Gluten-Free Beer That Doesn’t Suck

Omission Beer 6-pack

I have to admit I’ve had this fear someday I might have to switch to a gluten-free diet. While for the most part I try to cut out a lot of gluten with my food choices, I couldn’t imagine living in a world where I couldn’t partake in my favorite drink.

I’ve talked to many people that for one reason or another have had to cut out gluten from their diets. If they were fans of beer they had 3 options.

The first is to stop drinking beer altogether. Next they could continue drinking good beer, yet they’d suffer the consequences of there actions which could take shape in many forms depending on their condition. The final option would be to drink crappy gluten-free beer.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the attempts to make beer for people on gluten-free diets, however lets all agree that they don’t taste all that great.

Most gluten-free beers are made with some sort of substitute for barley such as sorghum, millet, or buckwheat.

The 4 main ingredients in beer is water, barley, hops and yeast. When you take 1 out and replace it with a knock off, it just isn’t quite the same. It’s like if the band U2 where to replace Bono with Chaz Bono (Sonny and Cher’s son). While it might sound like music, it wouldn’t be quite the same.

These gluten-free beers just didn’t cut it. However the times are changing and the beer industry is starting to see some pretty amazing innovations over the past few years.

Widmer Brewing Company here in Portland, OR has been working on a project that they just released this year called Omission.

It’s the first line of gluten-free beers that I’ve tried that are actually made with malted barley. They however have developed a way to remove the gluten from the malted barley, which creates beers that don’t suck.

Here is a video they created that explains how it came about and how they test their beer.

They were kind enough to send me some samples, and I’ll be honest, they are awesome for gluten-free beers. Below are my quick reviews of their Pale Ale and Lager.

The biggest downfall right now is that they are only available in Oregon (sorry rest of the country). If however you love beer and can’t handle gluten, find a way to come to Portland and smuggle it home, it’s worth it if you’re stuck drinking Red Bridge.

Omission Gluten-Free Pale Ale

Omission Gluten-Free Pale AleThe pale ale poured a reddish copper color that had lots of visible carbonation. There is a little white head on the top that quickly left. It has the smell of a traditional pale ale which got me really excited to taste it. Some slight carmel malts which break way to a florally hop aroma.

I’ve tried multiple gluten free beers in the past and have yet to drink one that I’d ever want to drink again… until now. Wow, this is a great easy drinking pale ale. Carmel notes follow the nose and it’s very hop forward with some nice citrus, grassiness, and floral flavors breaking through.

While compared to other pale ales it doesn’t strike me as the greatest pale ale in the world, however compared to other gluten free beers on the market, Omission Pale Ale stands alone at the top.

No other gluten free beer tastes so much like, well… beer.

My Omission Gluten-Free Pale Ale Review: B (Compared to other gluten free beers it gets an A+)

Here are the details:

ABV: 5.8%
IBUs: 33
Style: American Pale Ale

Omission Gluten-Free Lager

Omission Gluten-Free LagerThe lager poured a very clean golden yellow color  with some slightly noticeable carbonation and a small layer of white head that didn’t last long. The nose is very light with some grainy bread-like aromas being the main focus with some florally hops present.

I’m pretty impressed with the way the flavor hits the lager style pretty accurately even though it’s gluten free. Its slightly sweet carmel malt duals it out with some light citrusy hops.

This is an incredibly refreshing and easy beer to drink that would turn any macro beer drinker into a fan. The subtle complexities of this beer makes it much more enjoyable than the macro lagers as well.

Perfect for summer days or while watching a game.

My Omission Gluten-Free Lager Review: B+ (Compared to other gluten free beers it gets an A+)

Here are the details:

ABV: 4.6%
IBUs: 20
Style: Lager

If you live in Oregon or near by, give both of these a try, even if you aren’t on a gluten-free diet. Both would make great gifts to those friends in your life living with celiac or other related diseases.

Have you tried Omission beers? What do you think?

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About Logan Thompson

Logan is the owner of Blog About Beer. Along with blogging, he is also the author of two books, Beer Lover's Oregon and Beer Lover's Washington, an avid homebrewer, husband, dad of 2 girls, business owner and lover of ridiculously spicy foods.

6 comments

  1. Anyone wanna do a beer trade? Surly 4 pack for a 6er of omission pale?

  2. I agree, they are very good for being gluten-free.

    If you are not intolerant to gluten, why would you switch to a gluten-free diet? If gluten doesn’t cause terrible issues with the bowels and alike, there really isn’t any other reason to avoid it.

    • I wasn’t switching to a gluten free diet. More or less cutting out a lot of breads and grains from my diet that were causing me to gain weight. I feel much better and have a lot more energy since I cut back.

      Thanks for stopping by Perry. One of these days we need to grab a beer.

  3. Logan, I saw you followed me on Twitter, had to check out your blog — nice job! Just yesterday, I tried Harvester’s, gluten-free pale ale, honestly didn’t think it was that bad. I’m not on a gluten-free diet, but I can imagine that those who are would be thankful for such a beer.

  4. Any idea if these are available in Missouri? I work at the Brown Derby International Wine Center and am not thrilled by our gluten free choices (not that I pay any attention to such things anyway, but more and more people are these days). If they are not available in Missouri, I would be interested in trading with someone?

  5. I am gluten free. This beer is not. Was really excited to try it and had a few over the weekend. Immediately reacted and am a little bitter about it.

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