Recently I was contacted by one of my readers, a life long beer lover, who has developed a severe allergy to barley and hops. He asked if there were any alternatives that might satisfy his beer craving. I did a little research and received this informative e-mail from Jason at www.beertutor.com.
Your poor reader… I don’t think I could go on…
I am no expert on allergies and there are several possible culprits and the options would depend on what specifically he is allergic to. For example, he could be allergic to gluten (protein found in barley), sulfites (found in beer and wine), have celiac disease, etc.
There are a couple of gluten-free beers in existence, but I think they are very hard to find and mainly experimental at the moment. They probably have hops though… (see article).
Mead might be an option depending on his allergy. Switching to liquors that aren’t made from grains is probably the most viable option. These would include Rum, Tequila, Brandy, Gin, Potato Vodkas, etc. Wine might also be an option depending on his specific allergy. Wine and Liquor also do not contain hops.
The best he can do is ask an allergist what he can drink depending on his specific allergies. Or if his symptoms are mild and bearable, he may want to try drinking higher quality beers (microbrews) with low bitterness (IBUs) which comes from hops. We have the IBUs listed for some beers in our database. He can browse the database by beer style and then use our sorting feature to sort ascending based on IBUs.
Hope that helps,