Is Bud Light Beer Gluten-Free (2023)? Learn The Answer

Bud Light is, by far, one of the most popular beers in America and sells over $700 million worth of products in the US alone (not counting out-of-country sales). 

With the holiday season in full swing, you’ll no doubt be offered a “cold one” at least a couple of times over the next month. If you’re reading this post now, then you’re probably wondering, “Is Bud Light beer gluten-free?”

Despite its popularity as a light, low-calorie beer, Bud Light is not gluten-free. One of the main ingredients in Bud Light is barley, a grain that contains more than enough gluten to trigger anybody with a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. In general, most beer is not a good idea for anybody sensitive to gluten. 

If you were planning on chugging down Bud Lights, it’s probably not going to go well for you if you’re gluten-sensitive. Despite what your bartender may tell you, they don’t have to experience the pain and headaches that come with a gluten reaction. 

That being said, there are some alcoholic beverages that you can drink. In today’s post, I’ll explain exactly why Bud Light is a bad idea for a gluten-free diet, show you some tasty gluten-free beers, and answer some other common questions about drinking on a gluten-free diet. 

What Ingredients Are In Bud Light? 

By now, you’re probably curious about exactly what ingredients are in Bud Light… 

One thing that everybody on a gluten-free diet needs to become familiar with is how to read nutrition and ingredient labels. So, you might as well start now! 

The ingredients in Bud Light are:

  • Barley. 
  • Rice. 
  • Hops.
  • Water. 

In terms of overall nutrition, Bud Light is a lot “healthier” than other beers that may contain added sugars or even corn syrup. However, a gluten-free diet isn’t about eating low-calorie or watching your carbs; it’s about staying away from a single grain-based protein – gluten

Beer, Bud Light And Gluten Sensitivity: What You Need To Know

Statistically, the average American drinks nearly double the amount of alcohol during the holidays than they do during the rest of the year. For some, it’s a way to cope with the added stress or holiday blues. For others, the endless holiday parties are more than enough excuse to imbibe. 

If you have celiac disease or a general gluten sensitivity, though, you should definitely stay away from beer. That’s because 95% of the beers you’ll find at a party or on a store shelf contain gluten. 


Well, it’s because most beer is made using some type of grain mash, such as:

  • Barley. 
  • Wheat. 
  • Rye. 
  • Oat. 

All of these grains (except for a few varieties of gluten-free oats) contain high concentrations of gluten. Although the brewing process does break down some of the gluten in the grains, the majority of the gluten is still present in the resulting beer after it’s bottled or canned. 

One of the most common misconceptions that I’ve heard on this matter is that “Light beers don’t have enough gluten to trigger a reaction.” While your average light beer may not contain as much gluten as a heavier beer like Stella Artois which has loads of gluten, the levels still aren’t safe enough for anyone on a gluten-free diet. 

What Happens If I Drink Bud Light With Gluten Sensitivity?

Admittedly, when I first started my Gone Gluten journey, I had to learn some things the hard way. Even when I thought that I was eating a 100% gluten-free diet, there were times that I’d accidentally eat (or drink) something that had gluten in it. But hey – we all have to learn some way! 

So, what happens if you drink Bud Light with gluten sensitivity? 

Well, it all depends on how sensitive you are. While some people may just experience a bit of gassiness or diarrhea later that night, others may experience severe stomach cramping, migraines, or worse. The real question is, are you willing to risk it

My unofficial recommendation is that you avoid any beer that isn’t specifically labeled as gluten-free

Are There Gluten-Free Beers? 

This brings us to our next point… there are, in fact, several gluten-free beers on the market. You just might have to do a bit of shopping. I’m not a big drinker, but when I do, these are some of my favorite gluten-free beers:

  • Glutenberg White. 
  • Delicious IPA by Stone Brewing. 
  • New Belgium Glutiny Pale Ale. 
  • Ultimate Light Golden Ale by Omission Brewing Co. 
  • Angry Orchard Cider. 

What separates all of these beers from Bud Light and other popular light beers is that they don’t contain any traces of gluten. Some beers (such as those made by Glutenberg and Omission Brewing Co.) are crafted with special gluten-free grains. These taste very similar to traditional barley malt beers and lagers like Bud Light and Budweiser. 

Ciders, which are primarily made from apples and other fruits, are also gluten-free. Just be sure to check the label, as some ciders contain added gluten-containing ingredients or malt liquor!

Last but not least, there are several IPAs (for those who love something bitter and hoppy) that are also gluten-free. The primary ingredients in IPAs are hops. That being said, not all IPAs are gluten-free, as many contain a blended mash that contains wheat, barley, or rye grains. 

Here’s a quick table to help you remember which beers are more likely to be gluten-friendly:

Beer TypeLagers and Light BeersIPAs and Pale AleCidersGluten-Free Beer
Contains Gluten?Almost always contain gluten. Some options are gluten-free. Rarely contains gluten.Uses gluten-free grains and is certified gluten-free. 

That being said, though, your best bet is to always check for a label

When it comes to your gluten-free diet, it’s usually not a good idea to trust word-of-mouth advice. It’s your responsibility to do your research, check for gluten-free labels, and decide what you do and don’t want to consume. 

Can I Drink Liquor On A Gluten-Free Diet? 

While some prefer beer, others like their liquor. Since we’re on the topic, you’re probably wondering whether or not liquor is safe on a gluten-free diet. As it turns out, though, almost all straight liquor is gluten-free! 

By straight liquor, we mean liquor that doesn’t contain any added malt liquor or other gluten-containing additives (like some of those sweet, extra-sugary drinks). As long as you’re drinking pure, unadulterated liquor, though, you should be safe to drink any of the following:

  • Vodka.
  • Rum. 
  • Whiskey. 
  • Tequila. 
  • Gin. 

Even though many of these liquors are made using gluten-containing grains, none of the gluten makes it past the distillation process, making them perfectly safe on a gluten-free diet. Just be sure to double-check the labels to make sure there aren’t any extra additives! 

Final Thoughts

So, long story short, you can drink alcohol while you’re on a gluten-free diet. Just make sure that you’re drinking a certified gluten-free beer, wine, or liquor. If you’re not sure, you should always do your research before accepting a drink. 

If you’re just getting started with your gluten-free diet, then I’d like to encourage you to check out my gluten-free lifestyle blog! From gluten-free food recommendations to helpful tips and tricks, I’ve made it my goal to help my readers get the most out of their gluten-free diets. 

My name is Gabby, and I’m the creator of Gone Gluten. I started this site to inspire those who are currently living or trying to live a gluten-free lifestyle.

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