Is Pacifico Gluten Free? Really!

Is Pacifico Gluten Free

It’s refreshing. It’s Mexican. It’s the beer that everyone loves! We are talking about Pacifico. It is loaded with a robust taste of malt and a dry finish. If you’re a fan of neutrality, this is just the beer for you. But before you take a sip of this beverage, there’s a pressing question: is Pacifico gluten free?

Pacifico is a beer with barley and cereals, among other ingredients. The brand confirms that its products have gluten, and the amount of gluten in Pacifico is not measured. Hence, this beer is not suitable for anyone with celiac disease or gluten allergy.      

What makes Pacifico unsafe for you if you are medically required to stay away from gluten? Is there a beer variant that’s safe for you? Let’s find out all about Pacifico today!

Is Pacifico Gluten Free?

Pacifico is one of the most popular beer varieties globally, preferred by those who enjoy a light and crisp beer when they chill and hang out. But is Pacifico gluten free? When your medical conditions require you to stay away from gluten, would it be safe for you to take this beer?

This Mexican beer is made of malted barley, hops, non-malted cereals, and brewer’s yeast. Of these, barley is a gluten grain that you must avoid if you’re intolerant to gluten. In addition, Pacifico contains cereals that may contain gluten grains. Even brewer’s yeast is generally gluten free. 

Hence, it’s clear that Pacifico is not gluten free. The FAQ section on the official website of Pacifico confirms that the product contains traces of gluten. It also mentions that the quantity of gluten is unknown. This is due to a lack of accepted tests to measure the gluten content in fermented drinks.   

So Pacifico is not gluten free – and hence, it is unsafe for anyone who needs to stay gluten free for a healthy lifestyle. We recommend that you don’t experiment with this beer in order to test whether your body can handle the gluten content in it. Doing so might make you severely ill. 

Related:- Is Sapporo Gluten Free Beer

What is Pacifico?

Everyone who is not a fan of strong and bitter beer loves Pacifico. The actual name of this light-tasting pilsner-style beer is Cerveza Pacífico Clara. This exotic name has its roots in the Mexican state of Sinaloa. There, the Pacifico brewery is in Mazatlán, a city on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.  

Interestingly, the beer was first brewed by three German gentlemen. If legends are to be believed, the beer was discovered and made famous by surfers. As the word “Clara” in the name suggests, Pacifico is clear and blonde, with an alcohol percentage of 4.4%. 

It scores only 18 on the Bitterness Scale, too – which is why it has a neutral, slightly watery taste that many love. Pacifico proudly boasts of being a vegan-friendly beer. Each 12-ounce serving of this delicious beer contains 143 calories, with 13.6 grams of carbohydrates and 1.1 grams of protein.    

Is Beer Gluten Free?

There are many alcoholic drinks that can be enjoyed by someone with gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Unfortunately, beer made using the traditional brewing method is not one of them. That’s because it is made using gluten-containing ingredients, making it unsafe for you. 

The primary sources of gluten are wheat, barley, and rye. Different types of beer contain barley malt, but some recipes also include other grains, including wheat. The process of brewing beer involves the fermentation of these grains using yeast. Hence, the gluten protein stays in the beer.  

Don’t forget that brewer’s yeast also contains gluten (unless otherwise mentioned) and is another source of this protein in beer. Plus, the final brew does not go through distillation, and therefore, there is no chance of removing gluten from traditionally brewed beer with grains and yeast. 

For a person suffering from gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, the gluten content in their food and beverages should be less than 20 ppm, according to the regulations of the FDA. Lager, stout, ale, and wheat beer exceed this mark. The gluten content in different types of beer are as follows – 

  1. Lager beer: 63 ppm
  2. Stout beer: 361 ppm
  3. Ale: 3,120 ppm
  4. Wheat beer: 25,920 ppm

So is beer gluten free? Many beer purists would say that “gluten free beer” is an oxymoron. However, there is a catch. Many brands now produce different types of beer for people who cannot have gluten. These are either made using non-gluten ingredients or have the gluten removed. 

Gluten Free Beer 

If you love beer but have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity – all is not lost. There are still options that you can choose from – but first, you have to know more about them to make an informed decision. That’s because some of these non-gluten beer options are not without controversies. 

Let’s first talk about gluten free beer that’s absolutely safe and usually comes with a “Gluten Free” certification. This type of beer is made using non-gluten grains like sorghum, rice, millet, buckwheat, etc. It may also use sugar sources like cane sugar and honey – along with gluten free yeast. 

However, beer puritans complain that beer made of non-gluten grains does not taste the same as “real beer.” That’s where the much-controversial “gluten removed” or “gluten reduced” beer comes into the scene. This type of beer is made with malted gluten grains like barley and wheat. 

Gluten Free Beer Pacifico
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The initial stage of brewing remains the same to get the original flavor of beer. However, after this stage, a type of enzyme known as Brewers Clarex is added to the brew. This breaks down the gluten content in the beverage into tiny undetectable particles. This happens by the process of hydrolysis.       

This is called omission beer. They usually come with a “gluten removed” or “gluten reduced” label. Theoretically, the human body shouldn’t be able to recognize these minuscule gluten particles, which lead to allergic reactions. The gluten particles are so small that regular tests can’t detect them. 

However, many experts suspect that it might be a false negative result. Studies to determine if these small gluten fragments have no potential to cause harm to your body are still inconclusive. Anecdotal evidence suggests that many people have experienced allergic reactions from omission beer. 

You can talk to your physician to ask if omission beer is a good option for you. You can also try a small amount to observe how your body reacts to it. But this must only be done after taking your physician’s advice and should be strictly avoided if you are severely allergic to gluten ingredients. 

As a beer lover, you can, however, choose options that are made from gluten free grains. It’s best to find certified gluten free beer brands. Some of the most trusted gluten free beer options include 

  1. Alpenglow Beer Company’s Buck Wild Brewing Pale Ale
  2. Alt Brew’s gluten free range
  3. Ipswich Ale Brewery Celia Saison
  4. Glutenberg’s gluten free range
  5. New Grist Pilsner

Some gluten removed beer options that you can choose include Two Brothers Prairie Path Golden Ale and Brasserie de Brunehaut’s Bio Triple Gluten Free beer. But as mentioned before, you need to be careful about taking this type of beer because gluten-removed beer may not be safe.  

Gluten Free Alcohol 

Apart from beer options made using non-gluten grains, you can also choose to replace beer with safer alternative alcoholic drinks. One of the best options is wine, including champagne. which is made using grapes. But oak barrels are sealed with wheat paste – unless steel casks are used.   

What is Pacifico

Avoid wine coolers that contain malted grains. Another popular option is hard cider. It is a fermented drink made from fruits and is naturally free from gluten content. You can also choose distilled drinks like rum and vodka as the process of distillation eliminates gluten protein from the drink.

No matter what alcohol you choose to replace beer, it is a good idea to start in small quantities to see how your body reacts. Most of these options are naturally gluten free and are usually not tested for certification. So trace gluten is a possibility due to cross-contamination or gluten-containing additives.   

Conclusion

Pacifico is a light beer, which may give you the wrong idea about its gluten content. Is Pacifico gluten free? Because of the ingredients used in it, this beer cannot be called gluten free at all. Instead, you can shift to other gluten free beer options – or drink completely non-gluten alcoholic drinks.

Jim
A 23-year old tech geek with a passion for health and fitness, Jim is here to help you follow a healthy, gluten free life. The details provided by this B.tech student are simple enough for everyone to understand - and based on experience and research. While he doesn’t claim to be a health expert, he is dedicated to providing the best advice that he himself would follow.