How Much Gluten Is In Beer Compared To Bread? The Gluten Showdown

Gluten is a protein found in certain grains like wheat, barley, and rye. It is made up of glutenin and gliadin. In simple words, it is the elasticity that you often see when you knead the dough. This feature makes it perfect for making dough and raising it, giving it a fluffy appearance. There is a certain section of people who are allergic to gluten but those who are not allergic can help gain carbohydrates. Carbs play an important role in energy production as well. The rubber-like form also gives it the crispness adding to its impeccable taste. Vegans are also known to use it as a meat alternative which is often healthy and cruelty free.

How Much Gluten Is In Beer Compared To Bread?

Gluten content in beer can be attributed to the ones brewed with wheat, rye, and barley. Traditionally that is how beer is known to be brewed. During the process, the grains are fermented and this leaves some gluten in the result. Multiple factors affect the gluten content in beer. Firstly, it depends on the type of beer. Brewers often admit that beers made of barley contain more gluten than any other grain.

Secondly, the technique of its production can also determine the way it turns out to be. Thirdly, there could be cross-contamination when the type of equipment used for gluten-free is used to brew gluten beer. Now you might wonder why barley beer contains so much gluten. This has a lot to do with the tradition of brewing. Brewing any beer includes an array of processes including soaking, germinating, and drying the barley. It then converts to malt barley which is excess in gluten.

All of these processes together break down the sugar content in alcohol and make it as it is. However, that is also why it has distinct characteristics and flavors unique to itself. Beers brewed with wheat or rye or known to have lower concentrations of gluten. 

Similar to beer, the one made with wheat has the most gluten. This is because wheat bread or regular bread helps it to rise and attain the tasty form it does. There is also whole wheat bread which includes the bran, germ, and endosperm of the wheat as well. This one also has a similar gluten content. Now you might wonder why it has so much gluten.  Wheat naturally has a lot of gluten that gives it its structure. When water is added to the combination as part of the bread-making process, it creates strands that form a kind of network. These strands then trap gases or yeast which makes it the perfect ingredient for bread. The formation of air bubbles and viscosity is essential for the bread to retain its quality of puffiness.

Gluten in Bread

When compared, beers are known to have less gluten because the process of fermentation makes it lose the protein to some extent. To be exact, it has gluten ranging from 20-100 parts per million. Baking, on the other hand, does not affect whatsoever on the protein content and hence ends up having a lot of gluten.  Therefore bread has over 300 parts per million making it highly allergic.

However, for those who have celiac disease, an autoimmune condition where the digestive system finds it difficult to process gluten, both are not suitable. This is because for anything to be gluten-free it has to be below 20. Though lower in content, beer still would trigger the allergy and therefore cannot be considered as an option.  Fermenting could affect the way these proteins react with each other but this doesn’t make it any less lethal.

Considering the number of Celiac patients in the world, there are various alternatives available in both bread and beer varieties. Breads that are made of rice flour, potato, or corn starch are free of gluten as noted on the packet. Similarly, beers that are brewed from sorghum or rice are known to contain no gluten.


You must maintain extreme caution if you are diagnosed with Celiac disease. When it comes to beer or bread both are rich in gluten. However, they do have other options which is a great relief for those who want to enjoy food without being concerned by their allergies and quirks.

About the Author

Nicole Carter is a dedicated and passionate nutritionist, committed to helping individuals achieve their health and wellness goals through the power of proper nutrition. With a Bachelor's degree in Nutritional Science and years of practical experience.

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