test the gluten content of your beer

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Heineken Gluten Test #2

You have voted for Heineken in the recent poll. After I tested Heineken already on a 40 ppm threshold a while ago here is the test result with a more useful 5 ppm threshold. And because of the result I tested Heineken a third time – on 20 ppm. Please see below what happened and my conclusion.

Beer: Heineken
Producer: Heineken Brouwerijen
Originating country: Netherlands
Brewing location: Netherlands
Bottle size: 0.4 l
Alcohol by volume: 5.0%
Ingredients: water, barley malt, hops extract (translated from German)
Miscellaneous:  –

Heineken Gluten Test heineken_gluten_test002

Test Kit: GlutenTox Home Kit

I tested with a threshold of 5 ppm. The limit of detection depends on the number of drops taken from the extraction solution, please find some more information here.

Heineken Gluten Test

Test result: A barely visible red line appears on the right of the test stick ( T ). The red line is quite weak however, it indicates the presence of gluten equal to or above 5 ppm. The blue line on the left test area ( C ) is a control line and indicates that the extract/sample is suitable, the test has been performed correctly and all reagents are active. Even though this test is positive please note it is not a medical advice – see my facts page.

From my first Heineken test in 2013 we already know that the level is below 40 ppm. The second test now shows that the 5 ppm threshold has just breached. So we are getting closer to a result but we are still not there. Hence I tested again and this time on the 20 ppm threshold.

Heineken Gluten Test

Test result: There is no indication of the presence of gluten above 20 ppm. According to the instructions there should appear a clearly visible red test line on the right of the test area ( T ) to indicate the presence of gluten. The blue line on the left test area ( C ) is a control line and indicates that the extract/sample is suitable, the test has been performed correctly and all reagents are active. Again please don’t take any of my test results as a medical advice – please see my facts page.

Conclusion: The gluten level in Heineken is somewhere between 5 and 20 ppm. Because of the very weak red test line after the 5 ppm test I would say that Heineken is closer to 5 than to 20 ppm.

Test on 40 ppm = negative
Test on 20 ppm = negative
Test on 5 ppm = positive

Please note the different picture colours are due to the fact I wanted to visualize the test results better and used image editing software. As explained the red line on the 5 ppm test was barely visible but it was there. But on the original picture (taken with my smartphone camera) it was not really visible, hence I used the software to enhance the picture quality.


Poll: Which Dutch beer do you want me to test next?


Krombacher Pils Gluten Test


  1. Les Carter from Australia

    Thanks again Steffen, fairly safe with a couple of Heinies. I have been having a couple of Stella Artois and there are affecting my gut. Any one want 3/4 of a case of Stella? No worries, I will have a street party, plenty of beer drinkers in my little street.

    • Avatar photo

      Hi Les, thanks for sharing your experience. I always wanted to test Stella Artois as it is the moste famous Belgian beer but hard to get here in Germany for whatever reason. Instead I plan another poll with Belgian trappist beer as I recently found a shop which sells a number of different trappist beers from Belgium. Cheers Steffen

  2. Les Carter from Australia

    In our local imported beer shop ….Krombacher Pils, 24 x 330ml bottles, AU$65 = 45 Euros. Cheaper in Germany I bet Steffen.

    • Avatar photo

      Hi Les, oh yes here it is much cheaper. 24 bottles x 330 ml or 20 bottles x 500 ml are around 12-15 EUR + 3 EUR deposit for the bottles. Beer is Germany is generally cheap. Cheers Steffen

  3. Rubee

    Out of curiosity, have any celiacs drank this and been okay? I can see the results but I’ve read a heap of different things and I’m a little scared to try it, haha, but I’d love to be able to drink Heineken especially while I’m in Europe. Let me know! 🙂

  4. articooldown

    If the heineken has another factory in israel and on the bottle says contains gluten. will it still be ok to drink?

    • Avatar photo

      Don’t know. Need to be tested and even then for you it might be OK if it contains low gluten, for others not. There is no general answer, unfortunately. Cheers Steffen

  5. Sarah Cole

    Ok… no one yet has tried it…. so here I go….

  6. Marie

    I have aggressive ulcerative colitis and have drank a 6 pack and haven’t had any issues. My friend who is celiac had 3 beers and didn’t have any issues. Hope this helps.

    • Avatar photo

      Thanks Marie, good to hear that you had and your friend had no reaction. It’s a good sign but don’t push it. Cheers Steffen

  7. Shawn

    I have not tried the regular Heineken but I have tried the Heineken 00 (alcohol free) and I have no issues at all. My next test will be the regular one. Thanks for the great info.
    BTW, I am in the US. Not sure if they have the 00’s in EU.

    • Avatar photo

      Hi Shawn, thanks for letting us know. Yes I believe the 0,0 is also available in Europe but I haven’t tried it. From all alcohol free beers I ever tested I only liked the Warsteiner somehow.
      Cheers Steffen

  8. Adache Anthony Stephen

    Heineken is fine enough for coeliacs, I drink my size with no adverse reaction whatsoever. Im a coeliac alright, At about 5 ppm you are ready to party on hen

    • Avatar photo

      Thank you for your feedback. Really appreciate it. Cheers Steffen

      • Bruce

        Hi Steffens I was just diagnosed with celiac disease and I get a pain in my side if I have one beer lol so I’ll give it a try and let you know. Thanks for the info.

  9. Paul

    That’s good to know as it’s getting expensive buying gluten free beer, or even finding one in a pub.

    Also, it’s funny since this article we’ve had the pandemic and seeing that “C T” test kit has taken on a whole new meaning.

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