Alcoholic “hard” cider is almost always naturally gluten-free. Cider, or “hard” cider, is an alcoholic beverage made from fruits, typically apples. A good alternative to gluten-containing beers, hard cider is made by fermenting apple or other fruit juices with sugar and yeast. While yeast can sometimes contain gluten when it’s a byproduct of brewing beer (then sold as “Brewer’s yeast”), the yeast used in cider fermentation is typically naturally gluten-free. In countries outside the United States, alcoholic cider may simply be called “cider.”
However, always be on the lookout for other additives or flavorings that may contain gluten. Cider may also be processed in a facility or with equipment that is used to brew or bottle beer or other gluten-containing beverages. If the bottle or container does not have a gluten-free label, it’s worth devoting time to further research before drinking.
Additionally, please do not confuse alcoholic apple cider with apple ale or other similarly labeled drinks, which are beers containing apple flavoring.
Hard Cider is not limited to apples and can also be made from pineapples, berries, pears (called “perry”), other fruits, or can involve a mixture of apple and fruit or seasonal flavorings. As alcoholic cider is an ancient traditional beverage, there are many regional specialties and flavor profiles available.