Is it safe to order gluten-free beer or hard cider on tap? Or is there a risk of cross-contact, particularly if a gluten-containing beer was previously in the tap line?
Theoretically, a tap line should be flushed and cleaned before a new item, such as a gluten-free beer or cider, is put into it. Unfortunately, there are no standards to follow for cleaning a tap line and no guarantee that the cleaning even happens.
Before ordering and consuming a gluten-free drink from a tap, ask the establishment’s wait staff or manager questions about what was in the tap line previously and how it was cleaned before the gluten-free beverage was tapped. At that point, it boils down to your personal judgement as to the quality of the answers received from staff. The safer option is to order beer labeled gluten-free in accordance with FDA regulations or, for additional assurance, that is GFCO third-party certified as gluten-free. bottled drinks rather than those coming from a tap.