Review of the Gluten Reduced Omission IPA
**Note: After drinking the Omission IPA for several months, I made the decision to stop. I decided I am too sensitive to be drinking gluten reduced beers and that I need to stick to gluten free ones. I can’t personally recommend it anymore for those who share my level of sensitivity or worse. Perhaps some people can get away with it…I just don’t like how I feel when I drink it regularly.
It is no accident that the first gluten free beer review published on this blog is about the Omission IPA. It’s because it is the beer I drink most often. Honestly, the only one I buy regularly. So it’s only appropriate that it holds the first spot in, what I hope to be, a long list of comprehensive GF beer reviews.
First thing’s first. I have a confession to make. I’m an IPA freak. I love them. The bitterness, the hoppiness, the bold kick-in-the-face-ness. That being said, you must understand that this is an incredibly biased review. So that you can take my opinion with a grain of salt, let me give you a few bullet points about my palette preferences for my beer:
- The hoppier, the better.
- I like them bitter.
- I’m not a fan of overly sweet or fruity beers.
- I love a full bodied beer.
Alright. Now that I have gotten my biases out of the way, let’s chat about the Omission IPA. The hard fact is that technically, it is not a gluten free beer. It is gluten reduced, but reduced to below 20 ppm, which the Food and Drug Administration deems safe for those that are gluten free. This threshold may be appropriate for some gluten free-ers, but for those with severe forms of Celiac may need to avoid this beer because of it’s original ingredients.
How do they remove the gluten?
By utilizing an enzyme that was originally created to prevent chill haze in beer. This enzyme, called Brewers Clarex™, also happens to break down the gluten proteins that are inherent in the ingredients of the beer. By using this agent in the brewing process, the brewers are ultimately able to reduce the gluten content of the beer to well below 20 ppm, the current industry standard for a gluten free product.
Brewers Clarex™ is an enzyme which contains a proline-specific endo-protease that prevents the formation of chill haze in beer by hydrolyzing the haze-active proteins in the beverage.
For more about this enzyme, check out this article:
For more detailed information about the process behind making Omission gluten reduced, please reference this post: 3 Reasons Omission is Dominating The Gluten Free Beer Market.
So the beer is brewed with gluten ingredients?
Yes. One of the primary ingredients is malted barley, which is by no means gluten free. The reason this beer tastes so much like “regular beer” is because it’s brewed with “regular” ingredients. Those gluten content of these ingredients is later reduced by adding Brewers Clarex™. Here is a video produced by Omission about their product:
My Review of the Omission IPA
I have to be honest. As I kick back and enjoy my Omission, I can’t help but feel some twangs of guilt. It’s not really gluten free. I know that I shouldn’t be drinking it, but it’s hard to say no to this delicious gluten reduced alternative. It’s just so good. Maybe if I hadn’t spent 22 years drinking “the real thing”, I would not crave and cozy up to the familiar taste of malted barley quite so much. But alas, I enjoyed the simple pleasure of a gluten filled beer for many-a-years. Therefore, my tastes are spoiled forever, and you just can’t beat this classic punch of an IPA.
The green Omission balances its sweet and bitter qualities nicely, much like a sweet grapefruit. It’s prolific use of Cascade Hops and Summit Hops gives it the earthy pine taste that we know so well here in Central Oregon. It reflects the punch of a local Deschutes IPA, but without the crippling content of gluten. I can’t say that this India Pale Ale stands out with any special or unique flavor profile, but that’s part of why I like it. It’s classic and simple, but reliably refreshing. This description may sound unexciting for those lucky enough to enjoy any beer they please (gluten or not), but for those of us who have struggled to find a replacement for our staple beverage, it is very exciting indeed.
There’s A Catch…
My only complaint about the Omission IPA is that it is not truly gluten free. I know, I know, I just finished explaining that it is this point alone that allows it to be so delicious. But here’s the thing. Because this beer is not 100% gluten free, it only takes 1 of them before I start feeling mild effects from the gluten. This might not be the case for you…however, I know that there are many of you out there that share my sensitivity, and you may have a limit of your own.
When I have more than 1 Omission in one setting, I tend to start feeling a bit headache-y and queasy. It’s not terrible, and it’s nothing compared to when I ingest gluten accidentally (much less violent), but I do notice it. Enough to stop after a beer. Or not drink it at all, which is my new plan.
At The End Of The Day
It’s really the only gluten free beer that I like that’s easily obtainable from the average grocery store (at least here in Oregon).
It’s the best option out there for an IPA freak like me. As long as you can tolerate the fact that it is gluten reduced, but not gluten free.