test the gluten content of your beer

lowgluten header

San Miguel Light Gluten Test

I made a trip to the Philippines in February this year just before the COVID-19 lockdown. San Miguel Pilsner is the most famous beer in the Philippines and sold Asia-wide. The history of San Miguel is interesting as I always thought San Mig in Manila is a subsidary of the Spanish San Miguel brewery. But it was first invented in the Philippines and then the rights to sell it under the same brand name in Europe were given to a Spanish company.

I tested the Spanish regular Pilsner (San Miguel Especial) back in 2017 but when I saw the light version in the Philippines I wanted to give it a try. This light version is not available in Europe or the US as far as I know. The Spanish San Miguel brewery also don’t have this one in their product portfolio. But I recently learned they have an officially labelled gluten-free beer which I will try when I get my hands around it.

Coming back to the San Mig Light. The taste is good, in the heat of the Philippines absolutely the right one to get refreshed. Of course enjoy it chilled. Gluten was also not detectable in my test, see below.

Beer: San Mig Light
Producer: San Miguel Brewery
Originating country: Philippines
Brewing location:Philippines
Bottle size: 0.33 l can
Alcohol by volume: 5.0%
Ingredients: water, malt, cereals/sugar, hops

San Mig Light Gluten Test San Mig Light Gluten Test San Mig Light Gluten Test

Test Kit: Imutest Gluten-in-Food Kit

Test result: The test result is negative. 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. 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.

San Mig Light Gluten Test San Mig Light Gluten Test


Grolsch Kanon Gluten Test


Save the Day IPA Gluten Test


  1. Will

    Hi Steffen
    Thanks for all your hard work testing (and drinking) beer!. I have been diagnosed coeliac for a few years now and was very excited when I discovered your site.
    I had a couple of questions; firstly, do you have a summary table to show all beers tested and estimated ppm? Secondly, do you know if the analysis you are doing on bottled beer can be considered valid for draught?
    I was not sure if the bottling process eliminated any gluten?
    Many thanks!

    • Avatar photo

      Hi Will,
      Thanks for the kind words. First question: sure, the table is here: http://www.lowgluten.org/gluten-test-results/

      For the second question I wouldn’t directly compare them but the gluten content shouldn’t be too different. The recipe might be the same but the process is little different, though. Most of the gluten will be destroyed (the enzym will be broken) during the brewing process already and not during the bottling process. Temperature, fermentation and filtration make beer rather low in gluten according to my experience.

      Cheers Steffen

      • Will

        Thanks for the link! Great range of beers on there. I plan to try a few of the low risk ones this weekend.
        I have been trying to become passionate about whisky, red wine and cider but I cannot get into them in the same way as beer. I really hope to find just a few “normal” beers that I can drink in the pub with friends. Also I intend to purchase a few of the test kits and test some more of the beers we have over here in the UK.
        Thanks again and cheers!

        • Avatar photo

          Hi Will, OK great. When you buy some kits and test your favourites please share the test results with us. Other people in our Coeliac community might also be interested in the results. I can also post the results here with pictures etc. when you send them to me via email. Cheers Steffen

  2. Geoff

    Cheers Steffen for all your hard work! I’m celiac and live in the philippines. 16 yrs now. I can’t drink most Philippine beers but SML is ok for a few. I have issues if I drink more than 6 so I had worked out that it’s very low but not entirely GF. Thanks for the confirmation. Its the easiest drink option anywhere here and knowing that it is very low is a comfort.

    • Avatar photo

      Hi Geoff, I had no issues with San Mig Light and I had quite a lot – together with Lambanog 😉

      Cheers Steffen

  3. Herb

    Hi Steffen! I came across this web post while trying to find out what ingredient/s might be causing my food sensitivity to this product. I was just wondering if you (by chance) were able to test San Miguel Pale Pilsen, and would like to know if their ingredients actually differ. With pale pilsen I don’t get stomach upset. But with san mig light, 2 bottles would be enough to rumble my belly the next morning.

    You have a very informative web post/page by the way.


    • Avatar photo

      Hi Herb, Thanks for the nice words. Actually I drank the Pilsen and also Red Horse but I didn’t test them on the level of gluten. I had no reaction to neither of them. The ingredients vary slightly but if you can handle the Pilsen better you should stay with it.

      Cheers Steffen

  4. Lester

    Hi all, this ‘Light’ San Mig, is 5% abv, that is some strong light beer, lol. Stay safe out there.

    • Saint Miguel

      “Light” beer does not neccesarily mean alcohol content. It’s usually lower in carbs and calories.

  5. Renato Mercado

    Is the sugar white/brown sugar? Not sugar alcohol?

  6. Neil

    After reading this site, I drank San Miguel Lite regularly for 3 weeks in the Philippines.
    No ill effects whatsoever.
    However, I didn’t have more than 3 at any time. Maybe more was OK, but I tend not drink enough to find out.

  7. Tim Lane

    Thanks for sharing Steffen.

    I visit Thailand in 4 weeks and being able to have a beer will make my holiday so much more enjoyable

  8. Magnus U

    I was over in Thailand for a little over 3 weeks in March-April and since they don’t have Gluten Free beer in almost al places it was great to at least be able to get some San Miguel Light since many have that.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2024 lowgluten.org