Does Michelob Ultra have gluten in it?

Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. For people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten can cause serious health issues. As a result, these individuals need to follow a strict gluten-free diet and avoid foods and beverages containing gluten.

Michelob Ultra is a popular low-calorie, low-carb beer produced by Anheuser-Busch. Many people wonder if this beer is safe to drink on a gluten-free diet. The short answer is yes – Michelob Ultra is considered gluten-free by most standards.

What is Gluten?

Gluten refers to the proteins glutenin and gliadin, which are found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. When flour from these grains is mixed with water, the gluten proteins form elastic strands that give bread and other baked goods their chewy texture.

For people with certain medical conditions like celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or wheat allergy, gluten triggers an abnormal immune response that damages the small intestine. This can lead to symptoms like diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, and nutrient malabsorption.

The only treatment for celiac disease is a strict lifelong gluten-free diet. People with non-celiac gluten sensitivity may also need to avoid gluten to manage symptoms.

Gluten Content in Beer

In beer production, barley is used to make the malt that provides the sugars needed for fermentation. Barley contains gluten. However, most beers also contain other gluten-containing ingredients:

  • Wheat or rye may be added to certain beer styles.
  • Some brewers use wheat flour or other gluten-containing grains as clarifying agents.
  • Beer can be contaminated with gluten from shared brewing equipment.

As a result, most conventional beers contain some level of gluten and are not considered gluten-free.

Is Michelob Ultra Gluten-Free?

According to Anheuser-Busch, Michelob Ultra is produced using gluten-free grains. The company states:

“Michelob ULTRA is brewed using gluten-free grains. We test and audit our suppliers to ensure the grains used to brew Michelob ULTRA are gluten-free. Our breweries also conduct gluten tests regularly to ensure Michelob ULTRA meets strict standards for gluten-free certification”

On Michelob Ultra’s website, they provide a “Certificate of Gluten-Free Authenticity” stating that the beer contains less than 10mg/kg of gluten, which meets international Codex Alimentarius Commission standards for gluten-free labeling.

Independent testing by the Gluten Intolerance Group also found Michelob Ultra contains less than 10ppm (parts per million) of gluten, putting it well below the FDA’s gluten-free threshold of 20ppm.

Based on this rigorous testing and certification, most experts consider Michelob Ultra to be gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Cross-Contamination Risks

While Michelob Ultra contains gluten-free ingredients, there is a small risk of cross-contamination with gluten-containing grains during the brewing process:

  • Michelob Ultra is brewed at facilities that also brew gluten-containing beers.
  • Some equipment and shared lines may come into contact with gluten.

However, Anheuser-Busch reports that Michelob Ultra is produced using dedicated equipment in special gluten-free brew runs. The company rigorously cleans and sanitizes all equipment according to gluten-free protocols.

While trace amounts of gluten from cross-contamination may theoretically be present, Michelob Ultra still meets strict gluten-free standards and is considered safe by most celiac disease experts when consumed in moderation.

What the Experts Say About Michelob Ultra and Gluten

Here is what some top organizations and experts have to say about the gluten content of Michelob Ultra:

Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG)

“Independent lab tests show these beers contain gluten levels well below 20ppm. Brands like Michelob ULTRA are produced using certified gluten-free ingredients and grains. Testing over the past several years has consistently shown these beers to be gluten-free.”

Beyond Celiac

“Michelob ULTRA is considered gluten-free by most recognized gluten-free certification programs…Michelob brand beers are frequently tested to ensure the gluten level stays below 10ppm.”

Celiac Disease Foundation

“Michelob Ultra seems to be safe based on independent testing. Michelob Ultra is made with gluten-free grains and thorough sanitation procedures at the breweries. We recommend consuming these brands of beer in moderation.”

Dr. Stefano Guandalini, Founder of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center

“The risk [of gluten exposure] is minimal to nonexistent based on the processes [Anheuser-Busch] describes and the testing results we reviewed.”

Overall, most celiac disease and gluten-free experts agree that Michelob Ultra contains extremely low levels of gluten, if any, and is safe for most gluten-free dieters when consumed in moderation.

Is Michelob Ultra Distilled, Filtered or Reduced-Gluten?

No, Michelob Ultra is not considered a distilled, filtered or reduced-gluten beer. It is produced using certified gluten-free ingredients and undergoes special testing and processing to avoid gluten cross-contact:

  • Distilled: Distilled beers undergo a distillation process to remove gluten, leaving less than 10ppm.
  • Filtered: Filtered beers are passed through a filtration system to remove gluten, leaving less than 10ppm.
  • Reduced-gluten: These beers are made with wheat or barley but special enzymes are added to degrade the gluten, leaving less than 100ppm.

Since Michelob Ultra is brewed using certified gluten-free grains and contains less than 10ppm of gluten, it does not need to undergo these additional steps to reduce potential gluten content. It is naturally gluten-free.

Is Michelob ULTRA Safe for a Gluten-Free Diet?

For most people on a gluten-free diet, Michelob Ultra is generally considered safe for consumption in moderation. However, there are a few factors to consider:

Celiac Disease vs. Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

People with celiac disease must follow a strict gluten-free diet with zero tolerance for gluten. Those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity may be able to tolerate small or trace amounts of gluten.

According to testing, Michelob Ultra falls well below the maximum 20ppm gluten threshold to be labeled gluten-free. However, individuals with celiac disease should use their own judgment based on personal sensitivities and comfort level.

Quantity Consumed

Drinking more than one or two Michelob Ultras in a day may potentially increase gluten exposure. People with celiac disease may want to limit intake to be extra cautious.

Individual Factors

Response can vary based on individual sensitivity levels. Some celiacs may react to even miniscule trace gluten. Those highly sensitive should exercise caution and evaluate personal tolerance.

In children and others with more severe celiac disease, experts recommend avoiding beers labeled “gluten-removed” when possible.

Noother Sources of Gluten

Consuming other sources of gluten in the same day from cross-contaminated foods, ingredients, medications, etc. may affect overall gluten tolerance.

Drinking Michelob Ultra on a Gluten-Free Diet – The Verdict

Based on thorough product testing and food safety procedures, Michelob Ultra contains very low gluten levels (under 10ppm) and is considered gluten-free by most standards. However, because it is manufactured alongside gluten-containing beers, an extremely small risk of cross-contact exists.

Most experts agree that Michelob Ultra is safe for gluten-free diets when consumed in moderation. However, those with celiac disease should evaluate their personal level of sensitivity and comfort. Factors like quantity consumed and other daily gluten exposures may also impact individual response.

When in doubt, consulting your healthcare provider is the best way to make an informed decision about consuming gluten-removed beers like Michelob Ultra on a strict gluten-free diet.

Other Beers Labeled Gluten-Free

In addition to Michelob Ultra, several other major beer brands are considered gluten-free and safe for most gluten-free diets:


Glutenberg craft beer is brewed from gluten-free grains like millet, buckwheat, rice, and corn. All Glutenberg varieties test below 5ppm of gluten.

Redbridge Beer

Redbridge is made by Anheuser-Busch using sorghum and yeast. Testing shows it contains less than 5ppm of gluten.

Ghostfish Brewing

Ghostfish Brewing in Seattle produces a variety of 100% gluten-free beers made without wheat, barley, or rye.

Ground Breaker Brewing

This dedicated gluten-free brewer uses gluten-free grains and thoroughly cleans equipment to prevent cross-contact.

Omission Beer

Omission is produced from malted barley, then treated with an enzyme solution to break down gluten. The finished beers test below 20ppm gluten.

While these brands are labeled gluten-free, those with celiac disease should still use caution and check for any reactions to individual tolerances.

Other Low-Gluten Beer Options

Beyond certified gluten-free beers, some people opt for low-gluten beer options with reduced gluten content:

Gluten-Removed Beers

Gluten-removed beers like Stone Delicious IPA and Daura Damm are made from gluten-containing grains. But they use special enzymes to break down gluten protein, leaving only trace amounts (less than 10ppm).

Gluten-Reduced Beers

Beers labeled gluten-reduced like Omission contain less than 100ppm gluten after being crafted with gluten-digesting enzymes.

For people with celiac disease, these low-gluten options may still be too high in gluten. But some with non-celiac gluten sensitivity can tolerate reduced gluten levels.

Traditional Beers

Some conventional beers made from glutenous grains may test very low in gluten at less than 20ppm. This includes beers like Coors Peak Golden Lager.

However, gluten content can vary between batches. Traditional beers are not recommended for those requiring a strict gluten-free diet.

Safely Enjoying Beer on a Gluten-Free Diet

Here are some tips for safely drinking beer on a gluten-free diet:

  • Drink certified gluten-free beers like Michelob Ultra to minimize gluten risk.
  • Check independent lab testing data or contact the manufacturer.
  • Limit yourself to one or two gluten-free beers per day.
  • Avoid other sources of gluten the same day.
  • Watch for any symptoms after drinking and adjust intake accordingly.
  • Consult your healthcare provider if concerned about brand safety.

With the right precautions, many gluten-free dieters can still enjoy an occasional gluten-free beer like Michelob Ultra!

The Bottom Line

Based on rigorous product testing and safety procedures, Michelob Ultra contains very low levels of gluten and is considered gluten-free by most standards.

While an extremely small risk of cross-contact exists during production, Michelob Ultra is generally regarded as safe in moderation by celiac disease experts and gluten-free organizations.

However, those with celiac disease should evaluate individual tolerance levels, consumption quantities, and potential gluten exposures from other sources when making a decision. When unsure, checking with a healthcare provider is advised.

Overall, Michelob Ultra can be part of a gluten-free diet for most people when proper precautions are taken. But for those who are highly sensitive, avoiding gluten-removed beers altogether may be the best approach to prevent reactions.

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