I went to high school in Germany so have long been a beer aficionado but that all came to a screeching to a halt when I was first diagnosed. In recent years there have been some very good gluten-free beers that have hit the market but none really ever blew me away – that is until now. When Widmer Brother’s Omission Beer reached out to me I have to admit I was a bit hesitant. You see they use malted barley in the production process but have developed a proprietary way to remove the gluten. Okay, still hesitant but then found out its CEO, Terry Michaelson, was diagnosed Celiac twelve years ago and brewmaster Joe Casey’s wife has been Celiac since 2006. Okay, getting better – but would whatever they did to the beer to make it gluten-free make it, well, taste gluten-free?
I do not say this often about any gluten-free product but this is, hands down, the most amazing gluten-free beer that I have ever come across (and believe me I have been looking). Take everything you have come to expect from a gluten-free beer and toss it right into the trash. This beer single-handedly changes everything and it must be the use of the malted barley that really helps to elevate the flavor portfolio of this beer making it 100% indistinguishable from its gluten-filled counterparts.
I sampled both their Pale Ale and Lager varieties. The Pale Ale was wonderfully light and crisp with subtle caramel flavor undertones you would expect in a really good ale. It was so smooth and easy to drink I was immediately saddened when that I only had one to enjoy and it was soon gone. The Lager was a bold but smooth brew. It had a delicious nutty flavor that had the real-deal lager taste to it. It had a terrific rich malty taste but was still light and had a real smooth finish to it.
So you are likely wondering just how committed Omission is to ensuring that each batch is indeed gluten-free. According to their press materials and Web site – extremely.
We’re committed to ensuring that every bottle of Omission beer meets our quality standards for both flavor and gluten content. Each batch of Omission Pale Ale and Omission Lager is tested by an independent lab using the R5 Competitive ELISA test to ensure that every batch contains gluten levels well below the international gluten-free standard of 20 parts per million (ppm) or less.
Actually their beers test at 6 ppm. You can even view your batch’s actual test results right on Omissions Web site by entering some information found on the bottle. Here’s a cool look inside of their brewery that not only talks about the reasons behind their interests in making a gluten-free brew but also gives a glimpse at the rigid testing and high standards they have in place to ensure each batch is gluten-free.
At the moment you can only get their beers in Oregon but I am hoping that this will soon change because I am already missing their taste. Those of you in Oregon, you can check out where to buy Omission in your local area on their Web site. Hopefully they will soon be available in additional regions or for online purchase because once you try Omission you will most definitely be hooked.
So other gluten-free brews, be afraid…be very afraid because there’s a new kid on the block and it just reset the bar when it comes to gluten-free beer.