Earlier this year, the Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) with Widmer Brothers Brewing released Omission Lager and Omission Pale Ale. These were two gluten-free beers brewed—somehow, someway—with barley as their base. It seemed impossible. Most other gluten-free beers rely on gluten-free grains like sorghum, which get close (but not quite) to regular beer.
The secret to this gluten-free beer is surprising. According to a recent press release, it's an enzyme that's actually been used in the brewing industry for years to reduce chill-haze, the undesired cloudiness in some beers from suspended proteins. This enzyme works as a clarifying agent to break down those proteins, and apparently, it breaks down gluten right alongside.
Combine that with an already low-gluten barley and with keeping equipment completely sanitized, Widmer Brothers is able to produce a beer that meets the gluten-free standards of less than 20 ppm. They also sell exclusively in bottles, never in kegs for restaurants to put on tap, to reduce any risk of cross-contamination.
Pretty nifty, right? Here's the bad news, though: the beer is currently only available in Oregon. You can drop them a note on their website to let them know you'd like the beer in your state.
• The Process by Which Omission Beer Becomes Gluten Free, press-release via BeerPulse
• Omission Beer: Drinking is Believing
Have any of you tried this beer yet? Do you think it shows promise for gluten-free beers?
(Image: Omission Beer)