Omission, Pale Ale and Lager
Widmer Brothers Brewing Co., Portland Oregon
I’m so excited to see this one becoming popular in NH. First, it’s from my favorite brewer: Widmer Bros (WBB). The makers of Drifter and other wonderful non-GF beers. Second, they’re a sister brewery to our own Redhook in Portsmouth under the company Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) since 2008. But the best part of all, now WBB is taking an active part to bring out a beer that everyone can enjoy!
(PS, check back soon for a beer review of Omission done by our friend at Journey To The Beer Store!)
This one is tricky, it’s not quite a gluten-free beer….
If you’ve been looking into GF beers for awhile you’ll know that most are made with a different base (sorghum and rice come to mind), so that they don’t have a chance of having any gluten in them. But there’s another type of GF beer, one that can’t quite call itself GF because truth be told there is barley in it. Omission is brewed with all the ingredients in a regular beer: malted barley, hops, yeast, and water. According to Omission, they’ve developed a proprietary process to remove the gluten. This removes the gluten to a point of it having less than 20ppm (and most of the time less than 10ppm) of gluten in their beer.
So here comes the tricky part: You can’t be GF if you have a gluten product in your beer. At least for now. The FDA is working on defining what “Gluten-Free” can mean. There are proposed definitions that allow a product to claim itself as “Gluten-Free” if it has a prohibited grain ingredient (in Omission’s case it’s barley)- so long as the grain has the gluten removed through a process to a level below 20ppm. Does that make sense?
So Omission can not call itself a GF beer outside of it’s native state of Oregon yet, but that doesn’t mean they haven’t tried to their fullest extent to make this beer “Gluten-Free” for you.
So how do you know it’s GF if it’s not “Gluten-Free”?
You can test your beer! Yes, that’s right, you can buy your Omission Lager or Pale Ale, look for a special code on the bottle, and check your code on their website here. The code will pull up a report for that batch of beer, telling you exactly how many ppm of gluten is in it. The test is done by an independent lab using R5 Competitive ELISA testing. Another important note for the extremely gluten-sensitive person: The beer is brewed at Widmer Brothers Brewing Co. in a facility where other beers that contain gluten are brewed. Their gluten testing is done before and after bottling to make sure there is little cross contamination and to make sure each bottle meets their standards for quality and gluten-free content.
All right, now the fun part, where can I get it in NH?
The great thing about Omission is they have an established name to go off of: Widmer Bros. They already have a great distribution base. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to have reached the Keene area or too much of the North Country. Southern NH has a ton of places to buy Omission. There are even a few restaurants starting to serve it. So here’s a list of places you can buy Omission or have one with your dinner out on the town. You can also use the beer finder link here.
Concord Area: Barbs Beer Emporium, Shaws, Penuches Ale House
Seacoast: Portsmouth and Seabrook Shaws, Top Shelf Brews, Philbrick’s Fresh Market, Trader Joes
Lakes Region: Wineing Butcher, Case N Keg, EM Heath
Littleton: Walmart, Littleton Food Co Op
North Conway: Raffertys, Flatbread
Southern NH: Shaws: Windham, Salem, Nashua (and several other locations)
More information on Omission can be found at their website, OmissionBeer.com.
(Images from OmissionBeer.com)