Is wheat free beer made in a regular brewery always safe to drink on a wheat free diet?
Generally, no. But this answer refers to a brewery that also brews gluten containing beers, not a dedicated gluten free brewery, and is also more relevant for people with a wheat allergy.
Normally a brewery uses the same milling equipment for milling all grains used in their brewing process. For example, if wheat is being milled the equipment will most likely still contain particles of wheat after that milling process has been completed. So if barley is milled next it's using the same equipment that just contained wheat and there will most likely be wheat cross-contamination.
It's also important to note that companies supplying the grain to breweries also have the potential to cross-contaminate the grains supplied either during storage, transport, or at the original source of the grain.
Wheat dust can remain in the air for some considerable time, which is why bakeries using wheat shouldn't also make gluten free items in the same kitchen as it's never guaranteed to have a wheat free atmosphere. This is the same for breweries. Some people are extremely sensitive to even the tiniest amounts of wheat.
Unless a brewery has a completely separate process and equipment for wheat/gluten free brewing those beers can't be guaranteed wheat free. Having worked in a brewery for 11 years I've seen firsthand it's just not feasible to be absolutely 100% certain that no wheat contamination has occurred.
It's also important to distinguish between wheat free beer, gluten free beer, and gluten reduced beer, see Wheat & gluten free beers for more information.
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- Is Guinness safe to drink on a wheat free diet?
- Wheat & gluten free beers