If you or someone you love has celiac or is on a gluten free diet you may be wondering, “Is Bud Light Gluten Free?” In this post I’ll go over why beer is not gluten free, best options and proper labeling.
Quick Answer: No, Bud Light is technically not gluten free because it is fermented from barley. The fermentation process does not completely get rid of the gluten from the grain. Even though Bud Light is a light beer. Light beers have less gluten then regular beers (usually less than 5 ppm). If you want a light beer that is gluten free try a beer brewed from not gluten grains like rice, millet, sorghum or buckwheat.
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Table of Contents
- Is Bud Light Gluten Free?
- How Much Gluten Does Bud Light Have In It?
- Gluten Free Beer Labeling: Gluten-Free vs. Gluten Removed vs. Gluten Reduced:
- Why Does Beer Have Gluten While Other Types of Alcohol Made From Barley Is Gluten Free?
- What Alcohol Can I Drink That is Gluten Free?
- Is Bud Light Next Gluten Free?
- Is Budweiser Gluten Free?
- What Is The Difference Between Light Beer and Regular Beer
- Why Does Light Beer Contain Less Gluten?
- How Much Gluten is In Regular Light Beer?
- Is Bud Light Safe For Celiacs?
- Is Light Beer Healthy?
Is Bud Light Gluten Free?
No, Bud Light is technically not gluten free because it is fermented from barley. The fermentation process does not completely get rid of the gluten from the barley. Even though Bud Light is a light beer.
Light beers have less gluten then regular beers (usually less than 5 ppm). If you want a light beer that is gluten free try a beer brewed from not gluten grains like rice, millet, sorghum or buckwheat.
What Ingredients Is Bud Light Made With?
Nutrition Facts for Bud Light
Here is the caloric and macronutrient information for Bud Light. For the ingredients in Bud Light check the section above.
|Total Carbohydrate||6.6 g|
|Dietary Fiber||0 g|
How Much Gluten Does Bud Light Have In It?
According to indapendant tests Bud Light has less then 5 ppm of gluten per container.
Gluten Free Beer Labeling: Gluten-Free vs. Gluten Removed vs. Gluten Reduced:
“The rule specifies, among other criteria, that any foods that carry the label “gluten-free,” “no gluten,” “free of gluten,” or “without gluten” must contain less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten. This level is the lowest that can be reliably detected in foods using scientifically validated analytical methods.” According to the FDA.
For more information on gluten and food labeling check out this page on the Food and Drug Administration Website.
All the terms used to label beer including: gluten-free, gluten removed, and gluten reduced are confusing to the average shopper. You either need an english degree or an education in FDA and TTB labeling criteria to understand the difference between these labels.
And yet it’s important to have a basic understanding of how gluten in alcohol is labeled if you or one of your loved ones has celiac disease or a gluten intolerance. Prior to writing this post I did not have a clue that gluten free beer could be labeled in so many ways.
Here I will go through the different terms as quickly and simply as possible so that you understand what you’re buying when you buy beer at the supermarket.
In a nut shell gluten free beer is brewed from none gluten containing grains while gluten reduced and gluten removed labeled beer is made from barley and has had enzymes added to it to reduce the amount of gluten in it.
Gluten-Free Beer Defined
Legally for beer to be labeled gluten free it needs to be fermented from non-gluten containing grains. This includes gluten fermented from rice, sorghum or millet instead of wheat or barley.
What Does Gluten Removed Mean?
After beer is fermented some brewers will remove the gluten and reduce the carbohydrate count in the beer by introducing enzymes that digest the remaining gluten protein.
The TTB and FDA do not allow brewers who use this process to label beer as gluten free because there is no way to test the effectiveness of the process.
- The enzymes may break down the gluten into pieces that are too small to be detectable by tests.
- The Gluten Intolerance Group and the University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center conducted a study and found that people with celiac disease had an inflammatory (immune) response to gluten removed beer.
What Does Gluten Reduced Mean?
Gluten reduced beer goes through the same process that gluten removed beer does. But the label indicates that there is likely some gluten left in the beer after the the gluten reduction process has been completed.
What Product Removes Gluten From Regular Beer?
People who make beer at home use products like White Labs Clarity Ferm or Brewer’s Clarex. These products were designed to take the haze out of beer but brewers realized that it also reduced the level of gluten in beer as low as the required less then 20 ppm to be labeled gluten free!
Why Does Beer Have Gluten While Other Types of Alcohol Made From Barley Is Gluten Free?
Alcoholic beverages are made one of two ways. They are either distilled or fermented. All alcoholic beverages that have been distilled are gluten free because the distillation process eliminates gluten peptides. Fermented alcoholic beverages can still contain some starches and sugars from the original ingredients.
Whether or not fermented drinks are gluten free depends on the ingredients they are made from. If the original ingredient has gluten in it then the drink will not be gluten free and therefore not suitable for celiacs to drink.
Fermented alcoholic beverages that celiacs cannot drink safely include:
- Rice Wine
- Hard Cider made with Malt
- Hard Lemonade made with Malt
- Flavored Wine Coolers made with Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein
What Alcohol Can I Drink That is Gluten Free?
- Gluten Free Beer
- True Hard Cider
No Bud Light Next is technically not gluten free. However it does have less gluten in it than regular beer because it has been watered down. Furthermore. The manufacturer likely adds enzymes into the final beer. These enzymes digest the excess carbohydrates reducing the amount of net carbs in Bud Light Next to zero grams of carbs.
Even though there aren’t any carbohydrates in Bud Light Next it isn’t gluten free. Bud Light next is fermented from malted barley just like regular beer. Barley contains gluten.
Furthermore, the fermentation process by which beer is made does not remove all of the gluten from the barley. Distillation on the other hand, does remove all traces of gluten from the alcohol.
The only way to get a real gluten free beer is to buy a beer labeled gluten-free that was fermented from gluten free grains like rice, millet, buckwheat or sorghum.
Is Budweiser Gluten Free?
No, All of the different types of beer Budweiser sells are not gluten free because the beer is brewed from malted barley and hops. Barley is a grain that contains naturally occurring gluten. On the other hand the hard seltzer sold by Budweiser is gluten free.
What Is The Difference Between Light Beer and Regular Beer
The difference between light beer and regular beer is that light beer has less carbohydrates, sugar, calories and alcohol then regular beer. When you think of light beer think of diet beer.
Beer is made by malting gluten containing grains like barley. Brewers soak the grains in water to germinate them and then stop the process by drying off the grains. Then they crush the grains to release the sugars known as malt. These sugars aka malt are fermented with water, grain and yeast to make beer.
Once the fermentation process is done brewers add an enzyme that reduces both haze and gluten in the beer. Since this enzyme reduces the gluten protein by digesting it and turning it into alcohol.
This process makes the beer more alcoholic. To combat the high alcohol levels of light beer the beer is then watered down by the brewer before it is packaged.
So light beer has less carbs, sugar, gluten and alcohol because of the enzymes added to break down the excess carbs/gluten and the fact that they add water to it before it’s pacaged.
Why Does Light Beer Contain Less Gluten?
Light beer contains less gluten than regular beer because it’s watered down. There is more water in light beer than regular beer. The additional water reduces the amount of gluten in light beer vs. regular beer. Plus brewers add enzymes to the finished beer to metabolize the remaining carbs in it and turn it into alcohol.
How Much Gluten is In Regular Light Beer?
Regular light beer has considerably less gluten in it than regular beer. Many people with a gluten intolerance can drink a beer without symptoms. However this doesn’t mean that light beer is gluten free or safe for people with celiac disease.
Light beer generally contains 5 ppm of gluten. That isn’t a lot! But regular light beer is brewed from malted barley and hops and is therefore not gluten free.
Is Bud Light Safe For Celiacs?
No Bud Light is not safe for people with celiac disease because it contains gluten even though many independently run gluten tests have shown that one bud light has less than 5 ppm (parts per million) of gluten per can.
Even though there is not a lot of gluten in a Bud Light, it is still beer that has been fermented by malted barley. Barley is a type of wheat that contains gluten. The gluten in barley cannot be stripped away.
On the other hand gluten can be removed from the final product after brewing through various means. See the section above to learn more about how gluten is removed from beer that is labeled “gluten-removed” or “gluten-reduced”
Is Light Beer Healthy?
Light beer is not necessarily good or bad for you. As far as beer goes I would say it’s one of the healthier options since it doesn’t have as much gluten, carbohydrates, or sugar. Not to mention it is watered down. So light beer is not going to be as hard on your liver as a full beer since it has less alcohol.
Light beer is low in gluten but it still has gluten in it. So if you have digestive issues, bloating, gas, candida, autoimmune disorders or celiac disease Bud Light is not good for you. Not to mention that alcohol has little nutritional value and leads to increased inflammation in the body.
I would say that light beer is a healthier alternative to regular beer.