Finally! A Real Beer That’s Gluten Free

by Karen Harris | Print This Page

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Full disclosure: We love a good beer around here.

So much so that my house looks like a tap room. We collect growlers from various brewpubs up and down the Eastern Seaboard. Husband Charlie brews his own, so at any given time there’s a cooler-cum-mash tun and bubbling fermenting buckets in the downstairs bathtub. There’s nothing like a good brew on a hot summer day or a crisp fall football Sunday.

Unfortunately, so many of us have had to give up that pitcher or pint due to gluten intolerance. Yes, there are some GF “beers” out there. And they’re OK quaffs. But they’re not BEER. They don’t contain traditional brewing ingredients, including gluten-containing malted barley. That is until Widmer Brothers Brewing in Portland, OR, got into the game. Or should I say won the game. Widmer Brothers, one-half of the Craft Brew Alliance, has a vested interest in GF beers. Alliance CEO Terry Michaelson has celiac disease. Brewmaster Joe Casey’s wife is also celiac. So these guys, who brew a damn fine beer to start with, wanted a GF beer that tasted like real beer.

They launched Omission in 2012 with a rollout across the U.S. and now Canada. We were lucky enough to meet co-founder Rob Widmer at a tasting in New York. Since Charlie is a video-shooting home brewer with a suspicion of all things GF that aren’t tasty, I figured he’d be a great tester. We tried both the lager and the pale ale. Both of us, after picking our jaws up off the floor, could only say, “Holy (insert swear here), this stuff is (insert swear here) awesome.” Needless to say, we had several more beers at the event and were sent on our way with two sixers of both lager and pale ale. We left a sixer of each in Jenn’s fridge, since she was in Italy and we figured she’d need a stiff drink after the flight and airport hell. In a nutshell, she texted me that she cried. She literally cried tears of joy upon drinking one. That says a lot, people. In fact, you can check out other O Moments if you don’t believe us.

Not sold yet? Head over the website and read through the FAQs, which should alleviate any fears of gluten or cross-contamination. Then check out the Beer Finder to see where you see for yourself. Have a box of tissues handy.

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