Corona beer is gluten-free because it is made from ingredients that do not contain gluten. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat, barley, and rye. Since Corona beer is brewed from corn and rice, it does not contain gluten.
What is gluten?
Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and other related grains. The two main proteins that make up gluten are gliadin and glutenin. When flour and water are mixed together and kneaded, these proteins form elastic strands and give bread and other baked goods their chewy texture.
For people with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, consuming gluten triggers an immune response that damages the small intestine. This can lead to symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, fatigue and nutritional deficiencies. The only treatment is a strict lifelong gluten-free diet.
Why do some beers contain gluten?
Many beers contain gluten because they are made from gluten-containing grains:
- Barley – Most beer is made with malted barley, which contains gluten. The gluten content in barley malt is usually higher than raw barley.
- Wheat – Some beers like wheat beers, witbiers and weizens are brewed using a substantial amount of wheat, which contains gluten.
- Rye – Rye beers contain rye malt, which also contains gluten protein.
During the brewing process, the gluten from these grains can be carried over into the final beer. Even if the grains are filtered out, beers brewed from them are not considered gluten-free.
Why is Corona gluten-free?
Corona beer does not contain any gluten-containing ingredients. Instead, it is brewed from a blend of non-gluten grains:
- Corn – Gives light body and mild sweetness.
- Rice – Adds crispness and aids fermentation.
Corona also uses yeast and hops during brewing, both of which are naturally gluten-free ingredients. The fermentation and filtration processes remove most solids from the final beer, including any residual grains.
Lab testing shows Corona contains less than 20 ppm (parts per million) of gluten. This is below the global standard for gluten-free certification.
Other gluten-reduced beer brands
In addition to Corona, other mainstream beer brands that offer gluten-reduced or gluten-free options include:
- Heineken – Brewed from corn and rice with less than 10 ppm gluten.
- Stella Artois – Also made from corn and rice with less than 10 ppm gluten.
- Bud Light – Brewed with rice instead of barley malt, tests below 20 ppm gluten.
- New Belgium Glutiny – A certified gluten-free beer made from golden millet and brown rice.
- Ghostfish Grapefruit IPA – An IPA-style gluten-free beer made from millet, rice, buckwheat and fruit.
There are also many regional and microbrewery beers that are labeled gluten-free. Always check the label and brewing information to confirm.
Is Mexican beer gluten-free?
Not all Mexican beer brands are gluten-free. Popular Mexican lagers like Modelo Especial, Pacifico and Victoria are brewed with barley malt, a gluten-containing grain.
However, there are some Mexican beers made without gluten grains:
- Estrella Jalisco – Brewed from corn, rice and hops.
- Dos Equis Amber Lager – Made with corn, rice and sorghum.
- Tecate – Uses corn with lower gluten content.
Those sensitive to gluten should always double-check the ingredients and brewing information before consuming Mexican beers.
For a beer to be considered gluten-free, it must meet certain requirements:
- Less than 20 ppm gluten – The global standard for gluten-free certification.
- No gluten-containing ingredients – Cannot be made from wheat, barley, rye or other gluten sources.
- No cross-contamination – Brewed in dedicated gluten-free facilities and equipment.
Beers that meet these criteria can be certified gluten-free by organizations like the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO).
Other low-gluten and gluten-removed beers
In addition to gluten-free beers, some companies offer products with lower gluten content:
- Gluten-reduced – Contain less than 100 ppm gluten from barley malt.
- Crafted to remove gluten – Use enzymes to break down gluten proteins from barley malt.
However, those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity should avoid these products as they likely still contain some gluten.
Tips for drinking gluten-free beer
Here are some tips for enjoying gluten-free beer safely:
- Check the label and brand website for brewing details.
- Look for a gluten-free certification from GFCO or similar organizations.
- Ask your server at a restaurant/bar if a beer is gluten-free.
- Start with brands made from corn, rice, sorghum, buckwheat or other gluten-free grains.
- Try gluten-removed beers in moderation if you have mild gluten sensitivity.
- Avoid beers with barley malt if you have celiac disease or react strongly to gluten.
Corona and several other mainstream beer brands are gluten-free because they are brewed from ingredients like corn and rice that don’t contain gluten proteins. Gluten-free brewing processes and certification standards ensure these beers are safe for people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance.
While not all Mexican beers are gluten-free, brands like Estrella Jalisco and Dos Equis Amber Lager also meet gluten-free requirements. Those following a gluten-free diet can enjoy Corona, Mexican beers and other gluten-free brands without GI symptoms or other health concerns.