Friday, May 22, 2015


Belgian Trappist Ale Orval bottle beer low gluten free celiac intolerant test result bier
Beer: Orval 
Style: Belgian Pale Ale
Brewing location: Belgium
Originating country: Belgium
Alcohol by Volume: 6.2% or 6.9%
Ingredients: spring water, two-row malting spring barley, aromatic hops and liquid candy sugar 
Format tested: 12 oz. bottle purchased in Los Angeles 
Beeradvocate rating: 94/100
Ratebeer rating: 99/100
Test kit: E-Z Gluten

  • The Belgian trappist brewery located within the walls of the Abbaye Notre-Dame d'Orval in the Gaume region of Belgium.
  • The brewery produces two beers, which are marketed as trappist beer, Orval and Petite Orval.
  • This beer is 6.2% when released in Europe, U.S. labels say 6.9% due to labeling laws.
  • A document written by the abbot in 1628 directly refers to the consumption of beer and wine by the monks. The last of the brewers to be a monk was Brother Pierre, up until the 1793 fire.
  • The other beer sold by the monetary, Petite Orval, is a 3.5% abv, beer brewed only for the monks (Patersbier). Although not generally available for sale, it can be purchased in the monastery itself or the café near the monastery.
  • There are only ten Trappist breweries in the world. Orval is one of them.

Test result photo

Belgian Trappist Ale Orval bottle beer low gluten free celiac intolerant test result bier

Test result

Very High Positive at 20 parts per million (ppm), meaning it is more than 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 Orval

With any of the Trappist ales you are guaranteed quality. And Orval is no exception; deliciously yeasty, malty and spicy. There were rumors a couple of years ago that it would lose its Trappist appellation but the bottle I had still proudly proclaims "Authentic Trappist Product." I was educated by Benedictine monks; brewing and education is their thing. Sadly the monastic lifestyle is less appealing these days and at Orval new recruits are hard to find; monks must be brewing to retain the Trappist appellation. Orval is pretty hard to find but totally worth the effort - seek it out!

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 12 oz. bottle in 45 minutes feeling no noticeable gluten effects.