Saturday, January 25, 2014

Newcastle Brown Ale

Newcastle Brown Ale gluten free beer low gluten test results bottle celiac intolerance England
Beer: Newcastle Brown Ale
Style: English Brown Ale
Brewing location: Tadcaster, England
Originating country: England
Alcohol by Volume: 4.7% 
Ingredients: not published but rumored to be malt (more likely to be barley than corn-based), yeast, hops, water, artificial caramel coloring (well below the California legal standards, which are the toughest in the US) 
Format tested: 12 oz bottle purchased in Los Angeles, CA
Beeradvocate rating: 81/100
Ratebeer rating: 42/100
Test kit: E-Z Gluten

  • The blue star logo’s five points represent the five founding breweries of Newcastle.
  • By the late 1990s the beer was the most widely distributed alcoholic product in the UK.
  • The rudest, crudest, lewdest, drunkest band in Christendom, The Macc Lads recorded a song "Newcy Brown" in honor of the beer

Test Result Photo
Newcastle Brown Ale gluten free beer low gluten test results celiac intolerance England

Test result
Very High Positive at 20 parts per million (ppm), meaning it is well over 20 ppm. Though standards vary from country to country, according to the FDA, "in order to use the term 'gluten free' on its label a food must meet all the requirements of the definition, including that the food must contain less than 20 ppm gluten". It is said that products with a gluten content below 20 ppm are suitable for people with celiac disease.

My experience drinking Newcastle Brown Ale 
This was a favorite of mine as a student in London in the 90s - many a great night out on 'Newcy Brown'. People in the UK don't realize it but Newcastle Brown Ale is very popular in the US - it's available literally everywhere. Well, like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, it's much more appreciated in the US than in the UK.  I am not sure where I fall in the gluten tolerance spectrum; I am gluten intolerant but not celiac. I definitely know what it feels like to be "glutened" i.e. gluten exposure, but I have not deliberately pushed my gluten consumption limits with any food or beer. In the past I used to drink this beer regularly but since the gluten intolerance diagnosis I've steered clear - as I have with all darker beers. I consumed this 12 oz bottle over an hour period (drinking nothing else) without experiencing any kind of gluten reaction.

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