Gluten Free Guerrillas

Any more news on the real ale debate?

DartmoorGuerrilla raised this issue in a recent post by Miradax and it's something I've been meaning to post so I hope nobody will mind if I start a new thread about this specific subject.

Dr Marsh's recent comment (about 6months ago during an interview for the Coeliac global seminar) seemed to give the green light for any coeliacs who fancied drinking real ale. There was a flurry of post responses with some of us (me included) deciding to take the plunge.

I've been drinking real ale (about 4 pints on average a week) for six months. Yes it did feel like I'd died and gone to heaven!

I had my annual dieticians check up this month and was very keen to get my blod results. Absolutely spot on! No apparent ill effects from the beer.

Has anyone else started back on real ale and if so any ill effects?

I should add that I am asymtomatic.

10 Replies

Is this a joke or a serious post? I'd love to get back to drinking 'real ale' as it is the main thing I miss since being diagnosed 6 years ago! Which 'brews' have you tried that have not caused any after effects - not hangovers!!!!!


Hi Leothe,

mmmmm is this a joke or a serious post????

Well, like you about 6 years ago I too was diagnosed and my big regret was missing my pint of local real ale (Ringwood Bitter-yum). A post by DartmoorGuerrilla started some months ago

led to me now drinking it again (huge thanks DG!) It would appear from my recent blood test that all is well and hence me wanting to share this with our community and maybe encourage more to risk it.

As for any ill effects? I am fortunate in that I do not suffer any outward symptoms when I consume gluten. I wish I could say the same after too many beers!


Maybe we should do a Kickstarter to get some testing done and check what the actual gluten content is in some of our favourite brews! I met the boss of one of my local small breweries a few months ago and he said that he would look into it, but I haven't heard anything more so I wonder if the cost was prohibitive.


Hi DG,

Like you I asked my local brewery to help, but everything went quiet.

What we need is a brewer who get diagnosed guten intolerant!!

As I said in my reply above many thanks for being the catalyst to my rush towards alcoholism!


I'd have thought it's in their interest as they'd have a whole new lot of customers. When I discovered that I was gluten intolerant I was surprised to find that the thing I felt a real loss about was real ale, which was quite odd as realistically I only ever drank it a few times a year! But it was the idea of it, and going into a nice country pub...


There is a lot of debate on this subject on American sites, like The Gluten Dude. Very mixed reactions.

When barley undergoes the malting process the gluten protein is broken apart into very small pieces, and this is apparently difficult and expensive to test for. This is one American article discussing the problem.

Choose your poison with care. I'm sticking to the G&T.


Thanks Penel,

Interesting article. I wonder whether there's any data on the likely demand for beer from coeliacs? If it could be demonstrated there is a worthwhile profit to be made by proving beer is GF then a supplier may be prepared to put some investment into proving once and for all.

My junderstanding of Dr Marsh's view is that it is only UK real ale that is safe, so not sure how that fits in to Ommisions research data.


I wonder if Dr Marsh based his view on his experience with patients, or on some independent research? The only paper I can find is research from Australia, which tested various beers. The full article goes into the complexity of testing.

It's good to hear that you are able to drink some real ale without any health issues. I guess the level of barley gluten in the beer must be pretty low, it would be very interesting to know what the level is.


I don't know what basis Dr Marsh made the decision to recommend to his patients that real ale is OK for them,

What persuaded me is that Dr M has, I believe, a clinic of substantial numbers of coeliac suffers and has always given the go ahead to drink real ale. I am presuming that most are symptomatic and would have fed back to Dr M had they suffered symptoms after drinking it. He still holds the vikew that real ale is OK, so I guess no ill effects from his patients.

I can't find any data on this which is disappointing. Maybe a direct approach to Dr M?? If I can track him down I may just fire off a request for his views and rationale.


Yes, the man should know what he's talking about. It would be really interesting to hear more about it.


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