Low Gluten in Beer

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Beck’s Gluten Test

Beck’s is one of the most famous German premium beers. It is sold worldwide and the 6th best selling beer in Germany (see here the 2013 ranking, in German). It is one of my favourite beers but it is a bit expensive. This might also be one reason why Beck’s only ranks 14th amongst the most popular German beers according to a German TV station survey. See here the ranking -in German- but please note that this list contains all styles of beer including Altbier (sort of Ale), wheat beer etc.

Despite the high price Beck’s might be an option for people with Gluten Sensitivity according to the test result below:

Beer: Beck’s
Producer: Beck’s Brewery/Anheuser Busch InBev
Originating country: Germany
Brewing location: Germany
Bottle size: 0.5 l = approx. 16 Oz.
Alcohol by volume: 4.9%
Ingredients: water, barley malt, hops
Miscellaneous: 

Beck's Gluten Test Beck's Gluten Test

Test Kit: Imutest Gluten-in-Food Kit

Test result: There is no indication of the presence of gluten. 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 this test is negative. 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) and the test is negative please note this is not a medical advice – please see also my facts page.

Beck's Gluten Test

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16 Comments

  1. Gail Steih

    Just happened upon this site – thanks for the great info!

  2. John Neilson

    I agree with Gail – great info! Beck’s is not an inexpensive beer, especially if you live in New Brunswick. However, if you happen to travel to Québec you might find many of the major grocery chains sell 12 Beck’s for $15.99 + deposit.

  3. Les Carter from Australia

    Just had a 500ml can of imported Becks to celebrate Germany’s win in the World Cup.

    Wunderbar, so is the Becks, kept it to 1 can, remember don’t push the boundaries guys, the Becks can even mentions that awful word to us Coeliacs..GLUTEN, albeit low.

  4. Les Carter from Australia

    Purchased 2 cartons of Becks 330ml bottles, imported from Germany. Bought them at a local liquor supermarket, AU$37 a carton of 24 which is about the price of local beer. I quite like it although it could do with a bit more gas, a little flat. No bad reactions thus far.

    • Steffen

      True, quite typical for a Pilsner – less gas than Lager beers. Beck’s is not outstanding but OK. But beer seems to be rather expensive down under. 37AU$ is around 25 EUR and for 25 EUR you get 2 crates with each 24x 330 ml bottles in Germany (excl. deposit). I wonder how even more expensive gluten free labeled beer in Australia must be?

      • Les Carter from Australia

        Steffen, not many GF beers in OZ, but one is O’Briens @ AU$75 (50 Euro) per carton of 24x 355 ml bottles. So Becks is a pilsener not a lager? All beer is expensive down under, government puts a lot of tax on it. Much cheaper to drink Australian wine! I agree Becks is not outstanding, but I give it 6/10 to my palate, I think I prefer, dare I say it Budweiser, albeit it is much sweeter to the American taste.

        • Steffen

          Officially labeled gluten free beers are also expensive in Germany (35 EUR + shipping for a 24er) and they taste horrible. But the more beer I test the more I am convinced that quite a higher number of the regular beers are OK for me. Agree with 6/10 rate for Beck’s 😉

          Cheers Steffen

          • Toby Ferguson

            Hey Steffen,

            Keen to see the list of beers you tested and the results

            Cheers
            Toby

  5. Murdoch

    The negative test is because the test kit used only tests for wheat gluten (gliadin). Becks is made from barley. Barley gluten is hordein. The test is not fit for purpose and misleading in this respect. Gluten is an umbrella term for many different proteins, some or all of which may cause reactions to intolerant people, but this depends upon the persons individual intolerance. Pretty much all beer (except wheat beers which are usually called wheat beer!) are made from malted barley, so testing for wheat gluten is irrelevant.

    • Steffen

      Well, I am not a biochemist but the producer confirmed the kit is suitable for testing beer no matter if it contains barley or wheat. And with this kit some beers were tested positive so it reacts on the antibodies in this kit. Not sure what’s right but a good start for a discussion. Looking forward to get more comments on that.

    • Steffen

      I have received feedback from my Biomedal (producer of the test kit) contact:
      ———–
      …our test does test hordein, that is included in Barley, so there should be no problem regarding the test you made. Here I have added a quote from our instruction manual: Celiac disease is a disorder that damages the small intestine causing the atrophy of the intestinal villi, which interferes with the absorption of nutrients such as proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, mineral salts and vitamins. This disease is caused by an inappropriate response of the immune system to gluten (a mix of proteins found in cereals) from wheat, barley, rye, and to a lesser extent, from oat [ref. 1 and 2]), leading to diarrhea, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, anemia and thin bones (osteoporosis).

      So there should be no false negatives, as the test does not only test wheat, but it also tests barley (where hordein is found). …
      ————
      Hope that clarifies the test result. And as I mentioned already I tested a number of beers positive with this kit so it reacts on hordein. In my eyes one of the most important factors to reduce gluten is the filtration method. During the brewing process a lot of the gluten will be destroyed already – in conjunction with diatomaceous earth filtration we get a beer with very low or even no gluten.

  6. Esther

    Would you consider testing Beck’s blue (alcohol free) please?!! Thanks so much for this website!

    • Norma

      I would also love you to test Becks nonalcoholic beer,as I cannot have gluten or alcohol. Please, please test ,this is the only enjoyment I get these days. Please tell me I can continue drinking it.

      • Steffen

        Hi Norma, I would really recommend you to buy some test kits and test your favourite beers – it’s a useful investment in your health.

        Cheers Steffen

  7. Wayne

    Is it possible to get a list of all beers tested for gluten

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