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Gluten Free Beer

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Hi all, I recently read somewhere on one of these message boards about Amstel beer possibly being gluten free . . . so I decided to email the company. This was their response. I'd like some thoughts on the letter . . .

Dear P:

Thank you for your recent email message. Heineken USA has been informed by

our parent company, Heineken NV, that our beer does not contain wheat; or

other grain adjuncts. Our recipe contains only barley, hops, yeast and

water. Although barley has a source of gluten, the gluten content of our

products is lower than the gluten free level. Consequently, Heineken beer

could be considered gluten free.

Thank you for your interest in Heineken USA.

Kind Regards,

Kristen

Heineken USA

The customer wrote:

To: amstel@qualitycustomercare.com

cc:

Date: 5/18/04 4:11:03 PM

Message sent from amstellight.com by P.

I have Celiac Disease which is an intolerance to Gluten which is in wheat,

malt, rye etc. I read on a random website that one of you beers might be

Gluten

free according to European standards. Is this true? It would have to

contain no

malt, barely or wheat. I sincerely hope this rumor is true!

Thank you for your time,

P

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Same message as before. What does below the gluten-free level mean? There is no such beast in the U.S. In Canada, if I'm not mistake, the gluten-free level is 0 -- as in none. There's obviously some gluten, although I don't doubt it's very small.

cheers

richard, roanoke, va.

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there more info about in the post diagnoses section

any reacting celiacs tried this. I have a friends that a celiac and

he get no reaction I don't get reactions, just bone loss.

I started drinking the amstel and

I msut admit I feel slightly guilty when drinking it. But then,the Ocean spray

ruby red with calcuim juice I've been drinking every day to get calcuim, turns out the natural flavor

contains gluten in Tidewater area by the way Roanoke

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Guest LisaB

<_< Hmmmm, you make good point Kemo Sabe.

I had read somewhere that about 1/8th of a teaspoon a month is the amount that will start to cause damage to the intestines. I know there can be no hard and fast rules on anything, everyone is different, but for us non-reactors it is so hard to know what is going on in there! We are bound to get some gluten, we may be able to handle some without the immune system kicking into kill mode, but it is so hard to know.

It is better to err on the on the side of caution, but we have to live to...

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I wonder if Amstel could give up a ppm number. I drank about a case in 1/2 over my 10 day vacation, but who knows if it is damaging. I alos an eating my Corn Pop stash that does not have Wheat listed on the label.

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Was not sure where to post this but a lot of coeliacs will want to know there is now a gluten free and wheat free beer available by mail order in UK.

It is Green's Discovery and is excellent, tastes like a real ale, not a lager.

http://www.glutenfreebeers.co.uk/

I know there are other gluten-free beers (Rampo Valley & Bard's Tale in USA, Nigerian Guinness, Bi Aglut/Free Aglut in Itlay and La Messagere in Canada ) but this is the first one in UK.

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:( hi, i tried the amstel light beer on friday night, no problem till sunday night. then i had a reaction. is this normal ? i always had a reaction within the hour if i ate something i should not have, but 2 days later, i'm not sure if it was the beer or if i had some gluten hidden in something else, any ideas?

thanks

betty

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Hi Everyone,

I'm new to the board as a registered member but have been reading lots of posts and getting up to speed, it's wonderful to get a lot of info all in one place!

For those of you in Canada or travelling to Canada, a microbrewery in Quebec has a gluten-free beer made from rice and buckwheat! it's called La Messagre

:P

http://www.baluchon.com/microbrewery/

There is also a link if you want to become a distributor so you may be able to talk your local liquor/beer supplier into stocking it for you.

I have yet to try it but may book a road trip just to go try it out and bring home a case!

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I've been following Bard's Beer for about 6 months. They sent an email to me stating that they should have gluten-free beer by late July or early August. They were asking that people go to distributors and tell them about getting their beer. I went to the Ramapo web site and it said the price of the beer was $45 per case plus $15 shipping. Whew! That is also different than the prices that were quoted on this board.

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Too articles posted to Celiac.com may provide some direction (or add to the confusion) concerning gluten-free beer. The first teaches about hordein polypetide residues from beer made from barley and the second teaches that low levels of gluten may be tolerated by celiacs. The truth is probably somewhere in between but until there is definitive reseach showing the link between polypetide residues in beer and the resultant effect on biopsy analysis we may never truely know. Please see the following articles both of which are posted on Celiac.com:

1. The following comments were written by Donald D. Kasarda who is a research chemist in the Crop Improvement and Utilization Research Unit of the United States Department of Agriculture. If you have any questions or comments regarding the piece, you can address them to Don at: kasarda@pw.usda.gov.

The reason that this doesn't make sense for celiac patients has to do with the digestion of the barley hordeins, the proteins that are similar to wheat gliadins in barley. During the malting and fermentation processes, the barley hordeins are broken down into smaller pieces called peptides. It is true that no intact hordein proteins can generally be found in beer. However, the smaller pieces of these proteins resulting from enzymatic digestion are often quite water soluble so that they remain in the beer throughout the complete processing to the final product. (Remember that beer is not a distilled product as are whiskey or vodka. Filtration of the beer will not remove these small water-soluble hordein polypeptides.) A barley hordein might have a polypeptide chain including 300 amino acids in its sequence, yet it is reasonably well established by experiments that polypeptides with as few as 13 amino acid residues in the chain can still retain toxicity for celiac patients. These small pieces of the original proteins can (and do) have very different properties from the original larger proteins. In the strict sense, Sapporo is correct that there are no more intact hordeins in their beer. What they cannot claim is that there are no hordein peptides in the beer that might harm celiac patients.

There is some evidence from analytical methods involving antibodies prepared to gliadins that there are peptides in beer that react with these antibodies. It is not proved beyond any doubt that the peptides in beer are actually toxic to celiac patients, but it is quite possible that the peptides remaining in any barley-based or wheat-based beer, Sapporo included, are harmful to celiac patients. The amount of harmful peptides, if they are present, is likely to be small, but there is no satisfactory analytical data, in my opinion, that defines the amount exactly. So it could be in a range that would be harmful to a celiac patient drinking beer on a regular basis. My guess is, and I emphasize that I can't back this up with scientific results, that a glass of beer once every few months would not do lasting harm to the average celiac patient. By average celiac patient, I mean those who have no obvious allergic character to their disease and do not notice any immediate reaction when they ingest gluten.

2. Trace Amounts of Gluten Acceptable in the Treatment of Celiac Disease See your ad here!

T-Shirts:

Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Volume 19 Issue 12 Page 1277 - June 2004

Celiac.com 06/28/2004

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There is nothing like a cold beer on a hot day. However, I have experienced the effects on my body and it is too painful for me. So, for me, the best thing to do is simply avoid any kind of beer. I hate to give it up, but, it's the right thing to do. Thanks for the research. I have learned the acronym k.i.s.s. is the right one for me. Keep it simple, stupid. Avoid all processed foods. It's not only the gluten, but,all the chemicals that the food processors are throwing into their products. Eat fresh vegetables and fruits, meat, and fish. k.i.s.s. Joe

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Hi All,

Wanted everyone to know in the NY area that the www.ramapovalleybrewery.com

beer is available at Wholefoods Market on 24th and 7th. It is 11.99 a six pack. The have quite a few gluten-free breads, pizza dough, desserts etc.

The beer is good though I find that the taste is not consistent but hey why complain,lol. It's not too bad.

Thank you,

Bill

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Does the Baluchon ship? I'm in NewBrunswick.

Has anyone heard of this beer? http://www.yinpubeer.com it is supposidly gluten free but can't say legally that it is because of potential cross contamenation.

I would think that in order for a gluten free beer to hit the major market (within the next year) it would have to avoid advertising as a gluten free beer otherwise people will think its wussy beer. It should be promoted as an alternative just like any other brand of beer. In fact, I would even prefer this method, for several reasons.

I find if I accidently ingest gluten, as long as I don't continue, I won't feel the ill effects. If I continue to injest minute amounts over several days it can be a 3 week recovery/detoxe.

Also with any type of liquor, I drink vodka mainly, after several days of drinking my stomache will stop digesting food. I don't believe this is a reaction as I don't get the ill effects of being braindead and lazy or go through a long recovery period. So I make sure that I give my stomache proper time to heal before I drink again.

But everyone is different and I think I'm still in the healing stage.

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I drink Yingpu Black Rice Beer a couple times a week with no ill effects. With gluten containing foods, I normally have stomach pain, swollen nasal passages, and red eyes. After drinking Yingpu, I never have any of these symptoms. This doesn't mean it is safe for celiacs. Yingpu is available in the Cleveland area.

I don't know if Yingpu has any barley in it. No ingredients are listed on the bottles or package. The distributor claims it is low in gluten (they say so because they can't guarantee no cross-contamination).

A recent post by Bard's Beer suggests that any beer containing barley is potentially unsafe. However, as suggested in an earlier article posted to celiac.com, Codex ratings allow 20ppm of gluten and the recent research study based on biopsy analysis shows that 200pm is tolerable on average to celiacs. With that said, is it true that celiacs cannot tolerate low levels of barley in Amstel Light or perhaps Yingpu?

As I suggested before, until there is research showing hordein levels vs biopsy results, we may not really know if some level of hordein peptides are tolerable. As always, results will vary depending on individuals. This is just an opinion since I am not a molecular biologist or medical researcher etc.

All I do know is that most gluten-free foods may have as much as 20 ppm gluten so don't believe you are not getting any gluten. That is why the research was done in the first place to determine what levels of gluten can be tolerated and based on biopsy results the researchers determined that 200 ppm seemed appropriate. Hence, perhaps low levels of gluten in beer is ok but hordein proteins are structurally different than hordein peptides. So until there is research showing hordein peptides vs biopsy results we can't say that low levels in beer is good ....or bad.

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How does one go about starting a microbrewery? :blink:

I mean, I homebrew 2 different gluten-free beers (a red beer--hopsy and strong like a dark beer, and a lemon beer--sweet and sour like a lemon-aide beer) for myself and friends, but I'm not much on the business end...

Anyone out there with some business sense? What steps would I have to go thru? How would I find investors? How much do microbreweries cost?

I'd love to make it for more people!

Connie

gluten-free since 1-'98

convienently located in NW Arkansas

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I'm still drinking the amstel light

Just adding to my previous post . . . I went to the Heineken website to research and they said they use "malted barely" and I thought, "that contradicts what the woman emailed me" so I researched further and this is how they "get rid of" the malt in the malted barely:

Can you tell me more about how beer is made?

Brewing beer is a 100% natural process. To guarantee a consistently high quality, a thorough knowledge of the brewing process is essential. Heineken beer is brewed using solely malted barley, water, hops and yeast. The malted barley is ground, mixed with water and then heated. Step by step, the temperature increases so that the starch in the malted barley is converted into sugars. Later on, during fermentation, most of these sugars are converted into alcohol and carbon dioxide. After the solids have been filtered out, the result is 'wort', which is then brought to a boil. During that boiling process the brewers add the hops. Hop, a plant of which only the flower is used, gives the beer its characteristic bitter taste and improves its lifespan. After the wort has been boiled, the next step is fermentation. First, the wort has to be cooled down to 8 degrees Celsius. Yeast is added to the wort and the process of converting the sugars into alcohol and carbon dioxide can begin. That takes place in special fermentation tanks, where the beer remains for seven to ten days. The result is 'young beer' that

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Hi there,

i don't like beer actually. But i like sweat stuff. And when i heard, that the Ramapo valley beer has a sweat taste, i was curious to taste it. But not with this prices. Now I told my husband yesterday morning, that you guys had fussed around in here, if Amstel light is glutenfree. And in the evening after work he brought home a bottle of Amstel light. Well, i drank it (but not all of it, i left a little bit in the bottle) and was fine in the evening. First i was so happy. But this morning then i felt kind of gaggy. Then i went to the gymnastic lessons, which is an about 1 hour drive to get there. Big mistake!!! Already in the lessons i thought, i throw up and then on my way home i stopped at every gas station and blocked the toilets there for "hours". I'm so glad, i'm back home. I finally started crying. I'm so miserable now :angry: . This stupid beer, i hate it. I'll never drink it again. And all that trouble, because my husband thinks, i can't be happy in a bar without a beer. Why doesn't he understand, that i don't need stupid beer to have a nice evening? Yesterday, when i didn't feel bad yet, his comment was: 'So you have at least "something" you can drink.' Isn't wine or pepsi "something", too?

Stef

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While in Italy I drank some gluten-free brew called Bi-Aglut "76" in a local restaurant that specialized in gluten-free foods. I then went to a local pharmacia in Naples and was able to order 12 bottles. They were expensive (about 3 bills a bottle) but the taste is soo worth it. It is truly incredible and made with buckwheat. http://www.biaglut.com/prodotti/Birra/default.aspx

Unfortunately it is not imported to the US although some of their other products are indeed available here. The beer is labeled under the Heinz label and in doing further research it is actually brewed by Heineken Italia and honestly tastes extremely similiar to Heineken lager! Someday I hope they import this as it would be quite a hit!!!

Best,

Adam

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Caveat Emptor ....

Hats off to the folks at Ramapo Valley Brewing company for their initiative in producing a gluten-free product for "beer desperate" people such as myself!

However my suggestion to all would be to find a way to sample their product (....perhaps buy a single bottle at some bar where they already have commerical distribution) to make sure you like the taste before you buy directly from them.

When you order directly from them, there's a 1 case minimum and at $45/case (plus extra $15 for shipping), it's an expensive experiment.

I ordered a case and my personal opinion -- for what it's worth -- is that it's a pretty poor beer substitute. Their website says the product is just like traditional beer but I found it to have a pretty strange taste -- imagine a taste that's some combination of kosher sweet wine and sparkling apple cider.

Has anyone actually tried the Bard's Beer gluten-free product?

Thanks.

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Not yet (Bard's Beer) and I agree that the Ramapo Valley Honey Lager is not a beer and more like a Mead. I was expecting a true lager taste and instead it was quite sweet from the honey. I think they've "toned" down the honey taste recently but too expensive. One of my new favorites is Strongbow hard cider. Dry and not too sweet. I also had Yinpu Black Rice beer down in NYC a few months ago and apparently it is gluten-free. Found at Peculiar Pub down on Bleecker St.

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So now I am really in confusion with beer..I have always been a beer drinker, Busch Light is my choise...I miss my beer very much and am now excited to hear about Amstel light or Heinekken?

SO what exactly is the deal? Are they safe are they not..I have only been gluten-free for almost two months and I still never feel good so if I try this beer how am I going to know? I always felt crappy before drinking the busch so what is the difference?

I really would like to know if it is safe or if you are better off ordering the stuff that is and choking it down?

Melanie

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This is my first time corresponding via this site --- You all have been educating me the past three years and I thank you -- My boyfriend was diagnosed with celiac over three years ago and has been craving and desperately misses "real" pizza and beer. I am so tempted to order a case of this beer for him as a surprise but am hesitant. Within the last 6 months whenever he drinks any alcohol - potato based vodka, etc. or even a small sip of wine -- his face turns RED - eyes first then forehead and cheekbones --- and he burns for at least an hour. I have been researching but have no idea what would cause this - - - - I am afraid that this beer may do the same. Has anyone experienced this --- It is painful and embarrassing to him so he just does not drink - thanks.

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