Gluten-Free Labeling of Alcoholic Beverages

TTB Updated Ruling: Gluten Content Statements in the Labeling and Advertising of Wine, Distilled Spirits, and Malt Beverages

The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax, and Trade Bureau recently updated its policy on gluten content statements on labels of wines, distilled spirits, and malt beverages (e.g., beers) in response to FDA’s 2020 rule on gluten-free labeling of fermented and hydrolyzed foods. To read the ruling in full see https://www.ttb.gov/rulings/r2020-2.

In brief:

1. TTB will allow gluten-free claims on spirits distilled from gluten-containing grains.

Details: “TTB will permit “gluten-free” claims on distilled spirits products distilled from gluten-containing grains as long as good manufacturing practices are […]

Is beer made using malted barley and crafted to remove gluten safe for folks with celiac disease? FDA says it is not possible to know based on current testing methods

This post is part of a series covering the FDA’s Final Rule on Gluten-Free Labeling of Fermented or Hydrolyzed Foods. 

The rule is available at: 

https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2020/08/13/2020-17088/food-labeling-gluten-free-labeling-of-fermented-or-hydrolyzed-foods

Background (Important):

FDA regulates the following:Beer made without malted barley but with hopsBeer made without hops but with malted barleyBeer made without either malted barley or hopsTTB regulates malt beverages including traditional beers made with both malted barley and hops.

Bottom Line:

Beer under the labeling jurisdiction of FDA that is made from gluten-containing grains (including malted barley) cannot […]

Gluten Content of Distilled Alcohol: Gluten Free Watchdog Summary Report

October 13, 2020: This report was published in 2018. It is being released publicly due to discussion around FDA’s 2020 rule on gluten-free labeling of fermented and hydrolyzed foods and ingredients. Please address any questions to Tricia Thompson at info@glutenfreewatchdog.org.

The report is available at https://www.glutenfreewatchdog.org/news/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/AlcoholReportGFWD2.pdf

When beer “crafted to remove gluten” is wrongly advertised as “gluten-free”: How to report to the TTB

If you come across a bottled malt beverage in the US market that has been “crafted to remove gluten” (e.g., made using malted barley but treated with an enzyme) yet is represented in advertisements from the brewer as “gluten-free” please email the TTB market compliance division at Market.Compliance@ttb.gov. Photos representing the issue are useful to include.

The regulation of beer is not straightforward.
What follows is a primer that hopefully makes a complicated topic easier to
understand. Please read it carefully. […]

Reminder: “Gluten-Removed” Malt Beverages can be Labeled “Gluten-Free” in the State of Oregon

A consumer recently contacted Gluten Free Watchdog about Walkabout GFA (gluten-free ale) from Walkabout Brewing Co. The beer is labeled gluten-free and includes the following statement on the label, “Walkabout GFA is brewed with malted barley and hops specially crafted to be gluten-free.”

Consumer question: Is this legal?

Answer: Yes, in the state of Oregon (this product is also labeled, “for sale in Oregon only”).

Bottom Line: The TTB regulates malt beverages made using both malted barley and hops (e.g., what we […]

Why distillation is compatible with a gluten-free diet

In Honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month, Gluten Free Watchdog is writing a series of articles (the goal is one per day during the month of May) related to the gluten-free diet–currently the ONLY treatment for celiac disease.

Post (#24)…

Astute readers of gluten-free labeling rules may have noticed that the FDA and the TTB treat distilled alcohol differently.

On the one hand, the FDA allows distilled alcohol and distilled vinegar as ingredients in foods labeled gluten-free regardless of the starting material (e.g., […]

Gluten-Free Labeling of Alcohol

In Honor of Celiac Disease Awareness Month, Gluten Free Watchdog is writing a series of articles (the goal is one per day during the month of May) related to the gluten-free diet–currently the ONLY treatment for celiac disease.

Post (#23)…

Labeling of gluten-free products is not generally straight forward, and gluten-free labeling of alcohol is no exception. The bullet points below are intended to highlight the most important aspects of alcohol labeling with the intention of keeping it simple. If you would […]

Interim Policy on Gluten Content Statements in the Labeling and Advertising of Wines, Distilled Spirits, and Malt Beverages

On May 24th 2012 the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) released an interim policy on the labeling of alcoholic beverages under its jurisdiction. The TTB regulates almost all alcoholic beverages. Exceptions include beer made without malted barley, wines containing less than 7% alcohol by volume, and hard ciders containing less than 7% alcohol by volume. The aforementioned beverages are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

In the past, the TTB has not allowed gluten-free claims on […]

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