Is Stella Gluten-Free?

Traditionally, Stella Artois is not gluten-free. But they started brewing a gluten-free version of this product, making it safe for some with dietary restrictions.

Imagine this: you’re conscious about your gluten intake but suddenly crave a refreshing Stella Artois. With that, you’re probably in a dilemma and might wonder, ‘Is Stella gluten-free?’

Well, lucky you, Stella Artois started making a safe variant for those beer lovers with dietary restrictions. But remember, not every beer from Stella is gluten-free. 

In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of your favorite beer and what makes it safe for your gluten-free journey. We’ll also provide you with some other gluten-free beer options.

Is Stella Artois Gluten-Free?

A bunch of opened Stella Artois bottle

You’re likely familiar with Stella Artois, the Belgian lager that’s been around since 1366, but did you know there’s a gluten-free variant as well?

That’s right, Stella Artois Gluten-Free is brewed to the same classic recipe but with the gluten removed. It offers the same crisp, distinctive taste as the original Stella Artois, opening the door for those with gluten sensitivities to enjoy this iconic beer.

Original Variant of Stella Artois

Traditionally, enjoying the original Stella Artois is impossible if you avoid gluten. This beer is brewed with malted barley, which contains gluten. 

In serving your health needs, three things are essential to remember:

  1. Traditional brewing techniques: The original Stella Artois is brewed using traditional methods involving gluten-containing grains.
  2. Malted barley: The primary ingredient in Stella Artois is malted barley, a significant source of gluten.
  3. Health implications: Consuming gluten with celiac disease or gluten intolerance can lead to various health issues.

Gluten-Free Variant

But now, is Stella Artois gluten-free? 

Well, Stella Artois heard the demand of health-conscious individuals for a gluten-free variant of their refreshing free, which resulted in the making of a gluten-free version of their beer. 

This gluten-free Stella Artois doesn’t compromise on taste for dietary accommodations. It’s brewed with the same natural ingredients as the original— water, malted barley, hops, and yeast.

The difference lies in removing gluten, skillfully executed to maintain that authentic Stella Artois taste. This variant is tested and certified to be well below the approved cut-off for gluten-free products.

Another fizzy, widely-known beer you may be interested in finding out is Peroni’s Nastro Azzurro. Both Stella and Peroni started brewing gluten-free variants of their beers to cater to people on gluten-free diets.

Main Ingredients of Stella Artois Beers

A pint of carbonated Stella Artois

You’ve probably savored the crisp, balanced flavor of Stella Artois, but do you know what goes into making this iconic beer?

At its core, Stella Artois is crafted from just four main ingredients: malted barley, water, yeast, and Saaz hops.

Malted Barley

Intriguingly, malted barley, a key player in beer’s creation, contains gluten, which can concern those with certain dietary restrictions. This grain gives beer its characteristic color and flavor while providing the sugars yeast needs to ferment.

For this reason, traditional beers like Stella Artois aren’t gluten-free, as they’re made primarily from malted barley. Here’s a quick breakdown of what this means for those of you in service roles:

Gluten in BeerDetails
Source of GlutenMalted Barley
Role in BeerFlavor, Color, Fermentation
Impact on DietNot Suitable for Gluten-Free Diets
ExampleStella Artois


It’s no exaggeration to say that water’s role in beer production is as vital as it gets. It constitutes up to 95% of the final product. This water’s mineral content can dramatically shape your pint’s taste.

As you strive to serve others, it’s important to know that not all water is created equal when brewing is important. The mineral content, such as calcium, magnesium, and sulfates, can significantly affect the beer’s taste and quality.

Harder water, for example, can enhance the bitterness in beer, while softer water can lead to a sweeter, less bitter taste. 


Just as the water’s mineral content can profoundly impact a beer’s flavor, so too can the yeast used in brewing, as it’s the driving force behind fermentation. 

Yeast is more than a microorganism; it’s a complex ingredient that consumes malt sugars to produce alcohol, carbon dioxide, and distinct flavors.

Here are a few exciting facts about yeast:

  • Yeast can affect the beer’s aroma and taste, giving it a unique character.
  • It’s a live organism that thrives in the right conditions, showing us the beauty of natural processes.
  • Different yeast strains can result in different beer styles, showcasing the diversity of nature.
  • Yeast’s ability to convert sugars into alcohol and CO2 is a marvel of science.

Saaz Hops

These hops are known for their use in Stella Artois, adding a unique touch to this popular brew. Saaz hops are not just about flavor; they also contribute to the beer’s overall balance. 

The mild bitterness they provide is a perfect counterpoint to the sweetness of the malt. While many beers use a variety of hops for different effects, the signature taste of Stella Artois is largely due to the Saaz variety.

Brewing Process of Stella Artois

An image of Stella Artois pint


In the mashing process, imagine the malted barley bathing in warm water, releasing its sweet malt sugars and giving birth to the wort, a critical component in beer brewing. This process is as essential as it sounds, setting the stage for what eventually becomes the beer.

  • The barley is first malted, which means it’s soaked, germinated, and then dried.
  • This malted barley is then soaked in hot water during the mashing process.
  • The heat releases the barley’s malt sugars, creating a sweet liquid.
  • This liquid, known as wort, is the foundation for brewing.


After wrapping up the mashing phase, you’re ready to dive into the boiling process. During boiling, hops are added to the wort for flavoring. This process sterilizes the wort, eliminating bacteria and wild yeast.

Boiling Stage
Pre-BoilThe wort is heated to boiling temperatures.
Hops AdditionHops are added to the wort for flavor and aroma.
SterilizationThe high temperatures kill off any undesirable bacteria or yeast.
EvaporationSome water in the wort evaporates, concentrating the flavors.
CoolingThe wort is cooled quickly to prepare for fermentation.


Ready for the magic to happen? That’s right; it’s time for the fermentation process, where yeast transforms our wort into the beloved beverage we call beer.

The yeast is added to the cooled wort to kickstart this vital stage. As they feast on the malt sugar in the wort, they convert it into alcohol and carbon dioxide. It’s a fascinating and critical step, which is necessary for us to have a beer.


During this stage, any remaining yeast and solid particles that survived the fermentation process settle at the bottom, creating a clear, crisp beer

This process is crucial for the beer, giving it a refined taste and eliminating harsh flavors. This is also the stage where the beer develops its carbonation, a key aspect of what makes a beer enjoyable.

Gluten-Free vs. Gluten Removed

Diving into the world of beers is like navigating a maze where, on the one hand, you have gluten-free beers while there are gluten-removed beers on the other hand.

Gluten-free beers are your safe bet if you serve folks with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. They’re made from naturally gluten-free ingredients, ensuring no adverse reactions.

But hold on, gluten-removed beers are a different story. They start with gluten-rich barley, then an enzyme is added to reduce gluten levels. However, these may still pose a risk to some individuals with celiac disease as traces of gluten could remain. 

Other Gluten-Free Beers

A row of gluten-free beers

If you’re on a gluten-free diet, don’t fret; plenty of beer options are available for you to enjoy! Consider Estrella Damn Daura, a lager brewed to remove gluten, or Greens Amber Ale, made from millet, buckwheat, rice, and sorghum.

You might also want to try Ipswich Ales Celia Saison, Glutenberg IPA, or Brunehaut Belgian Tripel, all of which are crafted from alternative, gluten-free grains.

Estrella Damm Daura

Estrella Damm Daura is an excellent alternative, offering a barley malt flavor in a gluten-removed formula.

Recognized worldwide for its taste and quality, this Spanish beer is crafted with the same traditional ingredients as regular beer, but with one significant difference – the gluten has been removed.

The gluten proteins are broken down to levels below 20 ppm (parts per million) through a meticulous process. This is the threshold considered safe for most people with gluten intolerance. 

But remember, everyone’s sensitivity is different. You’ll want to make your own decisions on whether it’s right.

Greens Amber Ale

You’re in for a treat with Greens Amber Ale, a Belgian beer brewed with an intriguing mix of millet, buckwheat, rice, and sorghum.

This gluten-free beer is a testament to the creativity and ingenuity of Belgian brewers, who’ve crafted a delicious ale that caters to those with gluten sensitivities.

  • Millet, buckwheat, rice, and sorghum are all gluten-free grains carefully chosen to craft this unique beer.
  • Despite being gluten-free, it retains a rich, full-bodied flavor that any beer lover would appreciate.
  • Greens Amber Ale brings an inclusive option to the beer market, proving that dietary restrictions don’t have to mean compromised taste.

Ipswich Ales Celia Saison

Next up on our list is Ipswich Ales Celia Saison, a unique brew that’s crafted with sorghum and Curacao orange peels. This gluten-free beer is a fantastic option for those who love a refreshing, fruity brew but need to avoid gluten.

Here’s a simple breakdown of its key features:

BreweryIpswich Ale Brewery
Beer typeCelia Saison
Main ingredientsSorghum and Curacao orange peels
Flavor profileFruity, refreshing, and complex

Glutenberg IPA

Moving on to a bold choice, Glutenberg IPA is a Canadian brew with a unique mix of millet, buckwheat, corn, black rice, and a generous helping of hops. This beer is a champion in the gluten-free category, offering a vibrant and robust taste that’s sure to please.

It’s crafted with a diverse blend of grains, naturally devoid of gluten, ensuring it’s safe for those on a gluten-free diet. The ingredients contribute to the gluten-free nature of the brew and lend it a unique flavor profile that sets it apart.

The hops add a layer of complexity, providing a refreshing bitterness that balances out the sweet notes from the grains. This is a beer you can confidently serve to all, delivering a memorable experience while accommodating dietary needs.

Brunehaut Belgian Tripel

Now, let’s dive into Brunehaut Belgian Tripel, a beer crafted meticulously from barley and offering a rich, complex taste. It’s a gluten-removed beer, making it a preferred choice for those who follow a gluten-free diet.

Although made from barley, a gluten-containing grain, the gluten is carefully removed during brewing. This approach allows the beer to retain its traditional, robust flavor while being safe for those with gluten sensitivities.

Here’s a quick rundown of its main features:

  • Gluten-removed: The gluten is removed during brewing despite being made from barley.
  • Belgian-style ale: It’s a strong, rich beer that’s inspired by traditional Belgian brewing techniques.
  • Complex taste: Its flavor balances bitterness and sweetness, offering a rich, complex profile to please beer connoisseurs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the health effects of consuming gluten in beer for individuals with celiac disease?

Consuming gluten in beer can cause harmful reactions if you’ve celiac disease. It triggers your immune system to damage the small intestine, leading to nutrient malabsorption, anemia, fatigue, and long-term health complications.

Can gluten-free beers still cause reactions in people with gluten intolerance?

Yes, gluten-free beers can still cause reactions in those with gluten intolerance. Minute traces of gluten might remain after processing, potentially triggering symptoms. It’s always best to check individual tolerance levels and consult a health professional.

How does the taste of Stella Artois compare to gluten-free beers?

Stella Artois has a full-bodied, rich flavor, while gluten-free beers may taste slightly different due to their unique brewing process. However, many people find gluten-free options just as satisfying once their palate adjusts.

What are some other alcoholic beverages that are gluten-free?

Sure, there are quite a few gluten-free alcoholic beverages you can serve. For example, most wines, hard ciders, and spirits like vodka, tequila, and rum are typically gluten-free.

How can I ensure that beer is genuinely gluten-free and not just gluten-removed?

Look for certification labels on the packaging to ensure a gluten-free beer. These labels guarantee the product hasn’t been processed with gluten-containing ingredients. Always double-check with the manufacturer if you’re unsure.


So, is Stella gluten-free?

In the past, Stella Artois is considered a gluten-containing beer because it has malted barley. But worry not, because now, they started brewing gluten-removed beers to cater to those people with gluten sensitivities. 

Remember, if you need to watch your diet, checking its content will always save you before you drink beer.

Want to know more about the gluten content in other food and drinks? Check out my full list here: What Is Gluten In?

Other Alcoholic Drinks

John Benedict
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