Joining the previously available lager and pale ale styles from Omission Brewing, the India Pale Ale is the third style from the gluten-free brand to be distributed nationally. The brand is owned by the Craft Beer Alliance and brewed at Widmer Brewing’s facilities using a proprietary process that removes the gluten from traditionally brewed beer.
Gluten-free beer has been gaining popularity as both craft beer and gluten-intolerance have gained exposure, but most GF beers eschew the use of gluten-heavy barley for alternative sources of fermentable sugars -- usually sorghum syrup. While sorghum-based brews can reach “beer-like” levels, you’re probably not going to be fooled into forgetting that you’re drinking a gluten-free alternative. These alternative brews can come close to all-malt craft beers in taste; it’s the strange mouth-feel that is usually a dead giveaway -- sorghum brews have a strange slickness that is tough to ignore.
The Omission brews, and especially the IPA, are made with plenty of malted barley, and you’ll be hard-pressed to pick-up any off characters. The new IPA has a great citrusy hop aroma and an assertive hop finish that’s balanced against the malty body of the beer. While it isn’t a great IPA, it’s very approachable, and it’s easily the best gluten-free brew I’ve sampled (and I’ve tried as many as I can get my hands on). It’s tasty enough that gluten-intolerant drinkers may have to share it with their more gluten-loving friends.
One caveat -- though the specially processed brews are, according to the brewery, “Tested to ensure that gluten levels in every batch measure well below the widely accepted CODEX gluten-free standard of 20 parts per million (ppm) for food and beverages,” people who are especially sensitive to gluten may still react to the brews. If you suffer from celiac disease, take caution the first time you try out the Omission brews, but they are certainly tasty enough to warrant experimentation.