The campaign group will now only purchase beer from breweries who supply full information on the ingredients going into their beer.
Chief executive Tim Page said he shared the frustration of the one in five people in the UK with food intolerances, as he himself has a wheat allergy.
“We want to ensure festival-goers are 100% confident in the information they are given and the only way to do that is to ensure we have the correct information at every step of the supply chain, from the brewers, to festival organisers, right through to the staff working behind our bars. I have a wheat intolerance and find it extremely difficult to get accurate information on whether a beer contains wheat or not, as it is often used in small amounts.”
Licensees have been reminded that beer and wine are covered by the new allergen laws that came in to force at the end of last year, and pubs are expected to be provide customers who ask with information about which cereals, barley and wheat are present in drinks.
Pubs are still lagging behind the rest of the food industry when it comes to allergen labelling according to a recent report from the Food Standards Agency, who said that while there has been some improvement, accurate labelling was still an issue.
The beer industry has also been slow on the uptake, with only a handful of gluten-free beers on the market compared to the thousands of gluten free food products. However, there are signs the tide is starting to turn. According to analysts Mintel, gluten-free beer is the next big area for growth in the free-from food category and BrewDog and Estrella Dam have both launched gluten-free products.
Ian Hayes who owns the Grove, a Huddersfield based pub that stocks gluten-free beer brand Greens, said he thought the gluten-free beer market offered opportunity for licensees.
“There’s a real demand for it. More and more people are coming in looking for gluten-free beer, and we’ve build up a reputation by offering it. It’s something the breweries are going to have to look into it, there’s a market there if they tap into it. It’s definitely an emerging market, but it can be tricky to get the message out there that it’s something you offer-we’ve relied on Twitter and Facebook.”