Updated March 2023 By Dante Moroni
If you haven’t heard yet, Anheuser Busch has recently launched a first of its kind zero carb beer. An attempt to push back against the deluge of hard seltzers on the market today, they are also filling a niche that has yet to be occupied, a zero carb beer. Bud Light NEXT is a 4% abv beer, that has 80 calories, 0 carbs, and 0 grams of protein. While it’s cousins Bud Light and Bud Light Platinum have come back with positive gluten readings, the small if any amount of protein in NEXT gives me reason to suspect it could be low in gluten.
In April 2022 I decided to test it using the EZ Gluten Lateral Flow Device. The result was negative, <10ppm. This wasn’t surprising to me given the 0 grams of protein. To follow up on this test, I ran another EZ Gluten assay in September 2022. The follow up test was also negative, <10ppm gluten.
I do believe the negative gluten results for Bud Light NEXT are legit. While there may have been gluten containing ingredients used in its production (barley), it seems to have been substantially degraded in the brewing process. The vast majority of barley beers i’ve tested have had greater than 10ppm.
Regarding what production methods they are using to make such an interesting beer; I wasn’t able to find any information online. It could be solely or a combination of protein precipitation, enzymatic hydrolysis, distillation, and/or filtration brewing techniques.
April 2022 Result (Negative <10ppm)
September 2022 Result (Negative <10ppm)
The taste is alright, slightly floral/sweet and think lighter than bud light… but it’s growing on me, especially in the hot summer months. I also like the fact that it’s so low in carbs and you can chug down a six pack without guilt. Perfect for down by the pool! Having another option to buy/order that is low in gluten is always welcome.
One more thing to mention is that Bud Light NEXT is “Climate Neutral Certified”, a commendable accomplishment. The Anheuser-Busch website states they measured and offset last year’s CO2 emissions, and their intention to maintain this status in the future. Climate Neutral Certification is issued by Climate Neutral, a non-profit.
If you’re curious to see what other beers I’ve tested, here are the results of all the beers I’ve tested so far.
Disclaimer: This beer is brewed with gluten containing ingredients and should not be consumed by those with Celiac Disease.
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