In Canada, Celiac cooler lovers have a pretty easy time: most coolers are made with rum, wine, or vodka, and are gluten-free 99% of the time. However, in the United States, things are more complicated: coolers are sold as “malt beverages.” I believe that this is so that they can be sold outside of liquor stores like beer.
Anyone with Celiac disease knows that the word malted means “don’t come near me.” However, the people who make Mike’s Hard coolers in the United States insist that their product is gluten-free. Here is an excerpt from their U.S. FAQ page:
How can mike’s malt base be gluten-free?
Magic. Ok, it’s not! We know those with gluten allergies are taught to stay away from malt products so it’s important to explain Mike’s patented filtration process.
We start with a malt base of fermented barley, not unprocessed barley, and hops that are processed using a highly specialized, multi-stage filtration process. Step three of this proprietary filtration process – which Mike’s has perfected – removes all the color, malt sugars, glucose and flavors from the malt base. The end result? An extremely pure neutral malt base that is gluten-free.
A related page says that the products are ELISA and employee tested.
I’m curious to know what my American readers think about this. Do you drink Mike’s Hard products, and if so, have you had any reactions?