Friday, February 7, 2014


Sapporo gluten free beer low gluten test results celiac intolerance Japanese rice lager
Beer: Sapporo
Style: Pale Lager
Brewing location: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Originating country: Japan
Alcohol by Volume: 5% 
Ingredients: malted barley, water, yeast, hops (website says "Sapporo Premium is not a gluten-free product")
Format tested: 22 oz can purchased in Los Angeles, CA
Beeradvocate rating: 67/100
Ratebeer rating: 8/100
Test kit: E-Z Gluten

  • Founded in 1876, it is the oldest beer brand in Japan.
  • The company has five breweries in Japan as well as the Sleeman brewery in Canada.
  • It was first brewed in Sapporo, Japan in 1876 by the German-trained brewer Seibei Nakagawa.

Test Result Photo
Sapporo gluten free beer low gluten test results celiac intolerance Japanese pale lager

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 Sapporo 
I love this beer. With its elegantly sculpted steel can and enticing malty nose on opening, it speaks quality even before drinking. Sapporo has great body and the taste is perfectly balanced between the maltiness and sharp bitter from the hops. Most lagers fail to meet the mark but to me this is up there with the best that continental Europe has to offer - and this can was brewed in Canada! 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. I consumed this 22 oz can over an hour period (drinking nothing else) and must admit I felt slightly bloated afterwards, but I had had a large dinner and this may have contributed. Feeling bloated is on the milder end of my gluten symptoms and not really what I would consider as being "glutened".


  1. This one surprises me. I am fairly sensitive to gluten and drink Sapporo with some frequency. It's never caused a noticeable reaction.

    Anyways, I love this blog, Keep it up!

  2. How about testing Straub?

  3. Great blog. I'm also a little gluten sensitive. I happen to be on my second Sapporo of the evening (after months of no beer at all) and it's a little bit filling but not bloating. The real test is if it drys my skin out (excema). I just spent two weeks in Nagoya and drank Kirin the whole time...I noticed it dryed my skin out. Anyway, all that aside, Sapporo is light and crisp and really good on a late summer day.

  4. Thanks for this blog! Please keep it up! Let me add my own experience: I am not celiac, but gluten sensitive. Been on the gluten free side for almost two years now and the difference is obvious in almost all aspects of my life. I sometimes crave beer ( not more then bread, I assure you!). I try some beers from time to time, and they immediatelly make me feel (and look) like I ate a whole watermelon. Sapporo, an amazing beer on my opinion, did NOT make me feel that way. I had 4 (a lot!) last night and didn't feel bloated at all. Just came home for lunch and finished a can from last night and feels the same. So, if you miss beer like me, try it. its *very* good, and didn't bother me a bit. Cheers (Cheese and beers!)

  5. This beer is made with rice.

    1. So there is gluten in both rice and barley, which may be the reason why it's showing high on the gluten meter...however, the rice gluten generally doesn't cause issues for people, it's typically the wheat gluten that causes the most issues...

  6. If it was just rice it would be Sake.

  7. My Sapporo is made in Vietnam. Has 5.2% Alcohol. About 2 years ago I got introduced to this beer and after about 2 Cartons (drunk over some month) I developed a peculiar reaction which took me some time and experimenting to confirm. I get dizzy soon after having one can only. The next day, without any more alcohol I have a light/dizzy head may till lunch at least. I am not allergic to anything and can drink a bottle of red (if it is a good one) by my own without having any problems the next day. I have stopped drinking this beer for some month and last week tried one again. Same reaction. Does anybody have some suggestion what the problem is between this beer and me?

  8. have a Glutenberg beer ;) you will have no reactio and it taste really good

    Gluent sensitive guys

  9. Very interested to know about Singha and Tsing Tao