Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale

Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale beer, Japan, Japanese, test, celiac, bier, results, gluten, free, low
Beer: Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale
Style: Belgian Strong Pale Ale
Brewing location: Ibaraki, Japan
Originating country: Japan
Alcohol by Volume: 7% 
Ingredients: red rice, water, yeast, barley and hops
Format tested: 750 ml Los Angeles, CA
Beeradvocate rating: 82/100
Ratebeer rating: 49/100
Test kit: E-Z Gluten

  • The Japanese word こだわり KODAWARI means the uncompromising and meticulous engagement of perfection. This is how the brewery, Kiuchi, brews Hitachino Nest.
  • They have been brewing beer since 1996.
  • Red Rice Ale is brewed with ancient red rice. The ale has complex Sake like flavors with a hint of strawberry in the nose and palate.
  • The brewing process starts with the polishing, washing, soaking and steaming of rice (25% of total grain bill) to break down complex type b-starch molecules into short type a ones.

Test result photo

Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale beer Japanese, Japan, gluten free low test result bier

Test result

High Positive at 20 parts per million (ppm), meaning it 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 Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale

I see this one inaccurately classified as gluten-free in stores. Granted, the labeling is misleading. You are led to believe it is brewed purely with red rice and no barley malts. From the first taste you can tell this is not so. It tastes too good! A great quality beer - could pass as a genuine Belgian ale - but a big shame it is not under 20 ppm. 

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 12oz bottle in 1 hour and felt no gluten effects.

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