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Review: Estrella Damm Daura Gluten-Free Beer

I have heard many a good thing about Estrella Damm Daura gluten-free beer, but had been hesitant to try it because it is made with barley malt.  ACK!  Everything I had ever read on Celiac Disease and the gluten-free diet said to avoid barley malt at all costs.  Then I talked to another gluten-free blogger, Tiffany Janes, and due to the processing, the gluten is removed from the beer, much like that of Mike’s Lite Hard Lemonade.  There is less than 6PPM of gluten in this beer.

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I was able to find the beer at Raisin Rack, a local health food store.  I was excited to try it out, as I had heard that it tasted most like “normal” beer.  I chose a day when I didn’t have much going on the rest of the night or the next morning, just in case I reacted to the beer.  Not only was I fine, but I loved the beer!!  The flavor reminded me of the days when I could drink any beer that I chose – I loved Amstel Light – and while this isn’t the same, it reminded me a lot of some of those flavors.  While I always enjoy a good beer with a burger or pizza, I drank this alone so that I could truly experience the flavors.  I will definitely be purchasing this beer again. 

Some more info on the beer & process:

Estrella Damm Daura is the result of a long collaborative research process between Damm and the CSIC (National Scientific Research Council) gluten unit, using the most advanced technology. It is the first beer in Spain to guarantee a gluten content below 6 ppm (products with a gluten content below 20 ppm are suitable for people with coeliac disease).

Estrella Damm’s research and strong social commitment have made this breakthrough possible, which comes as excellent news for all those with coeliac disease.
It comes in the classic four-pack 33 cl. glass bottle format, and the label is clearly marked with the international gluten-free symbol for people with coeliac disease.

To see where you can find Estrella Damm Daura near you, click here

Have you tried this gluten-free beer before?  What did you think? 

54 comments to Review: Estrella Damm Daura Gluten-Free Beer

  • gfeater

    I agree. Among the best gluten free beers on the market – and probably the best in my opinion of those that are relatively widely available.

    • Have you tried Green's? I have some in my fridge that I haven't tried yet. Hope to get to it this weekend.

    • Peter B

      This beer is great and very close to real European beers (like Carlsberg). They have recently changed their packaging as they were told to do so by our government who would not allow a "health claim" (it was labeled as Gluten Free but no longer has those words on the pack) on the beer packaging. I got this information by contacting the brewery when I was unable to find Daura in Whole Foods for a couple of months. It is back in my local Whole Foods now. I enjoy Redbridge also, but I am so happy to have found Daura.

  • MrsRibs

    I got a free 4 pack of Estrella from my local liquor store a few weeks back because due to his own bad planning he was out of Bards (which I buy from him by the case). I can't stand it!! I barely made it through one and the remaining 3 will likely sit for eternity – I disliked it so much I would rather pass on a beer altogether. Each to their own! (If anyone is in the Boston area and fancies a free taster, let me know, 'cos I ain't drinking it!

    • Yes, that just goes to show that everyone is different. I wonder if Kim (Buckton) would like it. She is close to you, right?

      Kim

    • Glue

      you should sit on the last 3 as$hole…

    • SteveG

      ahhh thats a shame….I have tried it and love it…I like Bards, Omission is not bad…Looking to try some of the New Planet beers. Didnt flip for Redbridge and New Grist was the worst…If I make it up to RedSox country I will be happy to take a few off your hands….
      Any one found and gluten free on tap???

  • rumfunandsun

    I really want to try this beer! I want one that tastes like "real" beer!!!

  • RunnerMoose

    My brother will be so excited! Beer is one of the things he misses the most!

  • Marlow

    So interesting! I had read a little about the beer and was too scared to try. Now I have to! ;)

  • Mike irwin

    I have tried it too, best gf beer sofar

  • RKK

    I'm drinking one right now…had to search online b/c although the label on the store shelf (BevMo) said it was G/F, when I checked the package label again tonight before sampling, there's nothing on it to identify it so.

    Glad I found this discussion, and I have to say it's great! Definitely tastes like "real" beer. I personally don't care for Redbridge or the one other I tried…too sweet.

  • Todd

    I happened across Daura by accident looking for GF beers for my Fiance' . I showed it to her and she gave me a face like she just sipped a warm Red Bridge. We both looked over the packaging and were hesitant to buy it because it clearly stated it was made with Barely but mentioned some process by which the Gluten was removed. 6 PPM I figured would be pretty harmless she agreed so I bought it for her. She really liked it and had no ill effects or reactions that we are aware of. I tried a swigg or 2 and agreed it tasted like a "Real" Beer. We're hoping the price will come down as its popularity grows. It was a bit pricey for just a 4 pack of bottles that didn't even measure a full 12 ozs. When she was diagnosed with Celiac she said giving up a nice cold beer on the weekends was going to be the hardest part for her. She doesn't like the hard ciders (Too Sweet) and she isn't much into wine, so she was really Bummed out by it. I'm glad I found this beer and so is she.

  • isthmian

    I have enjoyed Estrella Damm Daura for the last year. I bought some today and noticed that the label and packagingfor a 4-pack of Estrella Damm Daura lacked any mention of it being gluten free or "less than 6 ppm". Unless I'm crazy, it used to say gluten free, less than 6 ppm on the packaging. Why the change? What does it mean?

    • Yes! It totally used to say that. Plus it had the cute little European GF logo. The new blank lables make me very nervous. I haven't been able to find anything about the reasoning for the new label on the 'net. I also emailed the Estrella people myself, but no answer. It used to have the GF stuff all over it. Concerning :(.

    • Pat

      Concerning for me too. I saw it in th GF section at the store but I did not buy it because it had no GF label. Someone just told me that Daura was GF, so I did a bit of research and found this page. So maybe I will try one. However I agree with you that no labeling is concerning, especially since, as you wrote, it used to have GF labeling. [pure speculation] Maybe they got sued by some trial lawyer for false advertising?

  • Mark from St Paul

    I have been drinking Daura for a year and a half (diagnosed celiac two years ago) and it is wonderful. It is no better and no worse than gluten containing premium Euro-lagers, and that's a good thing. Non celiac friends agree. It is real beer – something the sorghum stuff can't claim. In that time I did have one "skunky" 4-pack. But over the years I've also had skunky packs of Stella Artois, Pilsner Urquell, and many German and American beers. They always undrinkable. It's a problem with the handling, not with the beer itself. So I would encourage poster MrsRibs to toss what she has and give it another try. It's her loss if she doesn't.

    Greens, along with their sorghum-based products (which don't taste at all like beer to me), also makes a number of "de-glutenized" barley beers. I have emailed Greens and their US distributor many times and they say they are looking into bringing them to the US. Not yet though.

    Another de-glutenized beer is Saxon made by Carlsberg. Also not available in the US.

    This Swedish(?) study shows that some readily available mainstream beers do actually have low gluten content. http://www.slv.se/upload/dokument/risker/allergi/
    Since reading this report I have, on occasion, had Pilsner Urquel and Corona Extra (both < 20ppm, the standard for "gluten free" in many European countries) and have experienced no ill effects. But I'm not going to make a steady diet of it.

    We celiacs are really lucky to have the Daura. I just wish someone made a really hoppy de-glutenized IPA.

    • Ann

      Green's Endevour is in the US. VERY expensive! 12pack is $70, but my husband loves it. We go to Uno's Chicago Grill to get it, too. The have other gluten frees besides Red Bridge. Very Awesome!

  • Gluten Free Girl In DC

    Nice website fellow Celiac! I personally love Estrella and I even posted a review about it a few months ago on my website. I have found an even better beer, actually make that 2. One being Greene's and the other is New Planet Tread Lightly Ale, you should check them out!

    Nicole

  • John Rogers

    Been drinking Daura for a few months and it's great. But with my most recent purchase, the label has changed and makes no mention of GF or 'less than 6ppm'. And there's no GF sign on the cap. What's going on? I'm a bit worried about drinking it.

    • That is a bit concerning, though I know that Jules from Jules Gluten Free just interviewed them in January. Read more here:
      http://blog.julesglutenfree.com/2012/01/gluten-fr

      Kim

    • Kevin

      My wife found Daura in a local package store this afternoon in the GF section of beers. She is always looking for something new for me(yes, she's a keeper) but because it did not say GF on the label she did not buy it and suggested to the clerk to remove it from the GF section.

      This evening we went to a local pizza shop that has GF pizza and is a "bring your own" place so, as we normally do, we stopped at the store next to it for some wine. Lo-and-behold they also have Daura beer in their GF section so off she goes to confront the clerk. The clerk produced the order form that states it being GF and said they removed the GF labeling to sell the beer to everyone. Against my better judgement I had it with the pizza and it's been over 2 hours since. I always know if I've been gluten-ed within that time.

      Tomorrow I'll only eat from our GF house and, with fingers crossed, have a couple Daura's and post my outcome.

  • Alison

    a company from Colorado called New Planet has released 3 gluten free beers. So far I have tried the “off the grid pale ale” and it is FANTASTIC. It tastes like a true IPA. Woohoo! Greens and Bards are too sweet for me, I’d prefer cider. Redbridge is sweet but tolerable. Bought some of the Estrella Damm Daura but have not tried it yet. Looking forward to it!

  • ShariG

    I have had the Estrella Daura before and loved it. I have always been a big fan of Yuengling or Harp Lager, and to me this one tastes the most like real beer. Oddly enough, the Bard's tasted like I was drinking soapy water. Definitely didn't like that one. I am interested in trying the New Planet beers. I will have to see if they are available in the Richmond, VA area.

  • Twyla

    I was visiting my sister in Las Vegas and we went to lunch at Todd English Pub. I lamented that I really wanted a beer but needed a gf beer. They had the Estrella and I was blown away, it tasted like a real and good beer. Back in Sacramento, I found it at Bev Mo. Have it in the fridge for tonight. :)

  • Dawn

    Beware! My husband reacted with this beer. He loved it, had 2 but didn't care for his reaction.. We had in the US. Canada will not stock it because the ingredient label is not clear.

  • Hi, after reading this awesome post i am too delighted to share my experience

    here with colleagues.

  • Victor

    Having once been a beer snob who brewed his own it was pretty difficult giving up beer. The Daura is a lighter flavored beer (not surprising as it is very, very pale) reminiscent of common US commercial beers such as Coors, Budweiser, etc.. The New Planet Tread Lightly Ale and 3R Raspberry Ale are indeed exceptional. I have yet to get my hands on their Off the Grid Pale Ale.Greens was also exceptional, although I'm not sure which one I had. Redbridge is acceptable. Bard's was on par with Redbridge to my taste.

  • Vanzlisa

    Greens dark ale & estrella daura are fav so far on my search for gluten free beer!

  • wheatfree

    as a ex-lager drinker, this is really one of the best

  • The D man

    I have tried almost every gluten free beer out there – Bards, Every kind of Greens, New planet, – but you need to find a gf beer called tweezin ale by dogfish head, it is amazing!

  • Concertpro

    Have tried most of the ones here, did not care for Redbridge as the Sorghum taste was more pronounced , enjoyed the two New Planets, did not try their raspberry though, but then I found Estrella and have enjoyed that the most and if I am not mistaken a $1 less than a 4pk of New Planet. These folks are proud of their GF brews!

  • Ben

    I am a big fan of Estrella Daura, particularly for a refreshing beer taste in the summer. There is a small brewing company outside of Chicago (Aurora, IL) that also makes a barley-based GF beer. The company name is Two Brothers and the beer is called "Prairie Path". It is an ale and definitely has a more complex taste than Estrella Daura. They use the same enzymatic process that Estrella Daura uses to significantly reduce/eliminate the gluten. Highly recommend both Estrella Daura and Prairie Path.

  • Rod

    I tried a 4 pack and found it bitter. Back to Redbridge for me which has a pleasant taste.

  • The Estrella website now claims less than 3ppm. Have you tried Dogfish Head Tweason’ale? That’s a favorite GF beer of mine.

  • Tim Smith

    THE WORLD'S BEST GLUTEN-FREE BEER Estrella Damm Daura receives three international awards in 2011

    In 2011 the gluten-free beer Estrella Damm Daura has won a Gold Medal at the World Beer Championships, a Gold Medal at the International Beer Challenge and the World’s Best Gluten-free Lager Award at the World Beer Awards.

    Beers from all over the world competed in the three competitions, and Daura managed to beat off stiff competition to be named the best gluten-free beer in strong markets such as England and the United States.

    At the 2011 World Beer Championships in Chicago, The Beverage Testing Institute awarded Daura the Gold Medal in the category of “Gluten-free lager” as it rated it “outstanding”.

    The second gold medal was awarded by the International Beer Challenge 2011 in London who also named Daura as the best gluten-free beer.

    Finally, for the third year running, Estrella Damm Daura was awarded the World’s Best Gluten-free Lager Award at the World Beer Awards in London, after already having received it in both 2008 and 2009 (there was not a gluten-free beer category in 2010).

  • Elle Bee

    I tried this because the guy at the liquor store recommended it as a decent GF beer. Gluten removed or not, t gave me 24 hours of wicked heartburn.

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