Here is the first test.
Beer: Corona Extra
Producer: Grupo Modelo
Originating country: Mexico
Brewing location: not stated on label, assumption is Mexico as the back label says imported
Bottle size: 0.355 l = 12 Oz.
Alcohol by volume: 4.5%
Ingredients: water, barley malt, corn, rice, hops, papain, ascorbic acid, alginate E405 (translated from German)
Miscellaneous: Seems to be determined for German and Polish market (back label details in German and Polish).
Test Kit: Imutest Gluten-in-Food Kit
Preparation: For testing beer the gluten extraction process described in the instructions can be skipped as the gluten in beer is already solubilised. Find some more information here. Beside the test kit and beer sample have a stopwatch handy.
The pictures below describe the test process (from left to right).
2.Using the diluent liquid
3.Using the visualisation solution
Test result: There seems to be no gluten in Corona. According to the instructions there should appear a clearly visible pink test spot on the left of the test area ( T ) to indicate the presence of gluten. But there is absolutely nothing to see. The pink spot on the right test area ( C ) is a control spot and indicates that the extract/sample is suitable, the test has been performed correctly and all reagents are active. Even though the detection limit in this kit is very low (1-2 ppm) this test is not a medical advice – please see my facts page.
The National Food Agency of Sweden analysed the gluten content of beer including Corona and came to the same result.
Link to the 2013 research (partly English):
Link to a blog with the 2009 research translated to English:
In both studies gluten could not be detected in Corona Extra
Les Carter from Australia
Hi, I read the Swedish test, it appears they tested Corona Light? Not heard of that one, we only get the Corona Extra in Australia. Interesting results though.
When I was on the Golden Princess cruise ship around South America in March, they sold another Mexican beer on board – Dos Equis, I tried one bottle, no problems. Anybody else heard of that one or tried it? Would be interesting to do a Dos Equis test, but not seen that beer in Australia.
Hi Les, it only looks like Corona Light but it is only a copy/paste error from the Swedish study. In the study the say:
Prover från alla tre tillverkningsdatum av Corona Extra 4,6% låg under metodens kvant ifieringsgräns på 10 mg gluten/liter
Which means something like:
All three samples of Corona Extra 4,6% with different production dates where below the detectable limit of 10 mg gluten/liter (equal to ppm).
And further below:
I prover från denna öl (Corona Extra 4,6 %) påvisades inte gluten.
In all samples from this beer (Corona Extra 4.6%) were not detectable gluten.
So it looks good 😉
Les Carter from Australia
CORONITA, Aldi today had Coronita on special AU$32 for a 24 bottle carton. I purchased two cartons. They are the 210ml bottles. Now ita in Spanish means little, so Coronita = ‘Little Corona,’ right?
Like several Coeliacs on here, I have had a couple of Coronas in the 355ml bottle now and then, no problems. Now here is what the checkout lady in Aldi at Batemans Bay, News South Wales, Australia, said to me today when I was buying the Coronitas. ‘Oh, we are selling a lot of that fake Corona, the ita means fake’ Whaat ! ‘No way’, I said. ‘Don’t give that incorrect advice out to customers, the Coronitas are the same Corona Beer in a smaller bottle.’ She looked stunned, what made it worse the lady had an Assistant Manager badge on. Anyway, I feel like contacting their Customer Relation Office and putting the staff right on Coronitas.
So people, just letting you know of these baby Coronas, not sure if they are available in other countries, they are made by Corona in Mexico and imported into Australia. But if you can get them, the smaller size is good for the hot climates and you won’t be consuming as much gluten because of the small bottle, but keep it at 2 or 3 right, like Uncle Les.
Happy drinking guys. Thanks Steffen.
Hi Les, thanks for sharing these information. The Coronitas are not avilable here in Germany but Aldi wouldn’t sell any fake products and the checkout lady seems not to have a clue at all. Hopefully only a single case and exception 😉
Diagnosed Coeliac here, summoned up the courage and one night drank a corona based off these results. no reaction. Next night 2 etc etc. I can easily drink a 6 pack with no dramas!
Hi Nick, thanks for your feedback. The personal experience is always the best. But don’t push it over the limits. 😉
Based on the results here I tried Corona Light this weekend. I am a certified diagnosed Celiac and had no reaction to two Coronas Lights on Friday, two on Sat, and two on Sun. I usually have a strong reaction the next morning if I accidentally ingest any gluten. Your results may vary but I was pleasantly surprised by the results.
On a side note, this debate (beers not having gluten) reminds me of the similar debate a decade ago about liquor. In the early 2000s it was believed that Celiacs couldn’t have whiskey, rum, etc because they too are made with barley, however subsequent testing showed that the triple distillation process removed the gluten, thus us Celiacs can enjoy a Jameson without worry. I think we’re seeing something similar here with certain beers.
Hi Tito, thank you very much indeed for your feedback. This is really helpful and confirms what other Celiacs have noticed too. And yes you are right there is lot of paranoia and fear about the gluten in beer. I drink regular beer since I was diagnosed a couple of years ago and have no damage – proven by my Doc.
It actually is the intention of my site to identify (regular) beers which are suitable for Celiacs and share the results. Thanks again.
Thx for your research here Steffen. Chanced a Budweiser last nite on the bartender’s advice. So far so good. Only thing was I had forgotten how bad Budweiser was and I actually prefer some of the GF beers (New Grist, Glutenberg, Daura). Still, would like a Corona or a Heineken after 15 years….we will see.
Hi A.C. , I have to try New Grist and Glutenberg. Re Daura, well, I would prefer a regular Estrella instead of the Daura – taste is similar but Daura is a bit too pricey and may have as much gluten as the regular Estrella. Cheers Steffen
big in japan
I tested Corona Extra myself the other day, and it came up negative for gluten for me as well. The results are here:
Thanks for re-testing and the confirmation of my result. Cheers Steffen
I was just wondering if any of you have tested Coors light. Another celiac friend said it tested less than 5 ppm. I tested it with ez test gluten strips and got a high positive result. Was hoping she was right!
big in japan
Here’s Steffen’s test of Coors Light:
Hey there Judy, the blog Gluten in Beer tested Coors light and the level of gluten is less then 10ppm, Corona Extra falls in the same category of less then 10ppm. The FDA determined that anything under 20ppm is safe for celiacs like myself. I drink both all the time and have no issues.
Hi John, thanks for your feedback. The personal experience is always the best. Corona tests with home test kits were all negative but also the professional tests never showed positive so I am quite convinced that Corona is gf.
so is Coors Light
why does the CCA and dietitians say it is off limits for celiacs then?
big in japan
I think it’s important to say that Coors Light and Corona Extra tested less than 10 ppm. These are non-scientific tests done by regular people in their homes. We can’t know for sure how accurate they are, so be careful there.
Also, as I understand it, the FDA (the US Food and Drug Administration) doesn’t really declare what’s safe for Celiacs. That’s more of a job for you and your doctor. The FDA simply adopted an international guideline that had been set at 20 ppm.
Also, the concentration isn’t as important as the total amount of gluten ingested. From what I’ve read, at 10mg per day, no intestinal damage occurs. The most sensitive people start reacting about 10mg, while some may not react until 20 or 30mg per day.
Here’s some more info: https://glutenfreetraveller.com/topics-2/lifestyle/why-is-20ppm-of-gluten-the-safe-level-for-celiacs/
It’s easy to convert ppm to mg when it comes to beer: 1 liter of 10ppm beer contains 10mg of gluten. 2 liters of 5ppm beer also contain 10mg gluten.
I hope I did the math right…
big in japan
However, actually ascertaining what is 5ppm beer and what is 10ppm, and so forth, seems to be a very tricky matter.
I drink both with no issues. Anything that is under 20ppm for gluten can be labelled gluten free in the US. The most I ever had in one evening is 4 beers. There is nothing mentioned by the FDA about how much you can consume in one day. I was diagnosed a celiac in 1990 and I know when I have a reaction.
Have any Coeliacs here had a gastroscopy after drinking this beer. Often gluten can be ingested without causing outward reaction, however it can still be doing damage to your insides. The only way to prove these beers are safe is to have a gastroscopy after ingesting this beer.
The fact is the gluten in beer cannot be detected. Coeliac Australia has information explaining all this. There’s a very good scientific explanation regarding the testing process and gluten content in Corona and even some European beers which claim to be gluten free. They are not safe for Coeliacs.
Before you continue drinking this beer, I urge you to contact Coeliac Australia, after all it’s your health at stake.
I appreciate your comment but there are also other opinions on Corona – and also other opinions if gluten can be detected or not. I mean a whole industry can’t be that wrong. Regulations in Australia may be different but in Europe, the US and Canada everything below 20 ppm is considered gluten free.
I am a diagnosed Coeliac and drink regular beer since I was diagnosed 8 years ago. I have yearly check-ups including gastroscopy. My last intestinal biopsy was OK (no atrophy of the villi and no increase of intraepithelial T-lymphocytes).
I am fine with low gluten beers which doesn’t mean you have do to it. We post test results but people are still free to decide what to do.
what other beer do you drink? would you say bud light and corona would be the same or is corona best for celiacs
Hi Leeanne, that’s difficult. The best would be to stay away from any barley or wheat containing beers. But it really depends on how you react to gluten. I am Celiac but I am fine with low gluten beers whilst others need to 100% avoid any gluten. If you are not too sensitive both Corona and Bud Light are rather safe in my eyes. I never had a reaction. Corona was proven several times as gluten free so maybe that’s the better choice in doubt. Cheers Steffen
Having being told that Corona, Bud Light and Coors Light are low in Gluten I decided to do some research. I have found a lot of conflicting information and thought it would be best to completely stay away from these beers.
Finding this blog gave me the confidence to pick up a Corona and give it a try….
I found that I had no reaction at all.
Thanks to Steffen for sharing these results!
Hi Kevin, thanks for letting us know. This is important also for a lot of other visitors. Cheers Steffen
Don Parkhurst jr
I have to say first that I can get away with some things like a bun on a hamburger without getting a reaction as long as I don’t do it alot so I’m not an extra sensitive celiac. I heard the whole claims that Corona was safe to drink and have tried it on multiple occasions. The one test the really counts is my stomach and my stomach reacts to Corona. Corona may have less gluten and some people can get away with it but my stomach wouldn’t be reacting in this way if there wasn’t any gluten in this product and it was safe to drink.
Hi Don, fair enough – if you cannot handle Corona just don’t drink it. This is the right approach. Well, if you can have a wheat bun without reaction but react on the tiny amounts of gluten in Corona maybe it’s something else causing the trouble. Maybe the alcohol or the E405 as an ingredient in Corona which caused allergic reactions in animal tests. Do you have tried other mainstream beers?
Tried 3 on Sunday night (my first attempt at non GF lager). Coeliac since 2013. I had zero gluten symptoms. Very happy!
Hi Craig, great to hear – thanks for your feedback! Cheers Steffen
I’d just like to echo the thoughts and thanks of so many others. You taking the time to test and post such detailed information is invaluable, I can now experiment that bit more and save £££’s in the process. I do like a drop of Daura Damm, GF Stella as well as a few other, but they are no where as cheap as their sibling versions.
Thanks again….keep up the great work
Hi Simon, thank your very much indeed. I am happy to get such a positive feedback. Also thanks for the donation 🙂 I use the money to buy new kits (just received a 5-kit set) and continue testing.
Great blog, it’s a massive help.
All corona in the UK is now brewed here (started November 2019) as far as I know. Ingredients do differ from the one above. Listed are, water, barley malt, maize and hops. I just wondered if you had heard of any problems with this and it would be brilliant if you could test this new UK version.
Hi Mark, thanks for the kind words.
That’s really interesting and according to my internet research AB InBev wants to use the same production process like in Mexico. I assume also the ingredients are the same then, the only difference might be the labelling. Maybe in the UK they have less strict regulations to list emulsifier or enzymes in beer. The Corona I tested was purchased in Germany and here they are very strict when it comes to purity of beer. And any artificial ingredient must be listed.
But I can be wrong – maybe someone else in the community knows about the UK Corona?
Thanks for your work here Steffen. For those that want to be ultra safe, do you have a list of beers which are made without gluten containing ingredients such as corn etc. i.e no wheat or barley? Is that possible or indeed are there any out there?
Hi Ross, unfortunately I don’t have such a list. But almost all beers contain barley. There are just few beers available containing for instance sorghum without barley. Barley malt is actually needed for the taste and corn or rice is mostly just added in addition to barley. Cheers Steffen
Hello my name is Thomas Davidson i live in the UK and i have a disability with type 1 diabetes and celiac disease.
I got my self a 710 ml.e big bottle of crona extra (beer) last night and it was so nice that i had no reaction what so ever
Hi Thomas, fantastic to hear that you had no reaction. Stay safe.
Good you had no reaction the Corona, I am Coeliac and have the odd Corona, maybe 2 or 3 a week but not the 710ml bottles, not seen them here, just the 355ml with a wedge of lime or lemon. Lubbly Jubbly.
I’m a coeliac and I now regularly drink Corona with no issues whatsoever. Even if I have 4 or 5 I don’t feel bad at all
Many thanks for sharing your personal experience – this is very useful and important for the CD community. Cheers Steffen