UPDATED 2/2017 Review: Omission Beer

Updated Review on Omission Beer. Is Omission Beer Gluten Free?

Is any gluten-removed beer gluten free?

No, Omission Beer is not gluten free and not safe for those with celiac disease. And no, in general, any gluten-removed beer is not safe for those with celiac disease.

I have NEVER written a post that needed to have two additional revisions. Dear god. But, gluten-removed beer has been one of the most controversial topics I’ve seen during my years as a celiac. When gluten-removed beer came out 6-8 years ago, no one really knew how to deal with it. They were using an enzyme to break down gluten to the point where they thought it wouldn’t harm a celiac. Heck, they even tested it with ELISA testing and it was under 20ppm. But what was it really doing to us when we drank it – especially those of us who drank a lot of it? We had to wait until years of research came out on it.

Gluten-Free Beer - What is Safe For Celiac?

More Research on Gluten Removed Beer and Why Omission is Not Safe If You Have Celiac Disease

If you are a celiac, DO NOT DRINK Omission Beer and DO NOT DRINK other gluten-removed beers.

Why did I need to have an addendum to this? Because now we have actual evidence about gluten-removed beers. Check out Gluten Intolerance Group’s data about gluten-removed beer.

“Gluten-Removed” Beer May Be Unsafe for People with Celiac Disease

Gluten-Free vs. Gluten-Removed Beer Study: Q & A

Q: How did this study determine that “gluten-removed” beer may not be safe for people with celiac disease?

A: This study used blood samples from individuals with celiac disease, to see whether the two types of beer induced an immune response in the blood samples. It was found that no persons with celiac disease had an immune response to the GF beer. However, some persons with celiac disease did have an immune response to the GR beer. This research suggests that in some gluten-removed beers, protein fragments may remain after processing that could cause a gluten reaction.

Some celiacs have reactions to gluten-removed beer on the amino acid level. Even if you can’t feel it. Some don’t. So just don’t drink it.

If you’re looking for the best gluten-free beer, check out Ground Breaker Brewing, Holidaily Brewing, Green’s, and Glutenberg.

Don't Drink Gluten Removed Beer

Below is my review of Omission Beer back in June of 2012. It’s been getting a lot of hits on the website, and it’s been getting a lot of hits in real life too. I’m reviewing my article and I wanted to pass along some articles that might steer you clear of this beer after all – and articles that have me avoiding Omission and other “gluten removed” beers too.

I think the reason why I’m going back on my recommendation is that I don’t understand the science as much as I should – and I’m not sure anyone does by the looks of all these damn articles I’m reading about it. If this was a food, and it tested under 20ppm (from food that’s not made from gluten – duh), I would understand that a few people would react to it, but the majority of celiacs would be fine. If you want to fight me on the 20ppm part of food, then that’s another article completely and I’ll let you vent about it – but until Dr. Fassano, CDF, NFCA and more tells me that the new standard for US is lower than that, that’s what I’m going by.

So back to beer and the use of hydrolyzed wheat protein and a deglutenized process. Apparently the tests that are used for food testing  can test the alcohol – and that’s where Omission gets their results from, but because the gluten is hydrolyzed it can’t be really tested. I have to admit that I don’t understand the science behind all of this shenanigans. I was hoping that there would be one test that could test everything – like Lord of the Rings one ring to rule them all. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like that works with gluten and testing.

Here’s an Allergic Living article that explains a little bit (at least some part that makes sense to me). https://allergicliving.com/index.php/2013/08/22/gluten-free-beer-behind-the-labels/ Here are the paragraphs that are most important.

After some initial euphoria, Omission’s gluten-free claim came under scrutiny by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), a division of the U.S. Treasury that regulates the labeling of barley-based beers. In an interim policy, they ruled that no barley-based beers could carry the label “gluten free” regardless of brewing methods.

The TTB’s stance is backed by concerns that current testing cannot fully verify the removal of all gluten from hydrolyzed beers. The competitive R5 ELISA test is used to determine the gluten-free status of beer, but it may not be as sensitive as needed, potentially yielding an “all clear” result when gluten might still be present. The test also requires formal validation in a multi-laboratory trial before the TTB will approve it as a conclusive test for obtaining gluten-free status.

The TTB will allow Omission, and similar barley-based brands like Prairie Path and Daura, to use the declaration “processed to remove gluten” along with the qualifying statement: “Product fermented from grains containing gluten and processed to remove gluten. The gluten content of this product cannot be verified, and this product may contain gluten.”

Until they can be verified as gluten-free by a fully validated test, many celiac experts recommend holding off on the hydrolyzed barley-based beers. To ensure safe sipping, purchase brews that are fermented from gluten-free grains in dedicated gluten-free facilities or on lines that follow strict protocols to prevent cross-contamination with barley, wheat and rye beers.

Do I have celiac and gluten-free friends that still drink Omission beer? Yes. Are they fine with drinking it? Yes. Have I seen a heck of a lot of people saying that they’ve gotten sick from Omission since I wrote this article? Yes. Do we know for 100% certain that it’s the beer? I don’t know, because I wasn’t the one drinking it and getting sick – but I do trust that the people complaining about symptoms are doing their due diligence to rule out anything else making them sick that might be found in the beer. Will I let Non-GFBF drink this and other gluten-removed beers around me? Of course I will! I am willing to have it on occasion until I have a reaction from it (although it is hard to tell because of my delayed reactions).

You can read other bloggers thoughts about the beer here and here (both Gluten Dude) here (Gluten Free Dietician). I’m sure there are a ton of comments on those blogs as well if you want to get feedback from others who have tried it (or those that just want to give their two cents on the matter.

Based on all of this – the articles, the comments, the other bloggers reactions, the TTB, etc. – I am taking back my recommendation. I would advise CAUTION around this and other “gluten removed” beers until we can have a formalized test that can make for certain that there is no gluten in there, and people like Shelley Case can confirm that it is safe for celiacs. I am hoping that this happens, because it is one tasty amazing beer.

This is portions of the original post from 2012. 

Here comes the review of Omission beer. All the juicy stuff (OMG IT HAS GLUTEN IN IT, DOESN’T IT??!?!) is after my review of the product, so read on for all the good stuff!

So Omission has a gluten-free beer. Well, until you read all of the stuff below, just know that it’s called “gluten-free” but it is made from barely (low-protein barley), and has a finished ppm below the FDA’s required 20ppm (parts per million) according to Omission themselves. It been deglutenized (is that a word, if not, I’m using it anyways). Let’s just look at it from a sheer product review standpoint for the new few paragraphs. Because it is made from barley, it tastes like a non-gluten-free beer. In fact, it tastes very gluten-full. It tastes…good. Even though it’s not available in Arizona, I managed to snaggle some from a local bar that had it shipped in from a distributor for an event.

They offer two varieties, Lager and Pale Ale.

First the lager. It tastes like a regular beer. Like, not a terrible beer like Keystone or Busch, but like a normal beer. I have a really hard time talking about how alcohol tastes, all I know is if I like it or not. Non-GFBF who still remembers what other beers taste like said that it tasted like a High Life – a light beer with not a lot of bite. It’s a great beer on a hot day, even if you’re not a beer connoisseur. You could drink 3 of these easily at a BBQ and fit right in with the rest of the beer drinkers (that are drinking poison). Even though he’s not really into sorghum beers, Non-GFBF would rather pick New Planet Off the Grid Pale Ale to this beer. Although it’s great for what it is, I think we just have tastes for IPAs.

Now the Pale Ale is like an IPA. You can taste the real hops that they use (“sorghum s*#$ that other beers have” as Non-GFBF said in a recent angry beer-rant attitude). It’s soooooo tasty. I could drink this every day. I miss IPAs, so it was really nice to have a gluten-free(ish) alternative to the typical sorghum beer. Now, this beer is for beer drinkers. If you miss Dogfish Head, Rogue, and Stone – then I would suggest this beer. You truly can have the flavor of the forbidden fruit (for a small price of under 20ppm).

When I drank them I was happier than a possum in a trashcan (or however that saying goes). I had found a beer that tasted like what I remembered real beer tasted like. The schnozeberries tasted like schnozeberries! It was a miracle! However, then the controversy on the interwebs began.

Here’s what the press release talks about when it talks about all they do to make sure it’s considered Gluten-Free (under 20ppm).

“The Omission brewing program includes additional steps and requires additional care, beyond standard brewing practices and protocols, to ensure that beer brewed with malted barley meets strict gluten standards set forth by the brewery:

  • Ingredient and style selection: Omission beers are brewed with low-protein barley. Style choices are based, in part, on ability to reliably reduce gluten-levels to well below strict standards.
  • Sanitization: All brewing equipment downstream from fermentation is freshly cleaned and sanitized for every batch of Omission beer. Unlike the process used in brewing other beers, where hot water rinse may be sufficient, equipment is cleaned and sanitized before Omission beers are brewed to avoid risk of cross contamination.
  • Brewers Clarex™: Brewers Clarex™, an enzyme developed by DSM Food Specialties and traditionally used to prevent chill-haze in beers, is added during the brewing process. The enzyme, which has been used by craft brewers around the world as a clarifying agent since it was introduced more than five years ago, works to break down proteins, including gluten, in the beer.
  • Testing: Every batch of Omission beer is tested for gluten by two independent labs using the R5 Competitive ELISA. Omission beer’s primary lab partner is Eurofins Scientific, the world leader in food and pharmaceutical products testing. Every batch of Omission beer is also tested by the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP) at the University of Nebraska. Tests are also conducted internally by the brewery at various stages in the brewing and packaging processes; within a month, Omission beers will be tested internally at the brewery using the R5 Competitive ELISA as well. No bottles of Omission are released to consumers until all results are reviewed and verified to contain gluten levels well below the international gluten-free standard of 20ppm or less.
  • Packaging: To further protect the integrity of the beers, Omission beers are only sold in bottles and never available on draught, where risk of cross contamination from tap lines or server error could threaten consumer safety.
  • Consumer Education: CBis committed to sharing information about the beers, brewing processes and testing so consumers can make a confident choice when purchasing and drinking Omission beer. Consumers are encouraged to visit www.OmissionTests.com, where they can enter the date code stamped on their bottle and view their beer’s R5 competitive ELISA test results.

Bonus points for them, their CEO is a Celiac! According to a press release, Terry Michaelson the CEO of Craft Brew Alliance (Widmer Brothers, Redhook, and Kona breweries) was diagnosed with celiac disease over 12 years ago. I felt really good about the beer.

But like I said, then word of the TTB ruling made way and things got all weird. Pay careful attention to letter B “Products made from gluten-containing materials.”

“TTB will allow use of the statement “Processed or Treated or Crafted to remove gluten,” together with a qualifying statement to inform consumers that: (1) the product was made from a grain that contains gluten; (2) there is currently no valid test to verify the gluten content of fermented products; and (3) the finished product may contain gluten. Because the current tests used to measure the gluten content of fermented products have not been scientifically validated, such statements may not include any reference to the level of gluten in the product. TTB believes that the qualifying statement is necessary to avoid misleading consumers about the gluten content of these products because of the serious health consequences associated with the consumption of gluten by individuals with celiac disease.”

So here’s what their game plan is according to a Washington Post article:

The catch is, to market the beers across state lines, Widmer had to alter the original labels to eliminate the phrase “gluten-free.’ Indeed, the label cannot make any statement about gluten at all. “We’ll be relying heavily on the social media to get the word out,’ admitted Michaelson. Although the Craft Brew Alliance claims every batch is laboratory-tested to guarantee it contains 6 ppm or less of gluten, the federal Tax and Trade Bureau — the agency that regulates barley-based beer — doesn’t officially recognize any test for determining the gluten content of a fermented beverage. Michaelson said the brewery was talking with the TTB, and he was “very optimistic” that a deal will be worked out to permit some sort of statement about the beers’ gluten content (or lack thereof).”

So, I guess Omission will go on not putting a gluten-free label on its beer.

I urge all of you to be safe. Never eat or drink something that YOU don’t feel comfortable with. If you get sick from something, don’t eat or drink it again (duh).

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Comments: 67

  1. Terry Buchanan June 2, 2012 at 3:34 pm Reply

    Is it available in Kentucky?

    • Erica June 12, 2012 at 1:42 pm Reply

      It’s not available in Kentucky yet, but hopefully nationwide soon.

  2. Kirsten June 2, 2012 at 3:39 pm Reply

    I’ve tried that sorghum-crap beer. OMG…terrible. The funkiest tasting alcohol I’ve had thus far. So, thanks for trying this. I’m not super sensitive so I’ll grab some…as soon as I can find it 🙂

  3. Hannah June 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm Reply

    The consensus amongst the medical community is that no amount of gluten is safe for someone with celiac disease. Although you might not feel a physical response to eating low amounts of gluten, you immune system is still responding to any amount and doing harm to your body. This continued harm is associated with all of those fun conditions (like terminal cancer) that are associated with celiac disease. This beer is NOT safe for those with celiacs.

    • Erica June 12, 2012 at 1:45 pm Reply

      See, all the research I’ve seen is that 20ppm (and under) is what will not cause a trigger reaction in Celiacs. I understand that I might not feel (or be symptomatic) from eating low levels of gluten, that it’s doing harm on my body – but that’s generally what I tell people that cheat and eat a cookie, not eat something that’s within the suggested/recommended 20ppm. I’d be curious to see what any of the products I test are, as well as people who live their life eating “no gluten ingredients used” items from Trader Joe’s (that are made on shared equipment – HORRIBLE!). I’m not really sure what to say until the FDA or someone comes up with a ruling that’s less than 10ppm – even though I think both Omission and Estrella Daura are all both under 10ppm.

      • Jeff Rosnick January 17, 2013 at 3:37 pm Reply

        We tested Daura using the E-Z Gluten test kit, which also uses an R5 Elisa test, and we came up with an unusual result. We had to call the E-Z Gluten people for clarification, but it turned out to be a high positive for only one of the two components (gliadin and glutenin) of gluten. Apparently Daura has been processed to remove the gliadin, but not the glutenin. Hence it made my wife sick. No idea about Omission. But in the meantime, you can try New Planet Pale Ale, which is completely gluten-free, and tastes good!

    • Clay Caldwell June 26, 2012 at 11:40 am Reply

      I tried the Pale Ale and definitely had a reaction. NOT gluten free. The beer is good but I won’t be drinking it.

  4. val June 18, 2012 at 5:24 pm Reply

    This is for sure the best of the GF beers…hate that sorghum…luckily I am not celiac and can get away with Omission…and I am grateful for it! A couple of the sorghum beers are tolerable, in the “I really want a beer, and I am willing to drink almost anything” sense. Very happy to have found this and to be in a state where it is currently available!

  5. David Posalski June 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm Reply

    We started serving this in our restaurant last week. As a non-celiac beer drinker and home brewer, I really like the Pale Ale. I have had several customers that were gluten-free order the beer and be so excited that they were finally able to have a beer that tasted like beer and was their first beer in years. Two thumbs up from us at Tsunami Sandwich Company!!

  6. Rick June 18, 2012 at 11:40 pm Reply

    I got a hug last week from a woman that hasn’t had a “real beer’ in 12 years. She was so excited about Omission Lager and Pale Ale. It was probably the 4 beers she drank that got me that hug. It’s nice to know that these beers are making people who can’t usually drink them happy…..Good for Widmer!

  7. Clay Caldwell June 26, 2012 at 11:44 am Reply

    I feel bad for all the people that are getting so excited about this beer. If they can’t LABEL it as gluten free I don’t see why people should be able to SELL it as gluten free.

    • Erica June 27, 2012 at 9:07 pm Reply

      That’s why I wanted to make sure that I approached the review from ALL angles – notifying the consumer that it was made from gluten and still contained more than 0ppm, but far under the 20ppm. Same with Estrella Daura – another big GF beer that is celiac-friendly and is under 6ppm.

  8. Bill June 30, 2012 at 11:00 am Reply

    loved the pale. Wil now wait for gas and migraine attacks if I happen to be sensitive to <20ppm. Fingers croossed.

    I actually have grown to love my sorghum choices. Anyone ever tried St. Peter's? Good stuff!

    • Pearl July 14, 2012 at 3:10 am Reply

      Bill, I love St Peters! I’ve only ever had it in the UK. Tried to get my local LCBO (Ontario Canada) to order it but no luck.

  9. David July 3, 2012 at 10:13 am Reply

    This review is fantastic, thanks for putting this together.

    Its important to realize that nearly everyone’s tolerance to gluten is highly variable. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for everyone else…and that’s just the way it is. Many people will be thrilled with a <10ppm beer. For others, they will have to look elsewhere.

    Do a gluten free diet for long enough, and you realize the truth is you can't blindly trust anyone's claims of "gluten free" anything.

    Instead, do you research (which this reviewer has obviously done), and use it to make your own decision on if the product will work for you or not.

  10. Colin July 12, 2012 at 3:36 pm Reply

    My wife is celiac and the two things she misses most is pizza and beer. We’ve tried almost all of the sorghum brews and Estrella Daura with mixed results as far as what she liked and didn’t like. She thinks the Estrella Daura is terrible as do I. I found the Omission brews today (7-12-12) at Total Wine in Reno, Nv. and picked some up for her. I’m not sure how long they have had them on the self as it’s been at least a month since I was in there last. Since she’s able to occasionally “scalp” a slice of pizza for the toppings (and toss the crust) without any noticeable reaction I’m hoping she will be able to drink these beers without consequence. Fingers crossed. I am ever searching for a “beer” that she can not only drink but will want to have again. New Planet and Green’s have come close but Green’s is pretty pricey.

  11. MIchelle Klein July 18, 2012 at 7:09 am Reply

    I am celiac and have tried the Pale Ale twice and have had reactions both times. Unfortunately, I don’t believe this is a good option for someone who does have celiac. The reactions I have had and the harm it could do to my immune system are not worth it.

  12. Jessica Pena July 23, 2012 at 12:04 pm Reply

    I LOVE this beer!! But… sadly… being a very sensitive Celiac, every time I have had it, I have had a reaction. 🙁

  13. Sarah August 14, 2012 at 11:20 am Reply

    As Hannah said… No symptoms of reaction does not mean there is zero damage being done. There is also research showing the ELISA test used underestimates gluten in fermented beverages.

    I know David says people should be able to decide on their own… but it is hard when stores are misrepresenting the beer as gluten-free.

    Estrella Damm Daura made me sick – I ordered it at a restaurant and then saw there was no GF label on it I complained… The restaurant insisted, and only because I was new to the diet I tried it – BAD IDEA – SO SICK. Think about it David – Aren’t you tired of googling EVERYTHING you buy at a supermarket? I am…

    I’ve also contacted Estrella 3 times and they have never responded to my questions – So much for doing this for the celiacs rather than the market.

  14. Pete August 17, 2012 at 6:07 am Reply

    Glad to see this site. My son got me the Lager, but I was quite suspicious given the lack of GF labeling and “Malted Barley” listed in the content list. I downed a bottle last night after reading this (I am GF intolerant, but not Celiac) and I can report it was quite tasty and came with no nasty side effects. Looking forward to the Pale Ale!

  15. Sean September 3, 2012 at 5:21 pm Reply

    Great beer, but I was sick for over a week after drinking two bottles…As much as I appreciate Omission’s efforts, it’s just not worth it. I’ll stick to sorghum beers.

  16. Mark September 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm Reply

    I bought a case of both and I liked the lager better.
    I am pretty sensitive and no problems.
    I still like Estrella Daura a lot better and will stick with that.
    BTW I drink a lot of beer LOL

  17. mels September 19, 2012 at 2:20 pm Reply

    I have been drinking a couple of these at a pizza place that actually serves good and safe GF pizza. I have not had overt issues after drinking the beer and I am sensitive to GF. I live in MT and have been diagnosed with celiac for 4 years. I was a die hard IPA drinker and I love this beer but remain concerned about the GF levels and hope they can make proper assurances with label in the future. It is hard to check your beer on your computer or phone at the store. I love they are doing it, super grateful and will tell folks I don’t get sick and it tastes great!

  18. Ashley H September 21, 2012 at 4:07 pm Reply

    My wife is gluten-intolerant and had a reaction to the pale ale. She got worried and asked me to look online to make sure it was gluten-free and I found this page. Makes sense now!

  19. Meghan September 27, 2012 at 6:24 am Reply

    I also had a reaction to the pale ale. I asked at the bar if they had any gluten free beers and this is what they brought me. I thought I’d be fine, but apparently I’m getting more sensitive the longer I’m off the G. I was most definitely NOT fine, and I started reacting before they brought the food, so I know it was the beer.

  20. jim omalley October 15, 2012 at 6:12 pm Reply

    taste great I hope I dont react we,ll see the price is kinda high I could use some coupons!!!!!!!!! keep up the good work its nice to see a brewer on the inside thinkig of us !!!!!

  21. bakingbarb October 17, 2012 at 10:49 am Reply

    I wasn’t aware that the Omission beers were even on the market until I went to a restaurant and they listed them as gluten free. I usually do my research but we were sitting down to eat and I trusted the gf label – I preach do your research so it is a bad job on my part this time.
    The beer bothered me within a half hour, granted I am really sensitive (btw just cause your not sensitive doesn’t mean it isn’t affecting you, you just can’t feel it) and honestly it was the worst sick I’d been in a few years.

    People that are on a strict gluten free diet should not be drinking this stuff and again if you don’t react it doesn’t mean it isn’t bothering your insides and affecting you long term – if you truly need to be gluten free anyways.

    There are plenty of other true gluten free beers that taste fine and I will stick with those. Harvester Brewing is totally gf and amazing.

  22. Horselover October 22, 2012 at 1:41 pm Reply

    At 20PPM, if I’m doing the math right, a 12 oz. beer will have 6.8 milligrams of gluten. 10PPM is half of that, of course. That’s probably enough to set off someone who is severely affected by gluten. That level doesn’t bother me (badly gluten-sensitive, but not celiac), or should I say that I have no noticeable symptoms from it because it is an occasional indulgence. As for the lady who misses her pizza, I’ve worked out a great recipe for GF pizza crust that I’ll be happy to share if anyone wants it.

  23. Karen@ZenfullyDelicious October 24, 2012 at 9:17 am Reply

    There’s a soiree tonight in NYC so that Omission can roll out the beer to a wider audience. They also just launched a new beer finder: http://www.findomissionbeer.com if you want to see if it’s in your area.

  24. Jeff October 31, 2012 at 8:02 pm Reply

    Is Omission Beers wheat free? Not looking for gluten free… looking for wheat free.

  25. Lynne November 6, 2012 at 3:42 pm Reply

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT. Also tasted a great one from Spain called Estrella Dumas (or something like that). This celiac chick is thrilled to be able to drink beer again!!! Omission is available in Florida.Found it at Whole Foods.

  26. Susan November 12, 2012 at 2:30 pm Reply

    Finally, a HOPPY beer for us diagnosed as “gluten intolerant”! I haven’t be hit with the “celiac” label, but admit that I feel a lot better having given up wheat, etc. as gluten free. I have NOT been feeling good about giving up beer, as I am a self confessed Old Chicago world tour beer member and hop head (18 tours, and my own mug behind the bar.) No beer has been worth drinking until Omission! Now, how do I convince Old Chicago to carry it their restaurants?

  27. Juke November 12, 2012 at 9:08 pm Reply

    Here’s my story, for what it’s worth. Endoscopy of my small intestine showed that I do not have celiac disease. But going gluten-free last February fixed two problems–digestion and exercise-induced hives if I run or take a brisk walk in the afternoon. On 10/9/12, I drank an Omission lager. The next day I drank another. The next day I ran, and got hives. Since then, no more Omission, lots of runs and walks, no hives.

  28. KT November 13, 2012 at 2:59 pm Reply

    I assume I can’t drink this, since I can’t drink the ‘de-glutinized’ Daura beer. Thanks for the review, though. Personally, I really wish breweries would work on making beer that was REALLY gluten free, and not this ‘low-gluten’ stuff.

    I was recently in Oregon, and I drank Harvester beer (which is brewed from roasted chestnuts, sorghum, & gluten free oats) and I liked that one a lot. They’ve got three or four kinds, including an IPA – and I liked their dark beer a lot better than Green’s.

    Also – tell the Non-GFBF that all gluten free beers use real hops – hops is a flower that’s used as a flavoring and preservative in beer, and doesn’t have anything to do with gluten. It’s the sorghum malt flavor that’s his problem 🙂

    • Erica November 13, 2012 at 3:24 pm Reply

      I love Harvester! It was served at Northwest Public House when we were in Portland for a conference. And yeah, I haven’t tried Daura,but I’m assuming people will react the same way.

  29. Peter Olins, PhD November 13, 2012 at 7:03 pm Reply

    Hats off to the brewers who are working hard to provide a good-tasting beer to celiacs. However, over a year ago, the FDA made it clear that there is NO validated assay for measuring “gluten” in “hydrolyzed” foods, such as barley-based beer. So your statement about the beer having a “finished ppm below the FDA’s required 20ppm (parts per million)” is inaccurate. While there are tests that can detect gluten-related peptides, there is no way of converting these numbers into the typical “20 ppm” we are all aware of for normal foods.

    I have done some research on the technical and regulatory issues surrounding this brewing process. At a certain point it gets down to what “gluten” really means:


  30. Dvaid December 7, 2012 at 10:12 am Reply

    Hats off to Dr. Olins,
    I believe his summary of current FDA standards is of significant concern and noteworthy. I have to add: At a certain point it gets down to what “Beer” really is. After 20+ years of undiagnosed inflammation, followed by a 5 year strict whole foods abstinence from (what) Gluten, save distilled sprits, I miss beer as “The” loss of the supreme culmination of Fire, Air, Earth and Water.
    I am enjoying an O’mission Pale Ale at this time and fear that my gut (instinct) is going to be the unfortunate proof of all this alchemy.
    Cheers to all the forward thinkers of this frontier problem

  31. Cynthia December 18, 2012 at 6:03 pm Reply

    I was so excited about this beer because it tasted amazing! Unfortunately, both times I had it, I had a reaction. At first I wasn’t sure it was the beer, because I was out of town and eating at different places, but after the second time I was sure. It was marketed by everyone as GF, so I did more web research to confirm. Disappointing…

  32. Dawn January 5, 2013 at 8:03 pm Reply

    I was so excited to see a new gluten free beer in Safeway tonight , so I thought don know unil you try it! I love it.. Only had one tonight to see how I goes.. Yay so far so good!

  33. Longie nick 13 March 12, 2013 at 8:16 pm Reply

    Great review, thanks for the info.
    Glad i live in So Cal and was able to buy this great
    Beer. Found out I was gluten challenged last year,
    Tried most of the other GFB’s, not so good.
    Found Omission at bevmo, and life is good again.
    Not too sensitive, didnt have symptoms till after
    I stopped consuming gluten, no reaction to this beer
    though. Go Lakers

  34. Michelle @ The Q's and P's Of Me April 19, 2013 at 1:52 pm Reply

    I am sure you have found this in AZ by now, but if not, I bought some at Total Wine. Sauce is now serving it along with GF pizza crust that is pretty darn good too.

  35. Carol April 22, 2013 at 8:12 am Reply

    Celiacs: BEWARE of this beer! My excitement turned to dismay after only a few sips of Omission. Within a few hours, I suffered terrible gastro symptoms. I’ll be giving away the remaining 5 bottles and stick with Green’s or Harvester.

  36. Laura May 18, 2013 at 3:19 pm Reply

    I am sitting on a picnic table on a beautiful sunny day in Palo Alto at the Rose & Crown Pub sipping a Omission lager! It tastes wonderful and I’m overwhelmed with happiness to be able to do something so normal again.

  37. Alicia Pfaff May 19, 2013 at 7:52 pm Reply

    You may want to review some of the latest studies that show how exposing yourself to gluten if you are celiac or intolerant, even in small trace amounts, even only once per month, can increase your chance of illness and death by over 600%. With those statistics, I pray people try and stop choosing taste and emotional connections to specific foods and beers over quality of life and longevity. There are truly gluten free beers out there that still taste good. Please keep exploring. 🙂 Check out this interview with some of the study data quoted: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xloudUAXwRE

  38. Wanda June 3, 2013 at 8:09 am Reply

    I am gluten intolerant, but not celiac. So far, the only GF beer that I like and that doesn’t bother me, is Estrella Daura Damm. Of the non GF beers, I can also drink Heineken without a problem and I read that it is probably because it is made from Barley and not Wheat, which means that it starts with a lower gluten content to begin with. I don’t know how many ppm Heineken has, but it doesn’t bother me. I can also have an occasional Stella Artois without bad effects. I had two Bud Lt last week, when out with my family and I was in the bathroom several times the next morning. Not fun! I really dislike the sorghum beers, so I am avoiding those. I recently tried Green’s and thought the first taste was okay and after that, it was awful. I’m sticking with Estrella Daura Damm, when I want a beer.

  39. Cal Hegeman June 15, 2013 at 7:45 pm Reply

    WARNING! Not a GF product!
    My girl and I are both Celiac and must eat/drink gluten- free. We each drank one bottle each of Omission beer at a restaurant because we were told it was gluten-free. IT IS NOT GLUTEN-FREE. We are both sick and bloated within an hour of drinking it. It should be labeled ” kinda/sorta gluten-free”. Or “reduced gluten” product. Either label is totally useless as any gluten causes damage- symptoms or not. I don’t care what some test shows, we are both sick from this beer and will never drink it again. Too bad, it did taste awesome.

  40. colette July 30, 2013 at 10:28 am Reply

    I live in Oregon and they have this everywhere now, people are really pushing that it’s gluten free. I drank it for awhile because the taste is amazing for a “gluten free” beer but after drinking it I started having a lot of anxiety and stomach cramps and couldn’t tolerate drinking much of it. I Tried a new planet beer later on and felt fine after drinking 2 of them. I looked into it more and found that it wasn’t completely gluten free. I think it’s a good tasting option for those who are sensitive to gluten but for celiacs or those who are really really sensitive it’s definitely a no no. I am not sure if it’s correct but I also read that the company that makes this is trying to get the labeling laws changed so that they are able to label it as 100% gluten free everywhere without the disclaimer which i feel is insensitive to celiacs and one of those scary things that’s been happening since eating gluten free became popular. I could see drinking this one one of those “screw it” days but I do think it still gives some people reactions including myself. So close to heaven but not quite! I just hope that places will also stock the less tasty fully gluten free beers instead of relying on this for people who need that option as well.

  41. Joe August 20, 2013 at 3:24 pm Reply

    Alas, too good to be true probably is.

    I saw this at the store and decided to go for it, now I’m not sure I want to try it. I am Celiac and on the sensitive side so based on comments above I bet I’d get a reaction. Even if not, it’s hard to know if it can be trusted or not. :/

    Went through the same thing with Estrella Daura and I should have known better, I guess.

    I guess I’m sticking with my two previous favorites: New Planet has been the best Sorghum based beer I’ve tried so far and Glutenberg is the best non-sorghum (Millet and Corn for most of their blends, I think), I’ve had.

  42. Sarah September 7, 2013 at 11:49 am Reply

    Erica – I appreciate your reconsideration and attempt to better understand the science. Gluten free needs to be protective for celiacs… Omission can keep selling their beer to people who want it, but we need rules to be clear so that those of us that know this is not good enough for our health can clearly identify and avoid these products. Manufacturers need to know that these products do not satisfy our gluten free needs.

  43. Adam September 18, 2013 at 5:37 pm Reply

    Omission- love the taste, but like others I do have a moderate reaction to it in my gut. Not as bad as if I’d drink a regular beer but noticable as after a few I get the s#%^%.

  44. Shaina September 25, 2013 at 8:50 pm Reply

    I tried some of this a few weeks ago and was SO thrilled to have something that tasted like real beer again. And then I went home feeling increasingly weird, and spent the next day having the worst gluten reaction I’ve had yet…and the next two mornings home from work until I could drag my sad self out of my apartment. Three weeks later and I’m still getting over the dregs of it, ugh. I seem to get really lingering reactions but this is pretty over the top even for me.

    I’m really sad about not being able to drink it (I’m a little less sad with some New Planet and a St Peter’s ready to try in my fridge), but I really do feel shaken up by the whole experience. I’ve been told that the brewmaster’s wife has celiac so therefore they get it and they take gluten seriously and all…which I’m sure is true, and I don’t doubt their good intentions! But it sounds like the science for really being able to test for gluten after “gluten removal” processes like these is just not there yet (my immune system, on the other hand, had no confusion about whether there was gluten in there…). So I’ll stick with my cider and my sorghum beers and hold out hope for maybe someday…

  45. F September 28, 2013 at 7:56 pm Reply

    I was excited to try it and disappointed to find that I reacted to it. I’m not celiac but I am gluten sensitive.

    This article might help explain a bit.

    The problem is that the gluten fragments might still be recognizable enough to your immune system to trigger a reaction. The enzyme doesn’t obliterate the gluten; it just chops it into smaller bits. If enough of those fragments still have binding sites that antibodies can bind to, then you are going to react. 🙁

    I’m disappointed that Omission didn’t do enough research to really make a safe GF beer.

  46. Carrie November 18, 2013 at 3:54 pm Reply

    Breaking news!! Celiac Sprue Association has declared Omission safe for Celiacs!

    High fives everyone!!!!


    • Sarah April 12, 2014 at 1:24 pm Reply

      High fives for what? CSA destroying their reputation as the safest source for gluten free information? Or high fives for those whose adverse effects are bring ignored?

      • Erica Dermer April 12, 2014 at 1:27 pm Reply

        Didn’t you read the whole first part of the article that I revised?

  47. Grouse Malting and Roasting Company February 9, 2014 at 9:50 am Reply

    Hi Erica,

    We just wanted to thank you for providing us with this information. Your blog post helped springboard some of our research to keep our customers updated with the most current information about the gluten-free beer industry.

    If you want to check out our blog on this topic: http://grouseco.com/read-fine-print-gluten-free-vs-gluten-removed/

    Thanks for your words! Zum Wohl!

  48. jason April 16, 2014 at 10:49 am Reply

    after drinking just a SIP of omission’s pale ale, i started to have stomach cramps within 15 minutes. definitely not going to buy again. sucks because i’m marinating meat with the beer now in hopes of making a stew with beer, but i’m gonna have to make it for someone else or toss it. waste of my money and time. 🙁

  49. Hildegard May 10, 2014 at 6:48 pm Reply

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  50. Marci May 25, 2014 at 9:52 pm Reply

    My husband and I who are both gluten free (he has celiac disease and I have an intolerance) drank 2 Omission beers each this evening and I have been nauseous and he has a raging headache (which he never gets) and has been vomiting profusely! I’d say it’s not safe!!! If I had only known before we drank it, we wouldn’t have drank it!!! I’m so upset.

    • Sarah May 27, 2014 at 1:15 pm Reply


      The Celiac Sprue Association wants to hear about your adverse effect. Please contact them as well as the FDA and TTB. They need these reports documented to support their rule.

  51. jeremy January 7, 2015 at 9:35 pm Reply

    Hey there, great article and great review. I’d love to chat sometime about gluten free beer, especially now that stone is entering the game with the stone delicious IPA. drop me a line.

    • Sarah February 2, 2015 at 5:05 pm Reply

      Why do you want to chat “especially now that Stone is entering”? Because you work for them? I am disappointed that they are making a gluten reduced beers. Hundreds of people who have issues with gluten have reported adverse effects from gluten reduced beer.

  52. Jamie Booth February 24, 2015 at 2:02 pm Reply

    I have celiac and sometimes would like to drink an alcohol free beer but unfortunately there no gluten free NA in the US. Anyone know how we can get one brewed?

  53. MarkB May 21, 2017 at 2:33 pm Reply

    A comment on your 2/2017 update:
    The GIG article you cite only reports that the study found that “GLUTEN-REMOVED BEER MAY BE UNSAFE FOR PEOPLE WITH CELIAC DISEASE”. And this is accurate. But most of the study’s findings were not even mentioned. A Celiac.com article on the same study actually explains the methodology used and focuses on the finding that only about 6% of celiac patients had an adverse reaction to the gluten removed beers. They summarize the report saying “the vast majority of people with celiac disease seem to tolerate gluten-removed beers”. That’s an entirely different, and IMHO, more accurate view of the study.
    I was recently able to confirm that I am in that “vast majority” when, after 7 months of drinking nothing but gluten removed beers, an upper endoscopy showed my gut to be very healthy. No celiac damage. And I am very sensitive to cross-contaminated foods, having moderate to severe reactions.
    So, evidently it’s that 6% minority who are commenting negatively on this and various other blogs, while we in the vast majority are out enjoying a beer.

  54. J B March 29, 2021 at 9:32 am Reply

    I’m here as a bartender and a guy who has struggled with bad hangovers all the time… I do not have celiacs but maybe with beer? The new light beer they have is awesome. I drank a six pack after work last night and only got 4-5 hrs of sleep and feel absolutely amazing today. The lager pale and and ipa was good but this new golden light is right up my alley. Better tasting than any name brand beer and an all day drinker.

  55. Patty April 12, 2022 at 11:53 am Reply

    I am Celiac and love the Omnission beers.
    I do not have any issues after having 1-2 beers.
    Do not like the sorghum beers at all.

    • Erica Dermer April 25, 2022 at 7:38 pm Reply

      You’ve got to be really careful, you could be causing long-term damage if you’re consistently drinking gluten-removed beers.

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