Thursday, January 30, 2014

Negra Modelo

Negro Modelo Mexican gluten free beer low gluten test results bottle celiac intolerance
Beer: Negra Modelo
Style: Vienna Lager/Dark Lager
Brewing location: Cervecería Modelo, Mexico
Originating country: Mexico
Alcohol by Volume: 5.4% 
Ingredients: malt, hops, yeast and water
Format tested: 12 oz bottle purchased in Los Angeles, CA
Beeradvocate rating: 77/100
Ratebeer rating: 22/100
Test kit: E-Z Gluten

  • First brewed in Mexico by Austrian immigrants, and was introduced as a draft beer in 1926.
  • Negra Modelo is Mexico’s top-selling dark beer and the #2 imported dark beer in the U.S. Average growth rate for the last 10 years (1999-2008) is 9.3%.
  • To achieve its unique taste, Negra Modelo uses a greater quantity of malt.

Test result photo

Test result
Negative at 20 parts per million (ppm), meaning it is less than 20 ppm. Though standards vary from country to country, according to the FDA, "in order to use the term 'gluten free' on its label a food must meet all the requirements of the definition, including that the food must contain less than 20 ppm gluten". It is said that products with a gluten content below 20 ppm are suitable for people with celiac disease.

My experience drinking Negra Modelo
This is not my first experience drinking Negra Modelo. I used to drink it on a regular basis before being diagnosed gluten intolerant. From that point I steered clear of dark beers on the understanding that they were more likely to contain gluten than lagers and other pale beers; I read words to this effect on Heineken's website. Well, this test result is great news for gluten intolerant lovers of dark beer, such as myself. I am not sure where I fall in the gluten tolerance spectrum; I am gluten intolerant but not celiac. I definitely know what it feels like to be “glutened” i.e. gluten exposure, but I have not deliberately pushed my gluten consumption limits with any food or beer. I consumed this 12 oz bottle and felt none of my typical gluten effects. I will definitely feel more comfortable having 2 or 3 Negra Modelos in succession now - yes right now!


  1. Hi there, just curious if this is a typo for Negra Modelo's ppm. Above you list sapporo as a "very high positive" at 20ppm. You list Negra Modelo as a "negative at 20ppm." Thank a bunch. I am GF and a friend and I are having a discussion about beer safety. :) -Tamara

    1. Hi Tamara, Thanks a lot for your feedback. I double-checked and there is no ppm typo. As you pointed out, Negra Modelo tested "Negative at 20ppm" meaning it has a gluten level under 20ppm. Sapporo tested "Very High Positive at 20ppm" meaning it has a gluten level above 20ppm - most likely considerably more than 20ppm. Please be careful if experimenting with any barley-based beer. As the disclaimer states "We do NOT claim that ANY of these beers are safe to consume if you have celiac disease or are gluten intolerant." I am gluten intolerant but not celiac. Gluten gives me horrible symptoms and I am strictly GF when it comes to everything but beer. But I have yet to consume a beer that produces the same symptoms for me as being glutened. So it's my deduction, wrongly or rightly, that beer must contain only low concentrations of gluten that my body can tolerate. So I am prepared to take the risk of drinking occasionally from the growing list of <20ppm gluten beers on this site. I equate it to taking the same risk as eating french fries in a restaurant that uses the frier to cook breaded items - something I do occasionally when stuck. Your mileage may vary!

    2. I think the confusion is in the wording. The test reads based on the accepted safe standard of 20 ppm. It reads either positive or negative on that basis. So Sapporo, based on the 20ppm standard, tested very high positive, meaning far above 20ppm. Negra Modela tested negative, below the cutoff of 20ppm. It wasn't meant to imply that either or both had a result of 20ppm.

  2. Hi , I am Norbert from Germany and I was diagnosed to have the celiac disease in July 2013. In my attempt to find a glutenfree beer - for trips outside Germany -
    I came across this website. In fact I do not understand why someone can maintain "" I am gluten intolerant but not celiac.""
    If you had made the correct tests ( blood test to detect antibody ) AND a Gastro-duodenoscopy with classification like e.g. MARSH Typ 3 B ( like I had, i.e. severe atrophy and ranking second-worst. Mind you : a celiac disease is being diagnosed if there is at least MARSH 2 ) you would certainly know whether you are ill or not.

    I order to clarify whether someone has got a diagnosis of a real celiac disease accordig to above mentioned criteria or just eats and drinks "gluten free" because it is somewhat "in" these days , I am free to reveal my test values of July 2013 as follows: Transglutaminase 154, Gliadin antibody IgA 112, Gliadin antibody IgG 53 .

    Now after more than a year of strict glutenfree diet I have had a new test made in Sept. 2014 with values like : Transglutaminase 20,6 ( normal is < 20 ),
    Gliadin antibody IgA 10,7 ( normal is < 25 ) and Gliadin antibody IgG 5,6 ( normal is < 25 ) . As you see I am back to almost normal due to that strict diet. There is nothing else but follow a strict diet !! I therefore urge all of you don't fidle around with that disease, especially in blogs like that. Please have both tests made ! That is the only solution; and then, being diagnosed celiac, you either strictly follow the diet or there is a great probability that you get severely sick, sooner or later; as siimple as this. To follow a diet one week and forget it the week after is NOT a solution at all !!
    My final question would be : can I trust that test ? Was it made under scientific supervision, say by experts who are authorized to perform such
    tests ?

    I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
    Yours Norbert

    1. Hi Norbert. People can be allergic to gluten and not have Celiac Disease. I have always had severe yeast infections (too many bugs in my system), which thrive on gluten. Ever since I have been on a gluten free diet, I no longer have yeast infections. It was a because of the media saying gluten was causing so many people problems that led me to the realization that could be it. There are millions of us out there that have suffered for years and no doctor saying to stay off gluten. So the "popularity" is just the public being thrilled to not be suffering anymore!

    2. Hi Norbert, I was diagnosed as gluten intolerant but not celiac. I have the same symptoms as a celiac when I eat gluten food, but my blood tests (Transglutaminase 1.0, Gliadin antibody IgA and IgG 2.3), fibrogatoscopy and even the genetic tests (HLA-DQ2) were all negative for celiac disease.I can assure you I am not doing the diet just because it is "in" :).
      However, I can understand you concern.

  3. Malt is glutten tho��

  4. Anyone else give Negra Modelo a try?

    1. I am intolerant, and I can say this one did not upset me..

  5. This is my favorite GF beer on the list! Thanks for making thelist by the way. My last trip to buy a case found a completely new marketing design on the bottle and its now called Modelo Negra and guess what, I had my typical gluten reaction. Anyone else try the new Modelo Negra? Is there a way you could re-test the new beer? It's no fun so I don't want to poison myself again in the name of science.