Huntsville is renowned as a top destination for craft beer lovers, which, while perfect for the brew drinkers of the world, may not hold the same value to visitors who can't indulge due to dietary restrictions. Namely, gluten restrictions.
There are numerous reasons people may not eat gluten. Some people have legitimate medical reasons, such as celiac disease or a wheat allergy; some read the best selling book Wheat Belly and promptly emptied their cupboards of every cookie and cracker, and perhaps there are some out there that have an unresolved vendetta with wheat farmer so they avoid all gluten products lest they eat something grown by their sworn enemy. Whatever the reason, it can be a frustrating journey to avoid gluten, particularly if you love to travel and experience the local fare of your destination.
Gluten is the common name of proteins found in certain grains, specifically wheat, barley and rye. These same grains are commonly used to make beer. Because of this, people that avoid gluten often miss out on the brewery experience, but several local breweries have started offering gluten-free options.
Whether you're a visitor or local, being gluten-free is no excuse to miss out on the amazing concoctions offered in the craft brew capital of Alabama!
When Salty Nut Brewery got their winery license they started making ciders and meads. Their pomegranate mead even won a gold medal for best specialty wine at Huntsville’s Big Spring Crush. The brewery almost always has one cider on tap and release meads two to three times a year.
Old Black Bear produces vodka, which is used to make a variety of delicious cocktails. The brewery’s most popular gluten-free drinks are their Moscow Mule and Rusty cocktail.
Straight to Ale recently started brewing hard cider. The cider is carefully crafted; it is sweet without being overbearing. Harden is yet another epic beverage produced by this nationally recognized brewery.
Located inside Yellowhammer Brewery is some of Huntsville’s best ice cream. Campus Creamery has several gluten-free scoops to choose from including Chipotle Chocolate and my personal favorite Berry Bubbly, which is a champagne and blueberry ice cream. Yum!
Local Distilled Liquors
Note: Distilled liquors being labeled as gluten-free is a hotly debated issue, because though many distilled liquors are made with gluten containing grains the distilling process removes the gluten from the liquor. People with wheat allergies should still avoid these products. Here are local distilled liquors that are made with wheat or barley.
Blue Pants Brewery was one of the first breweries to start distilling. They serve a variety of cocktails including their yummy Vodka Cold Brew.
If you are clever enough to find the hidden speakeasy in Straight to Ale’s Campus No. 805 location, then you can enjoy a wide variety of prohibition-era styled cocktails. Their gin cocktails are so tasty they should be outlawed.
Have you tried any of these gluten-free treats? Let us know your favorites in the comments below!
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At the age of 12, a subscription to National Geographic magazine began Sarah’s passionate love for all things related to photography, and since then she’s photographed everything from weddings to house fires to beautiful desserts. Sarah works as a photographer and writer in North Alabama and has photographed for numerous national brands including Southern Living,Cooking Light and Pillsbury. She also writes for several local magazines and is a regular contributor to the popular food blog Huntsville Eats. See more of her photography at S. Belanger Photography and keep up with her food adventures at The Jealous Crumpet.