From the house of Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser is one of the highest-selling, and most popular American-style lager beers loved globally. But, if you have celiac disease or are allergic to gluten, you should know before trying this refreshing drink, “Is Budweiser gluten free?”
Both Budweiser and Bud Light are made of barley malt, hops, yeast, and water. Thus, it is not gluten free. Besides, AB has never made claims about gluten removal or using safe facilities for Buds. However, it produces other gluten free products.
Is it safe to have Budweiser in small amounts if you are only mildly allergic? Or is it completely off-limits and harmful? What are the best alternatives? Let’s find out!
Table of Contents
- 1 Is Budweiser Gluten Free?
- 2 What Is Budweiser?
- 3 Is Beer Gluten Free?
- 4 Gluten Free Beer vs. Gluten Removed Beer
- 5 Best Gluten Free Beer Brands
- 6 Final Words
- 7 FAQs
Is Budweiser Gluten Free?
When we say Budweiser, the first thing that comes to mind is the delicious and rich beer. It has many products like hard soda and non-alcoholic drinks. But its beer has become synonymous with the brand name.
The primary ingredient in Budweiser and Bud Light beer is malted barley. The main concern is barley, which is one of the key sources of gluten. So, Budweiser is not gluten free and is definitely not recommended for people with gluten allergies.
Many known and unknown brands these days use a special gluten removal method to remove or break down gluten content in beer. Budweiser makes no such claim regarding its classic and light beer.
Anheuser-Busch recently launched a new product in the Budweiser line called Bud Light Seltzer, a hard soda with 5% v/v alcohol content. And this Bud Light Seltzer is entirely gluten free and also has just 2 grams of carbohydrate in a single serving.
Anheuser-Busch also brews an officially certified gluten-free beer called Redbridge Lager, which has a similar taste to Budweiser. So, you can also try it if you like the taste of the original Budweiser but are worried about its gluten content.
If you want the same refreshing taste of Budweiser in a hard soda, go for Bud Light Seltzer. And if you want to stick to beer from the same brewery, you should go with Redbridge Lager. But the traditional Budweiser or Bud Light is not safe for you if you have celiac disease or gluten allergy due to its high gluten content.
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What Is Budweiser?
Carl Conrad & Co. first developed and marketed Budweiser in St. Louis, Missouri, way back in 1876. However, Anheuser-Busch later took it over and marketed it in more than 80 countries all over the world. And now, Budweiser has become one of the largest-selling beer brands in the USA. However, the bottle remained unchanged since its introduction in 1876.
AB-manufactured Budweiser is actually a filtered lager beer that is typically available in bottles and cans. However, they are now also available in draft for party fun! The primary ingredient of Budweiser is barley, as AB doesn’t use wheat while brewing it. However, up to 30% of rice grains are added to the mix, which is a standard practice in the lager brewing process.
The brewing of Budweiser happens in seven steps that involve milling, mashing, straining, kettle brewing, fermentation, lagering, and then finishing. AB uses traditional beechwood chips to lager Budweiser, giving it the iconic taste and aroma. And the brewing house also spends close to $500 million each year just to advertise and market the Budweiser brand.
Is Beer Gluten Free?
People have been enjoying this relishing drink for ages. And now, beer has become the third most popular and consumed drink (after water and tea) in the entire world. But, if you are seriously concerned about “is Budweiser gluten free” or not, you should start with the building blocks of beer making to know if the beer has any gluten content in it or not.
Beer is traditionally made with just four ingredients: barley/wheat, hops, yeast, and water. Both barley and wheat that are typically used to brew beers have high gluten content. And the traditional beer also has way more than 20 PPM gluten content in it. So, the beer itself is not gluten-free.
Depending upon the type, the gluten contents of different beers are –
|Beer Type||Gluten Content (PPM)|
It is certain that all the variants of beer have more than 20 PPM gluten content in them, which is the threshold limit for people having gluten allergies. So, not just Budweiser, every kind of beer is unsafe for gluten allergic people until it is officially certified as gluten free.
Gluten Free Beer vs. Gluten Removed Beer
There are different types of gluten-free beers available in the global market right now. And this category is divided into two main segments: gluten-free beer and gluten-removed beer. Although both these variants don’t have any gluten content and are safe for celiac patients, the main difference lies in the brewing and processing.
Certified gluten-free beers are made with non-gluten ingredients, such as millet, buckwheat, sorghum, and quinoa. However, the use of these non-traditional grains often induces an unconventional taste and aroma in beer.
On the other hand, gluten-removed beers are primarily made with traditional ingredients like wheat and barley. But the beer goes through a process that reduces or completely removes the gluten content from it. Typically, breweries use an enzyme called Clarex to break the gluten into smaller pieces or completely transform the protein into harmless amino acid chains.
However, the US government entirely restricted breweries from tagging their products as gluten free if they were not made with gluten-free content in the original recipe. So, if any brewery produces a gluten-removed beer, it can’t be officially labeled as gluten-free even if it has less than 20 PPM gluten content.
Best Gluten Free Beer Brands
You must have already got your answer to the question, “Is Budweiser gluten free?” But is there a way to enjoy the same relishing taste of Budweiser without the threat of gluten content in it? Yes, five such beer brands produce refreshing beers without any trace of gluten in them.
Buck Wild Pale Ale: Mike Bernstein established a gluten free brewery in California in 2006 after he himself went into a gluten-free diet. And he brewed the Buck Wild with rice and Cara malt, having a hint of citrus and honey with an undertone of grass. With 48 IBU, this beer has 5.5% alcohol v/v.
Holy Hop Grenade: Alt Brew produces the Holy Hop beers in a certified gluten free facility to eliminate the chance of cross-contamination. Besides haze, porters, and Kolsch, Holy Hop also has a barrel-aged beer in its current product line. With an IBU of 99, this beer has 8.9% alcohol v/v.
Glutenberg Blonde Ale: Glutenberg Brewing is one of the most popular breweries in Canada. And it brews the Blonde Ale with 100% gluten-free ingredients, such as buckwheat, corn, millet, quinoa, and amaranth. Besides, it uses Demerara sugar to ensure a distinct taste. With an IBU of 15, this beer has 4.5% alcohol v/v.
Holidaily Riva Stout: Not just gluten-free, the Riva Stout is also entirely vegan. This beer is primarily made of buckwheat and millet with a mash of coffee, chocolate, and licorice to give it a distinct earthy taste and aroma. With an IBU of 30, this beer has 6.5% alcohol v/v.
Grist Gose: One of the top-fermented German beers, Grist Gose, uses rice extract and sorghum as the main ingredients. Besides, it is brewed with Zeus hops, Willamette, sea salt, and lime zest to give it an iconic but unconventional taste. With an IBU of 15, this beer has 5.1% alcohol v/v.
Budweiser is made without wheat, which is the primary concern for people having gluten allergies. Instead, it uses barley malt, which also has higher gluten content. Besides, the makers of Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch, never officially disclosed if it is made in a gluten-free facility, leaving a chance of cross-contamination, as well.
So, if you have gluten allergies or celiac disease and have a doubt about “is Budweiser gluten free” or not, it is certainly not a gluten-free product. And you shouldn’t consume it even in a small portion.
Q. How much gluten is there in Budweiser?
Budweiser is made of barley malt that is high in gluten. Although there is no official test result available, its prime ingredient is a gluten grain. So you shouldn’t consume it if you have gluten allergies. It is prone to cross-contamination in the brewing facility, as well.
Q. Is Budweiser made from rice?
Budweiser is primarily made of four ingredients: barley, hops, yeast, and water. However, Anheuser-Busch uses around 30% rice extract in the primary mash, as it is a common practice to make any lager beer. The use of rice extract also gives it a distinct taste.
Q. Does Bud Light have gluten?
Like the original Budweiser, the Bud Light is also produced primarily from the barley malt that has high gluten content. So, Bud Light has gluten in it, and it is not at all safe for people with celiac disease or gluten allergies. However, Anheuser-Busch brews Redbridge Lager, which has quite a similar taste but is officially certified as gluten-free.
Q. Is Budweiser good for health?
Beer is loaded with vitamin B (especially folic acid), which helps in preventing heart diseases and cardiac arrest. Besides, beer also has a high amount of soluble fiber, which is good for your digestion system. So, Budweiser and all other beers are good for your health if you consume them in a small portion – unless you’re allergic to gluten.