Greene King has launched gluten free versions of two of its most popular beers as it looks to introduce leading British ales to the UK’s growing free from market and make British beer more accessible to consumers who have reduced their gluten intake for health and lifestyle reasons.

“Everyone should be able to enjoy great tasting British beer"

Gluten free versions of the brewer’s flagship beer, Greene King IPA and the UK’s number one premium ale, Old Speckled Hen will be available in 500ml bottles from February, and have been specially crafted to be free from gluten without compromising on the well-known flavour, aroma and appearance of either beer.

The gluten free beers are brewed with their usual quality ingredients and to their normal recipes, with the reduction in gluten content achieved through an innovation in the brewing process. A bespoke product stream ensures the beers remain segregated and guarantees that they can be designated as gluten free.

The beers will become part of the growing free-from market in February, with research showing almost 33% of Brits have bought or eaten free-from foods in the past six months (Mintel 2016).

Around 2 million people living in the UK have a gluten allergy (FSA, 2015) while an estimated 1% of the UK population has been diagnosed as coeliac and up to 8% of Britons avoid gluten as part of a healthy lifestyle (Mintel 2016). With more consumers actively seeking to reduce their gluten intake, sales of gluten free products were forecast to increase 13% to £531 million by the end of 2016 and to £673 million by 2020.

George Johnston, Greene King brewing and brands marketing director, said: “Everyone should be able to enjoy great tasting British beer, especially as ale continues to grow in popularity, so gluten free versions of our leading Old Speckled Hen and Greene King IPA were the natural first choice to bring to consumers.

“It was important to us to remain true to their flavour profiles, and taste tests with our brewers, teams and independent expert panels have ensured our gluten free beers are spot on, so drinkers with specific dietary requirements can enjoy these specially crafted beers knowing they are getting the real deal.”

Gluten free Old Speckled Hen and Greene King IPA will be available in specially labelled 500ml bottles from early February 2017, including in the ‘free from’ aisle at Tesco stores. The labels carry the Crossed Grain symbol of Coeliac UK.