Sitting by the pool with an A&W Root Beer in hand sounds like a perfect summer afternoon. But is gluten sensitivity stopping you from sipping on A&W Root Beer? Are you wondering if A&W Root Beer is gluten free or not?
A&W Root Beer does not contain any harmful gluten ingredients like wheat or barley, so ideally, the drink should be gluten free. But Dr. Pepper Snapple Group INC, which makes A&W Root Beer, has not included it in their gluten free list.
There are many dimensions in declaring a product certified gluten free. Unable to adhere to these conditions does not allow a company to label their food and drinks safe for celiacs. Is it the same case with A&W Root Beer? Let’s find out as we proceed in the article.
Table of Contents
Is A&W Root Beer Gluten Free?
If we only consider the ingredients, A&W Root Beer is gluten free. There is no wheat or barley malt used in making the beer, so it should be safe for people with gluten allergies. But strangely, the makers, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group INC, have not included it in their gluten free products list.
What could be the reason behind it? A&W Root Beer has artificial flavors and colors which may contain gluten. It’s difficult to know the ingredients used in such products, and they are often the bearers of gluten.
Therefore, the makers might not have listed it as a completely gluten free product. Another possibility is that they have not run it under the gluten free test. FDA has clearly stated that to consider a product gluten free; it has to pass a gluten free test proving that the product contains less than 20ppm gluten.
20ppm or less of gluten isn’t harmful to even celiacs. Since A&W Root Beer does not bear the gluten free label, it’s only apparent that the gluten content in it may be higher than 20ppm.
Therefore, it would be best if you avoid consuming A&W Root Beer and try out some other gluten free alternatives.
What Is Root Beer Made Of? Are All Root Beers Gluten Free?
Root beer is actually a sweet beverage common in North America. The main ingredient in such beers is the root bark of sassafras trees or Smilax Ornata. Most root beers are non-alcoholic and have a sweet taste. These are caffeine-free, carbonated drinks.
After 1960 FDA banned using Safrole which was a key ingredient in making root beers. Since then, manufacturers have started using artificial sassafras flavors, and some use safrole-free sassafras extracts.
The A&W Root Beer is made of sucrose, carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, natural and artificial flavor, caramel color, sodium benzoate, red #40, and phosphoric acid. A&W Root Beer does not use sassafras extract; instead, the sweet flavor is gained from sucrose which is a component in cane or beet sugar.
Now coming to another common question I often come across, are all root beers gluten free? Well, there is not a yes or no to this question. Most roots are gluten free, but some makers do add gluten during the manufacturing process.
Moreover, the artificial flavors and colors used in root beers may also have gluten. Therefore, when you pick a root beer, make sure to check the ingredient label and the company’s website to see complete gluten information.
Is Root Beer Healthy For Daily Consumption?
Root beer is not healthy for daily consumption. It’s very high in sugar, plus it contains high fructose corn syrup, which is not good for your health. Consuming A&W Root Beer daily may lead to diabetes and weight gain, so if you don’t want that, it’s better to limit your consumption of A&W Root Beer.
That’s not all; the caramel color added to the drink is another harmful ingredient. Caramel color has been considered one of the cancer-causing ingredients. Additionally, the artificial flavors added to the drink can lead to worse health risks like vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and other allergic reactions.
Brands Making Gluten Free Root Beer
Finding root beers with clear indications of gluten free labels is quite complicated. Not all makers reveal the gluten content; hence as per my research, only these two brands I found are entirely gluten free and safe for consumption.
1. Bayou Bootlegger
Bayou Bootlegger is a gluten free root beer that is made with cane sugar and a few other herbs. There is no gluten containing ingredients in it; therefore, we can call it gluten free.
2. Root Sellers Row Hard Root Beer
This root beer is made with molasses, cane sugar, spices, other botanicals, vanilla, and sassafras. There are no artificial colors or preservatives added; hence, it is absolutely gluten free.
It’s safe to say that A&W Root Beer is not the right drink for celiacs. We are not sure what ingredients are used in the artificial flavor and color. The fear of hidden gluten in these additives is always present, so gluten-sensitive people should make a safe choice and look for healthier alternatives.
Have you tried any other gluten free root beer other than the ones mentioned here? Let us know in the comments!
Does Hard Root Beer Have Gluten?
Yes, most hard root beer has gluten. These are made with barley malt making it unsafe for people on a gluten free diet.
Does A&W Cream Soda Have Gluten?
Dr. Pepper, makers of the A&W Cream Soda, says that their Cream Soda is gluten free. But do check the ingredient list before buying it.
Is Root Beer Dairy Free?
Yes, root beer is dairy-free and mostly vegan. Such beers are made with herbs, roots, spices, and foaming agents like Manihot esculenta or quillaja Saponaria which are plant-based.
Is Barq’s Root Beer Gluten Free?
Yes, Barq’s Root Beer is considered gluten free since they contain less than 20ppm gluten. Their root beer is gluten free in both Canada and the United States.