Low Gluten in Beer

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Pilsner Urquell Gluten Test

Pilsner Urquell is the surprising winner of the latest poll. Because of the popularity of the American Budweiser I thought the Czech Budweiser will clearly win the poll but the majority voted for Pilsner Urquell. This beer is also famous as it was the first Pilsner style brewed beer. Here is the gluten test result:

Beer: Pilsner Urquell
Producer: Plzesky Prazdroj
Originating country: Czech Republic
Brewing location: Czech Republic
Bottle size: 0.5 l = approx. 16 Oz.
Alcohol by volume: 4.4%
Ingredients: water, barley malt, hops, hops extract (translated from German)
Miscellaneous: Ingredients listed in German as product sold in Germany

Pilsner Urquell Gluten Test Pilsner Urquell 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.

Pilsner Urquell Gluten Test

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19 Comments

  1. Les Carter from Australia

    Thanks very much Steffen, so us Coeliacs should give it a go, now I have to find some Pilsener Urquell in this sunburnt country.

  2. Adam from Adelaide, Australia

    Thanks Steffen.
    Grabbed one of these on the way home from work today.
    Very nice beer and some two and a half hours later I’m still good!
    Thanks again.

    • Steffen

      Hi Adam, have received your message via contact form but your email address won’t accept emails from me. Anyway here my feedback regarding Oettinger. Everyone else the following is off-topic.

      Well, Oettinger is the best selling beer in Germany. The only reason is the price, when it is already cheap in Australia you can imagine how much cheaper it is in Germany. The problem is that -as far as I know- this beer does not come from a single brewery. It’s a mixture of beers from different breweries. I guess they buy over production from other breweries and so make their own brand. I actually haven’t tested it. It doesn’t mean the beer tastes bad or has high gluten or so but it is rather impossible to evaluate the level of gluten. In one lot it can be high, in another low or even no gluten. Sorry, but I can not give a recommendation here.

      Cheers Steffen

  3. Jorian

    I am confused as your competition is showing a reading of over 20 ppm, could this be due to difference in country perhaps? http://gluteninbeer.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/pilsner-urquell.html

    • Steffen

      Hi Jorian,

      Good question, honest answer from me: I don’t know. Different test kits can give different results. The filtration in one lot can be different to the other. Barley quality can be different in different lots, etc. There are so many things which can impact the test result.
      In doubt better stay away depending on your tolerance level. I had no problems with Pilsner Urquell but I don’t give medical advices as there are people out there who might even react on the tiniest level of gluten.

      Cheers Steffen

  4. Mads Robdrup

    Hi Steffen. Thank you for testing beers for gluten and for posting your results on the internet! Wouldn’t it be more useful to detect gluten from 1-20 ppm? Cheers, Mads

    • Steffen

      Hi Mads, everything below 20 ppm is -at least here in Europe- considered gluten free. I use two different test kits, one works with thresholds of 5, 20 and 40 ppm. So once a threshold is breached it shows that the gluten level is above or equal to 5, 20 or 40 ppm depending on what I defined. The other kit works with an intensity scale which can be more less translated into gluten levels from 1 to xxx ppm. Please find some more information how the kits work here:
      http://www.lowgluten.org/gluten-test-kits/glutentox-home-kit/
      and here:
      http://www.lowgluten.org/gluten-test-kits/imutest-gluten-in-food-kit/
      Cheers Steffen

      • Mads Robdrup

        Thanks for the quick answer!
        After reading the information about the testing kits, I know a lot more than before. Thanks again for making the tests! Keep up the good work!

        Cheers Mads

  5. suntime

    Hi Steffen,
    Thanks for your great work and your website, truly appreciate it! I’m not a diagnosed celiac, yet I’ve always had troubles digesting gluten (been off of bread and wheat for years now). I sense much difference between beers. Thanks to your website, I’ve found Pilsner Urquell – and with great pleasure I’ve been drinking it since! Easiest on my belly and my head, too 🙂
    Again, appreciate the work you do, keep it up!
    Cheers, sun
    (from Hungary)

    • Steffen

      Hi suntime,
      Thanks for the kind words. This means a lot to me, it encourages me to go on with my tests which are obviously useful for many Coeliacs and gluten sensitive people like you. And you do right, the personal experience is always the best – no matter what I test here.
      Thanks again – Cheers Steffen

  6. Sean

    I was diagnosed as a celiac just over a year ago. I am super thankful to have found your site. I haven’t missed the food I used to eat or and in most cases have found many good alternatives.

    Good beer however, is not so easily substituted. I really appreciate your work!

    • Steffen

      Hi Sean, thank you very much for your feedback. The same for me and many other Coeliacs, there are a lot of substitues for food but it’s really hard to find a good beer which does not contain barley. Cheers, Steffen

  7. Dogbite Williams

    I am so happy that they switched from green bottles to brown. I will be choosing PU more often.

  8. Orlando

    Did any of you verified celiacs suffer from ill effects after drinking this beer? I am traveling to the Czech Republic and was thinking about trying this. I am currently battling bad GI issues and in the process of finding out if I’m celiac or gluten sensitive or not.

    Also, I have visited other gluten beer testing sites claiming that this beer is above 100ppm so I don’t know what to think here?

    • Dogbite Williams

      Orlando, how was your trip to the Czech Republic? Did you get to sample a super-fresh Pilsner Urquell?

    • Steffen

      Hi Orlando, if you suffer from GI issues you should avoid drinking barley containing beers until you have the dignose. I tested the beer negative and didn’t experience problems but it is not a medical advice.

      Despite my diagnosed CD I can handle low levels of gluten quite good. Others already react on tiny amounts of gluten. You should at least make a blood test to see whether you have any anti-transglutaminase antibodies which could indicate CD.

      Cheers Steffen

  9. Orlando

    Thanks for the response guys! I leave for Prague tomorrow, wish me luck in the land of beer, sausage, bread and cream lol.

    I’m also hoping to find a bakery that serves true sourdough with the long lactic acid fermentation to see how it affects me.

    I’ll met you all know!

  10. Orlando

    Hey all!

    So I wanted to stop by and post this update with my experience drinking Urquell in Prague.

    Wow! What an amazingly fresh and crisp experience! There is definitely a noticeable difference drinking it from bottles that you buy at the liquor store vs freshly poured from the tap.

    I think it cost me $1.50 a beer for a 1.5 pint. So yeah, cheaper than bottled water.

    I haven’t been given a true Celiac diagnosis so I can’t recommend this for anyone who has. But if you’re self diagnosed ncgs like myself who’s had noticeable improvement concerning ongoing GI issues eliminating gluten from the diet then I think you’d be fine. I experienced no ill effects drinking tons of the stuff for three days straight lol. The beer uses select sprouted barley and I don’t seem to have an issue with it.

    But yeah, awesome beer!

    Good luck and thank you for taking the time to test these beers for us!

    • Steffen

      Thank you very much indeed for sharing your experience. The personal experience is always the best as people react differently to different beers.

      Good to see you enjoyed Prague. A great city with great beer. Haven’t been there a long time and I agree it’s very cheap there.

      Please let us know which beer you test on your next trip which I hopefully have tested on gluten already.

      Cheers Steffen

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