Sunday, July 26, 2015

Kirin Light

bottle Kirin Light Japanese Beer gluten free low lager asian Japan bier celiac test result level
Beer: Kirin Light
Style: Light Lager
Brewing location: Anheuser-Busch, Los Angeles, CA, United States
Originating country:  Japan
Alcohol by Volume: 3.3% 
Ingredients: Czech Hops, Canadian barley malt, water and yeast
Format tested: 22 oz. bottle purchased in Los Angeles, CA
Beeradvocate rating: 58/100
Ratebeer rating: 1/100
Test kit: E-Z Gluten

  • A 12-ounce bottle of Kirin Light has only 95 calories.
  • Kirin Brewery was founded in Japan in 1885.
  • In Japanese, “kirin” can refer to giraffes, or to Qilin, mythical hooved Chinese chimerical creatures. Kirin Brewery is named after the latter.
  • Kirin has a 48% stake in San Miguel Brewery, the dominant brewer in the Philippines
  • Kirin now applies its fermentation technology to areas such as plant genetics, pharmaceuticals, and bioengineering.

Test result photo

Kirin Light Japanese Beer gluten free low lager asian Japan bier celiac test result level

Test result

Negative 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 Kirin Light

Sorry, I don't really have anything nice to say about this beer. It has a sweaty flat taste to it. I'm grateful that it is under 20 ppm but I won't buy it again. 

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. bottle in 30 minutes and felt no gluten effects.


  1. I love this blog. I can't wait to see what you test next.

  2. Thank you for this blog! I would love to see if there are any IPA's that have low gluten, although I would be surprised if there any. Keep up the good work!

    1. Uinta is coming out with a true gluten free ipa very soon called Free Form. Give it a try!

    2. Alpine, in San Diego, brews a lot of good IPAs and uses the gluten removing enzyme in all their beers. Fort Point's Villager is also a delicious option that uses the enzyme, too. Berryessa and Moonlight, both of which use the enzyme and are ubiquitous in the SF Bay and surrounding areas, have some great IPA options as well. Of course, if you have celiacs, I don't recommend any of these without further research. But if you're just gluten intolerant, like me, I highly recommend all of them, and specifically Berryessa's Double Tap and Alpine's Duet.

  3. This is good stuff, it is appreciated, thanks man! I have been on a Blue Moon kick and I think it is making my kind of ill. Would like to nominate Blue Moon and Shiner Bock for testing.

  4. Thanks for doing this! It's always nice to have a beer option, even if only PBR.