I don’t have any problems with Gluten, or at least none that I am aware of. So, the idea of Gluten Free Beer seemed very unappealing to me. I am kind of a traditionalist, and romantic about some things, and this just seemed like it was fixing something that for me didn’t need to be fixed. But I realize for some, especially those with Celiac disease, this did need to be fixed.
So when Omission contacted me, asking if I wanted to try their new IPA I said yes. In my area I see Omission at a couple local restaurants and the beer store. Their first two offerings were a Lager and Pale Ale. I had tried neither primarily for the reasons that I stated above. So their IPA would be my first experience with their beer, and only my second Gluten free beer overall.
Omission uses a proprietary process to remove the Gluten. During this process they use Brewers Clarex. Brewers Clarex is primarily used as a clarity agent in beer. This clarity agent is focusing on chill haze that is apparent from some of the proteins in beer. Brewers Clarex hydrolyzes the protein chains, which reduces chill haze in the beer. As it turns out, the gluten is in those same protein chains, and they effectively become inert during the process. As it turns out Brewers Clarex has similarities to Viagra. Viagra was developed as a High Blood Pressure medication, but during the clinical trials it was discovered it had a much more interesting effect. And the rest is history.
This process is one that I am familiar with from Homebrewing. In the homebrewing world the product used is called Clarity Ferm from White Labs, which is made with Brewers Clarex. Since this is a homebrewing ingredient, it is easy to find lots of feedback on how well it works in a variety of beers from a variety of brewers. Most of the reviews I found were done, not by people seeking clarity, but by those seeking reduced gluten. The reviews I read were outstanding. Many tested the beer they produced and found it to be below 20ppm, which is the standard threshold for most sensitive to gluten. Only a few stated they didn’t think it worked, but like any product, there is no saying it was used properly. The only effect I found reviewers stating is that it made the body a bit thinner, and that they just increased their mash temperatures to compensate for this.
Many that are Celiacs or have Gluten Allergies are very sensitive to Gluten, and may be wary of this product. So Omission provides the testing information for each batch by using a code on their bottles. This should help Gluten sensitive buyers feel confident, and also help those extremely Gluten sensitive if the Gluten levers are low enough for them.
Now for the tasting.
I poured into a Dogfish Head IPA glass to extract the most from this beer. It pours a clear light copper color with a medium sized white head. Head retention is good, but all beers have good head retention in a Dogfish Head IPA glass.
The aroma was primarily sweet malt, with some citrus and pine present. Tasting revealed some fruitiness like an Orange Blossom Honey with a lot of sweet malt flavors. The hops are a pleasant floral and citrus, with a little pine. There is a cracker taste on the finish. While the beer is balanced it is not overly hoppy. I would actually say that this is a malt forward IPA which is quite impressive that a Gluten Free beer is malt dominant. Quite a testament to their process.
Overall I liked, but did not love this beer. But I am impressed. This was a solid beer, that will give those with Gluten sensitivity a good IPA to enjoy.
Omission IPA – $9.99 (six-pack)
ABV: 6.7% IBU: 65
Malts: Pale, Carmel 10°L
Hops: Cascade, Summit
Availability: New York, California, Washington and Maryland. You will also find the IPA in the following select cities: Boise, Idaho; Phoenix, Ariz.; Houston, Texas; San Antonio, Texas; Austin, Texas; Denver, Colo.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Washington, DC; Boston, Mass.; Philadelphia, Pa.
John Thompson is a beer enthusiast who began evangelizing craft beer a few years ago on his blog thehoplocal.com. John has been homebrewing sporadically for almost 20 years, and also is a Cicerone Certified Beer Server. When not enjoying a cold malty beverage you will find John spending time with his spouse and two young children or working his day job in Financial Services Technology. Make sure to find John on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter @TheHopLocal and Untapped. at : http://untappd.com/user/thehoplocal