There seems to be a little confusion out there if Apple ale is cider – IT IS NOT. Apple ale is an apple flavored malt based beverage – an apple beer.
Miller-coors jumped on the recent popularity of Cider, but instead of actually making a cider (or buy a cider company) like some of the other big beer companies they made “Redd’s Apple Ale.” This now comes in multiple flavors to further confuse the consumer, especially with their somewhat ambiguous tagline “crisp like an apple, made like an ale.” Though there’s limited information on the Redd’s Website, the beverage has flooded the market due to Miller’s massive marketing budget and reach.
Other companies have followed Redd’s lead such as Mike’s Hard Smashed Apple Ale and Bundaberg Apple Ale.
I have not tasted Redd’s Apple Ale, and don’t ever plan to buy it, but the general consensus is that it’s pretty bad.
Is Apple Ale Gluten Free?
Since Apple ale is technically a beer, and beer is made with malt from grains such as barley and wheat, IT IS NOT GLUTEN FREE. Cider however has the benefit of being gluten free (and in the case of Redds much better tasting).
If you are looking for other gluten free options, here is a list of other gluten free alternatives to beer.