Is Stella Artois Gluten-Free?

Are you wondering if Stella Artois is gluten-free or not? The straightforward answer to this question is no;

The original Stella Artois is not gluten-free.

However, the brand introduced the gluten-free version of Stella Artois a couple of years ago. Here we will strip down the details of the original and gluten-free versions of Stella Artois.

What is Stella Artois?

Stella Artois has a rich history that dates back to about 700 years ago when the Den Hoorn brewery started its operation in 1366 in Leuven, Belgium. The brand proudly presents the Den Hoorn logo with the year tag on the Stella Artois cartouche.

However, today’s signature taste of Stella Artois beer that everyone enjoys was first brewed in 1926 by Brouwerij Artois. The brand sold Stella Artois as a Christmas drink at that time. Stella Artois takes utmost pride in its successful history and showcases a glimpse of it on the packaging. 

Firstly, Stella Artois company sold its perfected beer around Belgium. But Stella Artois has become one of the most popular beers in the U.K., Australia, Canada, and Ireland. The company works under Interbrew International B.V., a subsidiary of Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, the world’s largest brewer. As a result, Stella Artois has maintained and perfected its original taste that is adored by millions.

What Does Stella Artois Taste Like?

This Belgian beer is globally loved for its smooth texture and sweet taste with hints of spicy and citrusy notes. Technically, this style of beer is called Belgian pilsner. However, this beer’s flavor and texture differ from the typical American pilsner. The original formula of Stella Artois had 5.2% ABV and 4.8% alcohol content. Later, the brand reduced the ABV content to 4% and sold that in Canada, the U.K., and Australia.

Ingredients of Original Stella Artois Beer

The answer to our original question lies in its list of ingredients and the beer’s manufacturing process. First, have a quick look at the components of the original Stella Artois. And in the midway, we’ll let you know the culprit ingredient responsible for the gluten content of the Stella Artois.

Saaz Hops

Saaz hops have long been used in traditional Belgium and German brewing, especially in the manufacturing process of pilsner and lagers. This unique ingredient offers a distinctive taste and aroma to the German, Czech, and Belgium pilsners that are absent in the American pilsners. These hops have a bitter taste and unique smell.

However, the brewers add Saaz hops for their distinctive aroma rather than taste. Saaz hops have a little earthy, herbal, and slightly spicy flavor, giving spicy notes to the pilsner at the backend.

Additionally, Saaz hops serve as the natural preservative, keeping the beer safe and protected from the attack of harmful bacteria during the brewing process.

Malted Barley

This ingredient is the main reason for the gluten content in the Stella Artois. Malted barley naturally contains gluten, which gives this beverage the signature sweet taste and attractive golden color. A study has revealed that the gluten content in wheat barley is 18.8-45.0 g per kg. If you are sensitive to gluten, any food containing malted barley can harm your health.


The next ingredient in the formula is maize or corn. Corn has a sweet and mellow flavor of its unique biochemical compounds, including dimethyl sulfide, acetaldehyde, ethanol, etc. This ingredient adds to the sweet taste of Stella Artois beer.


That, indeed, is a no-brainer. More than 95% of the beer content is water. And it is needless to say that water is gluten-free!


The brewing process is impossible without the use of yeast. Yeast is a critical ingredient in beer, mainly responsible for converting sugar into alcohol, called fermentation.

The yeast can and cannot be gluten-free based on its type. For example, Brewers’ yeast contains gluten, whereas Baker’s is gluten-free. However, there is no need to worry about the yeast of its glutinous nature as the manufacturers remove it from the final product.

What You Need to Know About Gluten in Beer

Gluten is a protein found in certain grains like barley, wheat, and oats, commonly used in making beer. But if you have gluten sensitivities or celiac disease, consuming gluten can cause health issues.

Beer companies have devised ways to make gluten-free, gluten-removed, or reduced-gluten beers. One way is by using special enzymes to break down the gluten proteins in the traditional recipe. This way, the beer still tastes like beer but with less gluten, which is within FDA standards. But, these beers are still labeled as gluten-reduced or gluten-removed because they still have gluten.

Another way to make gluten-free beer is by using gluten-free grains like sorghum, millet, rice, buckwheat, or corn. These beers can be labeled gluten-free and are safe for those with gluten sensitivities.

It’s always a good idea to double-check the ingredients list, even if a beer is labeled gluten-free.

Stella Artois Gluten-Free Option?

Considering the considerable customer demand, the brand introduced a gluten-free variant of Stella Artois beer. The brand introduced its first-ever gluten-free beer in August 2018. However, to the customers’ surprise, the ingredients list contains the same names as written on the glutinous version of the beer.

It is crucial to mention that per the FDA, any food item with less than 20 ppm (parts per million) gluten can be labeled gluten-free. And the revised gluten-free version of Stella Artois contains less than 20 ppm gluten.

The manufacturers wished to keep the original, much-loved flavor of the Stella Artois intact; hence they did not touch the ingredients. However, after intense research and several trials, the experts and the researchers came up with a genius approach to the brewing process.

The manufacturers have introduced another step and ingredient in the brewing protocol that decreases the gluten content to a minimal level. This ingredient is an enzymatic protein that uses gluten as a substrate and converts it into non-allergic components. 

However, it is essential to note that the gluten-free variant of Stella Artois is not entirely free from gluten. There is a possibility that this version of Stella Artois may contain less than 20 ppm gluten.

Conclusion – Stella Artois is NOT Gluten Free

The original formula of Stella Artois and its manufacturing process do not make it gluten-free. However, the brand has introduced a gluten-free Stella Artois variant. This variant has a similarly sweet, luscious, slightly bitter, and unique taste as the original Stella Artois.

The skilled and experienced brewers and researchers have used the same formula with an added enzyme to reduce the beer’s gluten content. So, yes, there is no need to hold back your urge to taste the distinctive taste of Stella Artois for its gluten content now. You can enjoy a similar taste and unique texture with its gluten-free variant.

Alternative Gluten-Free Beers to Try

If you’re looking for some alternative gluten-free beers to try, here are a few options:

Daura Damm Crafted to Remove Gluten Lager Beer

Daura Damm is a beer that’s been crafted to be gluten-free. Damm Brewery, a Spanish brewery, makes it. They use barley, a traditional gluten-containing grain.

They’ve developed a special brewing process that removes the gluten, making it safe for people with gluten sensitivities or celiac disease to drink. It’s got a nice golden color, a balanced taste and aroma, and a refreshing and smooth finish. It’s an excellent option for those who want to enjoy a traditional lager beer without worrying about gluten.

Redbridge Gluten-Free Lager

Redbridge Gluten-Free Lager is a gluten-free beer produced by the Anheuser-Busch brewing company. It is made with sorghum, a gluten-free grain, and is brewed using traditional methods.

It has a crisp and clean taste with a light golden color. This larger appeal is to people with gluten sensitivities, celiac disease, or gluten intolerance. It is a perfect alternative to traditional beers and an excellent option for those who want to enjoy a gluten-free beer.

This beer is also certified by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization, ensuring it meets the gluten-free standards of less than 20 ppm.

Green’s Dry-Hopped Lager – Gluten Free

Green’s Dry-Hopped Lager is a gluten-free beer perfect for those sensitive to gluten who still want to enjoy a cold brew.

It has a crisp and refreshing taste with a nice hoppy kick. It’s also a lager, which means it’s a bit smoother and easier to drink than some other types of beers. Overall, it’s a tasty option for gluten-free folks who want to enjoy a beer without worrying about gluten-related issues.


Immunochemical Determination of Gluten in Malts and Beers. J.A. Mares, M.E. Barro, J.M. Castro, J.A. Garcia. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Volume 54, Issue 24, December 2006, Pages 9167–9174

Sweet Corn Aroma, Chemical Components and Relative Importance in the Overall Flavor Response. R.B. Schieberle, P. Grosch. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Volume 43, Issue 8, August 1995, Pages 2212–2218

Gluten-Free Means What it Says. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. URL: Published: 01/28/23.

Dan Smullen Beer is my life profile

Hi, I'm Dan, founder of BeerIsMyLife. I've been an avid homebrewer for over ten years, and beer is my true passion. I've traveled all over the world, visiting breweries, tasting beer, as well as making my own batches. I set up this blog to share that experience with you.