FOR those on a strict gluten free diet through choice or necessity, it is often one of the treats that is most missed. But now, aficionados of one of Scotland’s best known tipples will be able to enjoy a pint.
In a sign of the growing appetite for so-called “free-from” food and beverages, the makers of Scotland’s best-selling lager have been commended for a gluten-free version of their drink.
Tennent’s have been recognised with a gold medal at one of the world’s most influential beer awards in recognition of their 1885 lager.
A special gluten free version of the drink has won a gold medal at the prestigious World Beer Championships in the US.
Although the firm’s most loyal customer base is in Scotland, the gluten free lager was launched in Italy this August.
Now, the success of the drink means that C&C Group - the owners of Tennent Caledonian Breweries - are pressing ahead with plans to increase its availability.
The gluten free lager is produced at Tennent’s historic Wellpark Brewery in the east end of
Glasgow, but Scottish drinkers will soon have the chance to sample it for themselves, with plans to launch it across the UK and beyond later this year.
Andrea Pozzi, managing director at C&C’s international division, said the firm was proud of its achievement at the championships, which helped showcase the buoyant international profile of the Scottish brand.
“Tennent’s beers are enjoyed by drinkers across the globe,” he said. “In Italy, the Tennent’s range is growing at 25% year on year and it is great to see our new gluten free lager recognised by a body as influential and respected as the World Beer Championships.
“We’re now looking to roll out Tennent’s Gluten Free 1885 across the rest of Europe. Plans are also well developed to launch a UK version ‘gluten free T’ later this year.”
According to market research firm, Mintel, gluten free beers will be the next big growth area in the free-from food market, as the number of people diagnosed with allergies grows and consumers express a preference for healthier food choices.
Marks & Spencer is believed to be looking into launching a gluten free beer to complement its range of foods.