It’s no surprise to anyone to hear gluten-free is now a major health and lifestyle choice for many consumers. It is part of a macro trend of increased mindfulness, as consumers become increasingly focused on food and beverages they believe to be better for them.

With reports that over 20 per cent of adult Australians are actively looking to reduce their gluten intake, and 40 per cent of grocery buyers buying at least one form of gluten-free product, retailers are recognising that gluten-free is fast becoming mainstream.

The hospitality sector has clearly responded on the food front, with almost every food menu now offering at least a few gluten-free options. 

We’re also seeing the emergence of venues that are totally dedicated to gluten-free (and often vegan-friendly) food menus.

When it comes to beer, however, there’s still an opportunity being missed.

The gluten-free gap

Hospitality venues are clearly recognising that they have customers who want gluten-free food – their food menus are evidence of that – but many are not offering gluten-free beers to match. It forces beer-loving customers to select a compromise choice (e.g. cider, RTD), or forgo a drink altogether. 

Apart from failing to meet legitimate customer needs, it is also a missed commercial opportunity. While the mix of food versus liquor will vary from venue to venue, all licensed venues generate significant revenue and profit from alcoholic beverages, including beer. 

It makes sense then, to exploit every opportunity to sell gluten-free beer when there’s proven demand for it. It is not about just providing for consumers with a diagnosed gluten intolerance – the statistics above show the market is far, far bigger than that, and growing.

The good news for consumers and hospitality retailers alike is that the days of gluten-free beers being a compromise in enjoyment are long behind us. 

The quality and range of gluten-free beers now available through wholesale channels means venues can select the right beer style in the right format and at the right price for their clientele. 

Pricing of gluten-free beer is typically premium (with premium margins), but no more so than many craft beers, and still accessible for the customer.

Gluten-free brewers are looking to benefit from the gluten-free trend.

John O’Brien, Founder Head Brewer at Rebellion Brewing, and pioneer of gluten free brewing in Australia, observes:  “We’ve enjoyed a steady growth in retail distribution of O’Brien beers off the back of the mainstreaming of gluten-free food, but more recently we’ve started fielding enquiries from venue managers who believe they now have sufficient demand from their customers to consider putting O’Brien gluten-free beers on one of their taps. This is very exciting for us, and shows how far gluten-free beer has come.”

The team at Rebellion have gone so far as to produce a video, aimed at the hospitality market, which argues the case for closing this gluten-free gap.

O’Brien is Australia’s most-awarded gluten-free beer, with a core range of five delicious styles available in bottles, cans and kegs, and two limited release seasonals available in glass only. The core range is available through all major wholesalers.

You can contact the Rebellion team at or visit