, Ale
    Mulligan, Irish-style Red Ale
    Tabula Rasa, Toasted Porter
    Clever Hoppy Name, Extra Pale Ale
    Seize the Coffee, Coffee IPA

    Some of these beers is available in cans around the county too!

  19. Lori C.
    Lori C. September 9, 2017 at 7:59 am #

    Oops. Forgot to add ‘Second Chance Seize the IPA’ to the gluten reduced list above. One of the best San Diego IPAs, in my hoppy husbands humble opinion.

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