Is Press seltzer safe for celiacs?

For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, navigating food and drink options can be tricky. With the recent rise in popularity of hard seltzers like Press, many are wondering if these trendy beverages are safe to consume on a gluten-free diet. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at Press seltzer and whether or not it’s celiac-friendly.

What is Press?

Press seltzer is a line of fruit-flavored, carbonated alcoholic beverages with low calories and carbohydrates. Produced by the company Anheuser-Busch, Press seltzers contain 4.5% alcohol by volume and are made with cane sugar and natural fruit flavors. Flavors include black cherry, blood orange, pineapple, lemon, lime, grapefruit, pomegranate, apple, and cranberry. Press seltzers are gluten-free, containing no barley or wheat. They’re marketed as a light, refreshing adult beverage option.

Is Press actually gluten-free?

According to the manufacturer, Press seltzers are brewed and fermented from cane sugar, not grains that contain gluten like barley or wheat. The company’s frequently asked questions page states: “Press is gluten-free. Press is brewed and fermented from cane sugar and natural flavors, not grains like barley or wheat that contain gluten.”

Anheuser-Busch has confirmed the gluten-free status of Press seltzer through third-party testing. Each batch is tested for gluten using the R5 ELISA test, which is able to detect levels as low as 3 ppm (parts per million). Anything under 20 ppm is considered gluten-free. Press seltzers consistently test below 5 ppm.

What about cross-contamination?

While the seltzer itself is gluten-free, some celiacs worry about potential cross-contamination during the brewing and bottling process. Anheuser-Busch produces many beers that do contain gluten. So is it possible for gluten to make its way into the Press products?

According to the company, Press is produced at standalone facilities only, completely separate from their other breweries. Dedicated equipment is used to brew the seltzer to avoid any cross-contact issues. In addition, each batch undergoes third party testing as mentioned above to ensure no detectable gluten.

Are all Press flavors gluten-free?

Yes, Anheuser-Busch has confirmed that every Press flavor – including black cherry, blood orange, pineapple, lemon, lime, grapefruit, pomegranate, apple, and cranberry – is gluten-free to below 5 ppm.

What about other hard seltzers?

While Press is gluten-free, not all hard seltzers on the market are safe for those with celiac. Brands like White Claw and Truly are also made from sugar and natural flavors, making them low gluten options under 20 ppm. Bon & Viv, on the other hand, is produced at facilities that also handle wheat and barley, so cross-contamination is more likely. Always check the gluten-free status with each brand before consuming.

Should you trust gluten-free labels?

This is a tricky question. Under the FDA gluten-free labeling law, any product advertised as “gluten-free” must contain less than 20 ppm of gluten. However, testing issues can occur and cross-contamination is still a possibility in facilities that handle multiple ingredients. Those with celiac disease know even small amounts of gluten can cause a reaction.

That’s why it’s recommended to choose brands that are tested down to 5 ppm or lower, like Press seltzer, to provide an extra level of assurance. Calling the manufacturer with any questions or concerns about their gluten-free claims is also wise.

What about alcoholic beverage labeling laws?

Alcoholic beverages are labeled under a different set of regulations than regular food items. Under the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau), beverages containing less than 5 ppm gluten may be labeled “gluten-free” but there is no requirement for third party testing. Brands can self-determine the gluten content.

So some “gluten-free” alcoholic beverages may contain higher trace amounts than gluten-free foods, which are limited to 20 ppm. Again, choosing a brand with thorough third-party testing like Press is important for celiac safety.

Should celiacs drink gluten-removed beer?

There are some beers on the market that have been “gluten-removed” using special enzymes that break down the gluten protein chains. However, these gluten-removed beers still contain trace amounts of gluten in the 3-10 ppm range and are generally not considered safe for celiacs.

Even beers testing below 20 ppm have been shown to cause intestinal damage in those with celiac disease. So it’s best for celiacs to steer clear of these products and choose a seltzer like Press instead.

Can Press trigger symptoms in gluten-sensitive individuals?

For those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), the gluten threshold that triggers symptoms can vary quite a bit. While Press seltzer tests below 5 ppm, some gluten-sensitive individuals report reacting to amounts lower than this.

The only way to know for certain if Press will cause issues is to try it. Start with a small serving and monitor symptoms for the next 48 hours. If no negative reactions occur, it is likely safe to drink as an occasional gluten-free treat. But listen to your body and discontinue use if any discomfort arises.

Is Press safe during the gluten challenge?

The gluten challenge is a necessary part of testing for celiac disease. During this test, patients must consume gluten daily for 2-8 weeks so that an intestinal biopsy can confirm or rule out damage from gluten. Press seltzer under 5 ppm would not contain enough gluten to elicit the immune reaction necessary.

Doctors advise celiac patients not to drink any labeled “gluten-free” beverages during the gluten challenge phase, even if under 20 ppm like Press. Only regular beer containing barley should be consumed to get adequate gluten exposure.

Does Press seltzer contain FODMAPs?

FODMAPs (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols) are certain carbs that can aggravate digestive issues like IBS. Fructose and fruit juices high in FODMAPs may be problematic for some. Press seltzers are not certified low-FODMAP, but their fruit flavoring appears to come from small juice concentrates low in FODMAP fructans and polyols.

Those following a low-FODMAP diet can try a serving of Press to see if it causes any unwanted GI symptoms. Ideally, limit intake to 1/3 can per sitting and 1 can per day as part of a gut-friendly diet plan.

Is Press keto and paleo diet approved?

Both the keto and paleo diets emphasize real, unprocessed foods and ingredients. While Press seltzer is gluten-free, some may argue that a highly processed, fruit-flavored alcoholic beverage doesn’t fit these lifestyle parameters.

However, Press is low carb, containing only 1g per can. This fits into even a strict ketogenic diet. Some keto dieters report enjoying Press as an occasional treat without kicking them out of ketosis. For paleo, Press avoids grains and legumes but does include cane sugar as an ingredient, so it may be considered acceptable in moderation.

Can children drink Press?

No, Press seltzer should only be consumed by those of legal drinking age, which is 21 years and up in the United States. Press contains 4.5% alcohol by volume, so it is an alcoholic beverage not suitable for children.

Does Press have caffeine?

Press seltzer does not contain any caffeine or stimulants. It delivers alcoholic content from fermented cane sugar without the addition of coffee, tea, or energy drink-type ingredients. This makes Press a purely alcoholic beverage without caffeine.

How many Press cans can you drink in a day?

According to health experts, it’s recommended that women limit alcoholic beverage intake to one serving per day, and men limit intake to two servings max. One serving equals:

  • 12 oz regular beer
  • 5 oz wine
  • 1.5 oz distilled spirits
  • 1 Press seltzer can (12 oz at 4.5% ABV)

The carbohydrate and calorie content should also be considered. With only 100 calories and 2g carbs per can, a single Press is a light drink choice.

Does Press seltzer have added sugars?

Press seltzers contain a minimal amount of sugar at 1g per can, added in the form of cane sugar during the fermentation process. Compared to a typical 12 oz beer with 14-20g sugar, Press has 13-19g less sugar content.

The natural fruit flavors provide Press with a hint of sweetness, even with low sugar numbers. Those watching carb and sugar intake can enjoy Press as a low glycemic option compared to regular beer, wine, and cocktails.

Are there mixers and flavors without sugar?

Currently, every Press flavor does contain a small amount of cane sugar during production. There are no sugar-free or zero carb options at this time.

Some suggest mixing Press with plain sparkling water to dilute the sweetness further. Adding fresh lemon, lime, or herbs can add flavor without extra sugars. Vodka and other zero carb liquors can also be combined with Press to make a mixed drink.

Does Press have artificial sweeteners?

Press seltzer does not contain any artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, sucralose, or acesulfame potassium. The company emphasizes the use of natural flavors in their beverages.

What natural flavors are used in Press?

Press seltzers are made with natural fruit flavors to create the taste profile of each variety. Common natural flavor ingredients can include fruit juices, oils, distillates, and extracts.

Here are the natural flavors in each Press flavor variety:

  • Black cherry – black cherry juice concentrate
  • Blood orange – blood orange juice concentrate
  • Pineapple – pineapple juice concentrate
  • Lemon – lemon juice concentrate, lemon oils
  • Lime – lime juice concentrate, lime oils
  • Grapefruit – grapefruit juice concentrate
  • Pomegranate – pomegranate juice concentrate, pomegranate extracts
  • Apple – apple juice concentrate
  • Cranberry – cranberry juice concentrate

Does Press contain any preservatives?

Press seltzers do not contain any chemical preservatives. As an alcoholic beverage, the alcohol content serves as a natural preservative against bacteria growth. The cans also protect the beverage from light and oxygen exposure.

Some limited stabilizers and emulsifiers may be used in minimal amounts to maintain Press’s flavor and fizz. But there are no artificial preservatives added.

Are there any sulfites in Press?

Sulfites help preserve freshness in some foods and beverages, but can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Press seltzer does not list sulfites in their ingredients label and has been confirmed sulfite-free by the manufacturer.

Is Press organic?

No, Press seltzer is not certified organic. While the flavors are natural with no artificial ingredients, the sugar cane and fruit juices used do not come from certified organic sources.

Is Press vegan friendly?

Yes, Press seltzer is considered a vegan-friendly beverage. It contains no animal products or byproducts. Press is made from sugar cane, natural flavors, and carbonated water with no ingredients derived from animals.

Are there any allergens in Press besides gluten?

Press seltzer is free of the top 8 common food allergens. It contains no wheat, dairy, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, soy, fish or shellfish. This makes Press a good choice for those with food allergies.

Always check the ingredients label carefully before consuming, as formulations can change. Those with fruit sensitivities should be aware Press flavors real fruit juices.

Is Press actually healthy?

Unlike soda and conventional beer, Press has low calories, carbs, and sugars. But at its core, Press is still an alcoholic beverage. Consuming too much alcohol can lead to liver disease, cognitive impairment, and increased cancer risk according to health authorities.

Moderation is key – up to one drink per day for women and two for men. Enjoyed occasionally in a gut-friendly diet, Press can be a fun, refreshing choice for some.

Press Nutrition Facts

Here are the nutrition facts for one 12 oz can of Press seltzer:

Calories 100
Carbs 2 g
Sugar 1 g

Does Press have antioxidants?

Press seltzer’s fruit juice concentrates provide a minimal amount of antioxidants. While these nutrients are present naturally, the amount is likely negligible compared to eating whole fresh fruits and veggies.

Those looking for the antioxidant benefits of pomegranate and cranberries would be better off consuming them in their whole food form, rather than relying on Press for these nutrients.


For those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, alcoholic beverages can be tricky to navigate. But the popularity of hard seltzers like Press provides a tasty new option to enjoy safely.

When choosing gluten-free alcohol, look for trusted brands with thorough third-party testing like Press. Their isolated facilities and commitment to under 5 ppm gluten make Press one of the most celiac-friendly seltzers available.

Drinking any alcohol in excess has downsides, so enjoy Press and other gluten-free beverages responsibly as part of an overall healthy diet. In moderation, Press can be a delicious seltzer indulgence that won’t aggravate gluten issues for most.

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