Are Mexican Coronas gluten-free?

Quick Answer

Standard Mexican Corona beer contains gluten and is not suitable for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. However, Corona’s gluten-removed beer, called Corona Cero, is gluten-free and a safe option for gluten-free diets.

What is Corona Beer?

Corona Extra is a pale lager produced by Cervecería Modelo in Mexico and exported by Constellation Brands. It was first brewed in 1925 and is known for its iconic clear glass bottle and lime wedge garnish.

Corona is one of the top-selling beers worldwide and is commonly associated with Mexican and beach culture. It has 4.6% alcohol by volume.

Does Corona Contain Gluten?

Yes, standard Corona Extra contains gluten. Like most beers, Corona is brewed with malted barley, which contains gluten.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. Most people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity cannot tolerate gluten and need to follow a strict gluten-free diet.

So for anyone avoiding gluten, regular Corona beer is not considered gluten-free.

Gluten Content in Corona

The exact gluten content of Corona beer has not been publicly disclosed.

However, most regular lager-style beers contain between 10-40 parts per million (ppm) of gluten from the malted barley used in brewing.

Beers labeled “gluten-free” must contain less than 20 ppm of gluten. So while the precise gluten content is unknown, regular Corona likely contains more than 20 ppm.

Does Corona Offer Any Gluten-Free Beers?

Yes, Corona launched a gluten-free beer in 2021 called Corona Cero.

Corona Cero is brewed similarly to the original Corona Extra but uses gluten-free grains instead of barley malt. It is verified to contain less than 5 ppm of gluten.

Corona Cero is currently only available in Colombia and Peru but may expand to other markets soon. Outside South America, Corona does not yet have any gluten-free beer options.

What About Corona Familiar, Light, or Premier?

No, other varieties of Corona such as Corona Familiar, Corona Light, and Corona Premier also contain gluten.

Corona Familiar is a darker, more full-flavored lager but contains malted barley like the original.

Corona Light and Premier are reduced calorie or carb options, but they are also brewed with malted barley and gluten-containing grains.

At this time, only Corona Cero is produced as a gluten-free alternative by the brand.

Can I Remove Gluten from Corona at Home?

No, there is no safe, effective way to remove gluten from beer at home.

While gluten can be washed away from the surface of solid foods, it is dissolved within beer and cannot be removed by rinsing or soaking.

Home gluten removal kits also do not work for beverages. Gluten must be removed during the brewing process through the use of alternative grains.

So regular Corona or other gluten-containing beer should not be considered gluten-free even if prepared at home.

Is Corona Safe on a Gluten-Free Diet?

Regular Corona beer containing gluten is not considered safe for people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

The gluten found in ingredients like barley malt can damage the small intestine and trigger symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and fatigue in those with gluten intolerance.

Only Corona Cero, verified to be under 5 ppm of gluten, can be safely consumed on a strict gluten-free diet.

Can You Drink Corona with Celiac Disease?

No, people with celiac disease should avoid drinking regular Corona as it contains gluten.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and damage to the small intestine when gluten is ingested. Even small amounts of gluten can be problematic.

Sticking to a gluten intake of less than 10-20 ppm per day is important for celiac management. Standard Corona likely exceeds this level.

However, those with celiac could potentially drink Corona Cero, if available, as the gluten-free alternative.

Is Corona Gluten-Free with a Lime?

Adding a lime wedge to a Corona does not make it gluten-free. Lime juice has no effect on the gluten protein already present in the beer itself.

The gluten content of any food or beverage cannot be altered by simply adding or removing additional ingredients after the original production.

So while the lime may enhance Corona’s flavor, it does not change the fact that standard Corona contains gluten. Only a gluten-removed version like Corona Cero would be gluten-free.

Does Corona Test for Gluten?

Corona likely does internal testing to analyze the gluten content of its beers, especially for new products like Corona Cero.

However, the company does not publicly provide lab results or certification for the gluten content of its beers. Certain certification programs like the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) require third-party testing.

Instead, Corona relies on its gluten-free labeling and disclosures to inform consumers about gluten. This is common practice among most food and beverage companies.

Is Corona Bottled or Canned?

Corona is most famously known for its clear glass bottle presentation. The green or brown glass bottles are a signature part of the brand’s identity.

However, Corona is also available in aluminum cans in many markets. Cans offer benefits like portability, reduced weight, and no exposure to light or oxygen.

Both bottles and cans provide effective ways to package and store beer while maintaining quality. The gluten content is the same regardless of packaging type.

Packaging Format Availability
Glass bottles Most common and widely available
Aluminum cans Increasingly available
Kegs For some draft/tap versions

Is Corona Suitable for a Celiac Diet?

No, regular Corona beer containing gluten is not suitable for people following a celiac diet or who have celiac disease.

A celiac diet involves strictly avoiding foods and drinks with gluten to manage symptoms and intestinal damage. Even trace amounts of gluten from barley malt can be problematic.

The only exception would be if Corona Cero, the new gluten-free Corona beer, was accessible. Corona Cero could potentially be suitable for a celiac diet as it tests below 5 ppm of gluten.

But the standard Corona Extra sold worldwide does contain gluten and would need to be avoided on a celiac diet.

Can You Drink Corona on a Gluten-Free Diet?

Most people following a gluten-free diet strictly should avoid standard Corona, as it likely contains over 20 ppm of gluten from barley malt.

Unless you can confirm the gluten content, it is safest to consider Corona as “not gluten-free” and unsuitable for a gluten-free diet.

The exception would again be Corona Cero if you live in Colombia or Peru, where it is sold. Corona Cero is brewed to remove gluten and contains less than 5 ppm.

Or if regular Corona tests below 20 ppm gluten in your region, an occasional light intake may be tolerated by some with gluten sensitivity. But it cannot be considered a reliably gluten-free option.

Is Corona Gluten-Free in the United States?

No, regular Corona Extra sold in the United States contains gluten. While the exact ppm is unknown, it likely exceeds the FDA threshold of under 20 ppm to be labeled gluten-free.

At this time, the gluten-free Corona Cero is only available in some Latin American countries. Corona Cero is not sold anywhere in the United States.

So regular Corona, whether in bottles or cans, should be avoided by those with celiac disease or on a strict gluten-free diet in the US. Gluten-free beer options from other brands would need to be substituted.

Other Gluten-Free Beers Like Corona

Here are some recommended gluten-free beer brands and styles to try if you need a Corona alternative:

Glutenberg Blonde Ale

Glutenberg crafts gluten-free beers using millet, corn, and buckwheat. Their American Blonde is a light and crisp ale similar to Corona’s flavor profile.

Ground Breaker IPA

Ground Breaker Brewing focuses on gluten-free pale ales and IPAs, like their hop-forward Oregon Golden IPA.

Omission Lager

Omission beers are crafted to remove gluten using a specialized brewing process. Their classic lager offers a comparable crisp, mild taste.

Redbridge Sorghum Beer

Brewed by Anheuser-Busch, Redbridge uses sorghum for a gluten-free lager with a familiar American-style lager flavor.

New Grist Pilsner

New Grist by Lakefront Brewery uses rice, hops, water, and yeast to create a gluten-free pilsner with a light, sparkling finish.

Ghostfish Grapefruit IPA

If you like citrus flavors, Ghostfish Brewing’s grapefruit-infused IPA brings nice tartness and tropical notes.

Green’s Quest Blonde Ale

England’s Green’s Brewery crafts some of the world’s first gluten-free beers including their refreshing blonde ale brewed with sorghum.

Is Corona Safe for People with Gluten Intolerance?

For people with gluten intolerance or sensitivity, regular Corona is generally not considered safe.

Gluten intolerance causes gastrointestinal symptoms and damage when gluten is ingested. The exact amount that triggers reactions varies by individual.

Since the precise gluten content of Corona is unknown, it could potentially cause issues for those sensitive to gluten. Only Corona Cero with verified gluten-free status would be considered safe.

Some people with mild gluten issues may tolerate Corona in small amounts. But it’s still risky without knowing the exact ppm of gluten. Safer gluten-free options are recommended for people with gluten intolerance.

Can You Drink Corona on a Keto or Paleo Diet?

Corona in moderation can potentially be enjoyed on a keto or paleo diet, since beer is low in carbs and made from paleo-friendly ingredients like water, hops, and yeast.

However, the malted barley used to brew Corona does contain some carbs that could impact ketosis. And grain-based alcohol is still somewhat controversial in the paleo community.

Here is the nutrition data for one 12 oz serving of Corona Extra:

Nutrition Facts Per 12 oz Serving
Calories 148
Carbs 14 g
Protein 1.6 g
Fat 0 g

So an occasional Corona may be permissible, but should be accounted for in your daily macros and limited to 1-2 servings max. Going for a low-carb gluten-free beer option can further reduce carbs and paleo concerns.

Is Corona FODMAP Friendly?

The FODMAP diet is used to manage irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and digestion issues. FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols.

Beer is generally considered low FODMAP at a serving of 1 cup (240 ml) or less. The small amount of carbohydrates from the barley malt are well tolerated.

So regular Corona beer in a 12 oz serving is likely FODMAP friendly and should not cause gastrointestinal problems for people following a low FODMAP diet.

However, individuals with IBS can vary in sensitivities. And gluten-containing grains like barley can be problematic for some. So it’s best to assess your own tolerance.

Can You Drink Corona on a Candida Diet?

A candida diet aims to restrict foods that may exacerbate candida yeast overgrowth. Things like alcohol, gluten, and added sugars are often limited.

Regular Corona contains gluten, so it would not be recommended on a strict anti-candida diet protocol.

Some nutrition experts also advise restricting beer and alcohol intake when trying to manage candida issues, due to the yeast and fermentation involved.

Occasional light alcohol intake may be okay for some following a candida diet, but Corona likely would not be the best choice. A low-sugar hard seltzer or distilled gluten-free spirit may be better options when candida is a concern.

The Bottom Line

Standard Corona Extra lager contains gluten and is not suitable for people with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or those following a strict gluten-free diet.

Corona’s new gluten-free beer Corona Cero would be a suitable gluten-free alternative, but its availability is currently limited outside certain Latin American countries.

In the U.S. and for most consumers worldwide, regular Corona is off-limits for gluten-free diets. Choosing another reliably gluten-free beer brand is the only option until Corona potentially expands Corona Cero to additional markets.

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