Gluten Dude

I had a dream last night. I was at a gluten-free convention. This one booth had two different rice dishes set up for people to taste. I grabbed a fork and excitedly took a few bites of one of the dishes. Only after I had already swallowed did the person running the booth THEN asked me which one I had tried. She had a horrified look on her face and asked me if I had celiac disease because the one I tried wasn’t gluten-free…only the other one was.

But my reaction in the dream was odd. Instead of being angry, I was embarrassed. Embarrassed that I could be so careless; that I didn’t ask first if it was gluten-free. Yet at a gluten-free convention, shouldn’t EVERYTHING be safe for celiacs?

It’s funny I had this dream because I went to sleep last night thinking about Omission Beer and the latest news that the Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) just announced that Omission was RISK-FREE (their words…not mine) for those with celiac disease.

For those unaware, Omission Beer is not a “gluten-free” beer but a “gluten-removed” beer. They actually make their beer with malted barley and then use a proprietary method using enzymes to remove the gluten.

Well…most of the gluten.

Scientists say it leaves tiny gluten fragments behind and that it may not be safe for those with celiac disease. And recent tests done in Canada on other “gluten-removed” beer found gluten in those beers too.

And if you’ve read some previous posts about Omission Beer I’ve done (here and here), you will see that many, many people have had bad reactions after drinking the beer.

Yet the CSA just gave it their stamp of approval. And I, and a lot of other celiacs, ask why?

Read the following paragraph, taken directly from the CSA website:

Unlike the FDA definition, the CSA Recognition Seal Program does not allow the use of oats or ingredients that are derived from gluten-containing grains that have been refined in such a way to remove the gluten. The Program also uses the most stringent ELISA test equally cross reactive to wheat, barley and rye for testing purposes and products must test below level of quantitation at 5 ppm to qualify for CSA Recognition Seal status.

Now I want you to read the official press release yesterday from the CSA:

The Celiac Sprue Association (CSA), the largest non-profit celiac support group in America, today announced that Omission Beer has met stringent requirements for earning the organization’s Recognition Seal. The CSA Seal, currently found on more than 1100 product brands, embodies the CSA’s commitment to a consistent, meaningful, and verifiable definition of products that are the most risk-free for consumers on a celiac diet.

Huh???? Aren’t these two statements in direct contradiction to each other? They won’t give their seal of approval to any product made from gluten yet they give it to Omission??

The CSA clamors that they are stricter than the FDA, yet even the FDA does not allow gluten-removed beers to be labeled gluten-free.

And let’s even throw in a quote from Alessio Fassano, director of the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at MassGeneral Hospital for Children:

“Negative results on the R5 competitive ELISA do not prove Omission beer’s safety for people with celiac disease. Dr. Fasano noted that ‘the purpose of the R5 ELISA is to test for cross contamination with naturally occurring gluten, not gluten that is artificially manipulated or degraded by an enzyme.’” (Credit: Celiac Community Foundation of Northern California)

So what is the CSA’s motivation for giving Omission the seal of approval? That’s a damn good question. And it’s one I welcome the CSA to answer directly in the comments below.

I really, really hope this is not about money (but really…isn’t it always about money?).

Omission is owned by Craft Brew, a publicly traded company with 2012 sales over $180 million, but whose sales have been dipping.

And though the CSA says they are non-profit, they send out media kits to various gluten-free companies asking for sponsorship, including a “$10,000 Diamond Level”.

This level is for, and I quote, “…marketing innovators who define themselves as leading-edge thinkers and dare to go where others have not traveled.”

It makes me skeptical…I’ll leave it at that.

Here’s what I don’t get. There are some amazing gluten-free beers out there. New Planet, Harvester Brewing, Glutenberg and a host of others are making phenomenal strides in creating awesome beer that is not made with any gluten. These are the companies that we should be supporting!

Why does Omission feel the need to create beer with barley? So celiacs can feel like they’re drinking “real” beer??

Honestly, we don’t need it. We understand we have an autoimmune disease that makes us change the way we look at food.

We don’t need exact replacements if there is even the slightest risk that it jeopardizes our health. Why can’t these companies understand this??

Naturally, the damage is already being done. It’s all over Twitter that Omission Beer is now safe for celiacs and Omission is keeping busy cleansing the negative comments off their Facebook page.

And I know I’ll get slammed by many for this blog post as there are tons of celiacs totally celebrating this “great news”.

Bring it on. I welcome all parties involved to have an open, honest discussion below.

159 thoughts on “Is Omission Beer Really “Risk-Free” for Celiacs??

  1. This is scary! I wonder how many people will have to get sick before they fix this. So now I can have the fun job of explaining, to even more people, why I won’t eat or drink things that are “deemed safe” by these so called experts. Ugh. Thanks for doing what you do GD!!!

      • I need a beer after getting through the entire gluten summit. Please tell me that you are going to blog about the summit!!!! I’m so flipping confused! Any minute now I’m going to feeding my family cow colostrum!!! HELP!!!

        • Rachael,
          Don’t do that, please.
          No pub med articles to support this practice whatsoever.

          Here is what Jess, a celiac and doctor who writes her own blog, shared with us on I hope she does not mind me quoting her here.

          “I ended up watching the day 5 video on colostrum and once again, the “reference” that we get is the speakers’ anecdotal research. I am terrified by the idea of people with autoimmune diseases, like celiac disease, watching Dr. Keech’s video and deciding to take bovine colostrum as a treatment. I take care of newborn and premature babies and it’s scary enough to see how many so many babies are being birn with milk protein allergies/intolerances. This Summit is providing information about a medical treatment for which there is no long term follow up. I searched the entire pubmed database and there is not one published study on the usage of bovine colostrum in people with celiac disease or NCGS. I did find a study though where colostrum caused an increased risk of leaky gut in distance runners”

          I added my thoughts about “dr.tom’s” assertion to a distraught mother that her son probably committed suicide because he was depressed from cross-reacting to milk”….Totally absurd, unfounded and sensational fear-mongering. And completely irresponsible to “announce” this to the gluten free community.

          .Aside from some valid information from a few leading celiac researchers and nutritionists, I found most of it conjecture and stroking of egos. If people really want to understand celiac and its treatment, read Real Life with Celiac Disease by Melinda Dennis and Daniel Leffler. Includes info from 50 top gluten/celiac experts

              • I had readers asking me to post about the “Summit” which I would not do. There is still such an incredible amount of misinformation out there that I didn’t want to encourage the spread of it. It’s a shame that so many celiacs are still looking for the panacea, when it’s right in front of us: stop eating gluten.

            • Hi Molly,
              The “summit” was a remarkable mix of expert scientific explanation and a host of wild speculation by people who should know better. On balance, I think this “summit” will leave many people (and doctors) misinformed about the current state of knowledge.

              Dr. Marsh’s presentation was thought-provoking, but his claim that British beer is safe was astounding. If it’s true, it could lead to important discoveries about the mechanism of celiac disease, if untrue, it might cause harm.

              • Totally agree, Peter. I wrote about this yesterday and a couple people commented with NO good things to say about their personal experiences with “English beer” (the kind Dr. Marsh was claiming didn’t contain gluten). I don’t get his claim that it’s “never been proven” that gluten is in beer. I’ve only seen studies that DID turn up gluten in beer, never studies going the other way.

      • I didn’t listen to more than about 3 or 4 of the summit presenters, but I wanted to comment that the doctor that mentioned he tells his patients (in England) that they can drink beer. I haven’t researched it, but perhaps the beer in England is different than in the US? At any rate, the name of that doctor is Dr. Marsh. He would be the same Dr. Marsh for whom varying levels of villous atrophy are named. When a person gets a celiac diagnosis and is given a “marsh score” of the level of damage. Surely you’ve heard of it. Yes, it’s that Dr. Marsh.

        I found his statement intriguing, since he also said that follow-ups with those patients find that they heal just fine.

        • While Dr. Marsh did say that he allows his patients to consume beer he did indeed make the statement that the product is produced in Europe and that European beers are the only ones he can make a claim about being safe.

    • I rejoiced upon the discovery of this beer as well – and have been enjoying it liberally. Suddenly I’m feeling a bit odd. It brings me again to the realization that things sounding too good to be true probably are not true.

  2. I saw this last night as well and I am dumbfounded. I’d really love to know their motivation for endorsing a product made in a way that directly contradicts their mission statement, but I think I already know the answer. Why people would risk their health over this when there are plenty of great gluten free beers out there is beyond me. Especially when these same people will probably make a big deal about food that contains trace amounts of gluten making them sick. Sigh……

  3. And how do you fight all this misinformation when the organizations supposedly dedicated to helping us are the ones spreading it?

      • Exactly this. It is appalling. Thanks GD for doing your part to help in the fight.
        (I know this is an older post but I came after seeing today’s post about the bakeries and trying to compete fairly. I remembered the CSA had a big contradiction but didn’t remember the details since I don’t drink beer.)

  4. I am at a loss for words. I was going to write a blog post about how horrible this is when I found out yesterday. Then I didn’t. I figured my voice no longer matters. Money always wins. Whats the point of me shouting from the rooftops until my lungs are on fire when my words will never mean as much as cold hard cash.

    • While I wouldn’t call it “cheap,” the reason I bought a six-pack in the first place is because it was less expensive than Glutenberg- which is great, but it’s three bucks a can.

      Luckily, I’m not the one in my house with Celiac, and my wife didn’t try it before I investigated further about whether or not it’s really safe for her to drink (answer: NO).

  5. I have already had friends ask me about Omission. Whatever the CSA says about it, I won’t buy it. Ultimately our health is in our own hands and we will have to read every label and make as informed a decision as we are able.
    I WILL be trying Element Plasma GF IPA tomorrow in Williamsburg. I’ll let you know how that goes.

  6. GD-

    This discussion needed to happen, I knew you would have the (won’t say the word I want to say) courage to demand CSA a logical non BS answer to their obvious greedy son of a bitch decision to sicken thousands and thousands of people. Hey CSA have you ever heard of a little thing called a lawsuit?????

    Jersey Girl

  7. When you are right, you are right, GD. This latest turn of events from the CSA reminds me of the whole NFCA and Domino’s debacle, giving their pizza which was made with a gf crust only (no other measures were taken) an amber alert and letting their seal be shown on a company website, materials, etc. for a product that was clearly not gf. And folks cheering about CSA’s “ruling”? Sometimes I think many gf will eat/drink anything as long as there’s a gf label slapped on it. Then they wonder why they don’t feel well, but attribute it to a virus, etc. Insanity.


      • You bring up a good point, Sarah!

        GD – can you post on how we should properly handle and submit samples/complaints to the FDA? We need to create a feedback loop that tells them where the current FDA guidelines are just not good enough.

        The Bob’s Red Mill debacle is a great example. Bob’s got slandered, and the lot os sorghum tested A-OK. The complaining party who says they got 32ppm refused to work with anyone to validate their finding – they just trashed Bob’s! Boooo…

        I plan to send in samples from restaurants as well as packaged foods.

    • Shirley, I had the exact same thought about the similarities with the NFCA/Domino’s debacle. I suppose CSA took this step to avoid total irrelevance in the community, but now they’ve gone to the other extreme.
      Seriously. This is the same organization that will not allow for the possibility that there is such a thing as gluten-free oats, and that wouldn’t support because CSA demanded an impossible “0 ppm” standard for FDA gluten-free labeling. They cannot maintain those positions AND claim that a de-glutenized beer is “risk-free” for celiacs when the FDA and leading experts haven’t yet drawn the same conclusion. There is simply not enough vetted scientific information at this point to make such an unequivocal claim, particularly when it flies in the face of all that CSA was supposed to stand for.
      I think we’re seeing a disturbing trend in organizations that purportedly exist to represent, educate and protect those of us with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. If seals of approval are so easily bought, they cease to have meaning.

      • I sent CSA a letter complaining about just that… We need to get the community to let CSA know we are disappointed in their decision. Many journal articles have suggested Mass Spectrometry shows left over gluten fragments that we don’t know about by simply using ELISA assays… None have provided a validated study approach that accurately quantifies the immunotoxic gluten fragments that remain. All suggest more work is needed to better understand how to quantify gluten from the results. How can the CSA use a still developing technology to declare absence of risk for celiacs?… They can’t.

        As an aside, I would be interested to see what component of the public Omission supporters are gluten intolerant and reduced gluten for diet purposes. We hear reports from our fellow celiacs that they cannot tolerate beers made by this approach, and I would put money that the percentage of gluten free-ers who say they drink Omission without any adverse effects would be drastically different if adjusted for biopsy verified celiacs. (Apologies to celiacs without a biopsy diagnosis and sensitive gluten intolerant etc – this requirement would be for experimental control purposes alone) This would be an interesting number because the purpose of gluten free food is to protect celiacs, and thus should be regulated to be safe for celiacs.

      • All very excellent points, Jules! These organizations have extremely serious responsibilities to the gluten-free community and they need to uphold those responsibilities. Revisiting their mission statements and then ensuring they are doing work that supports their missions would be a very good idea.

        I do have one question though and I admit it’s putting you on the spot a bit. Isn’t Estrella Damm Daura beer in the same category as Omission (i.e., contained barley malt, but it’s “processed out” so they say)? What are your thoughts on that beer and its “gluten-free” status? I *believe* you drank that beer at one point.

        Thanks so much,

  8. Also from the CSA website: “YOUR PRODUCTS BELONG HERE
    The source ingredients rather than the term gluten-free make the CSA certification program suitable to a wider range of products that interest the gluten-free community.
    Future: Innovation in agriculture, processing and testing are encouraged.
    With validated elimination of celiac toxic amino acid sequences, in the future a product may qualify for the CSA Recognition Seal with celiac special wheat, barley, rye and oats. Promising: Watch for varieties of wheat, barley, rye and oats that are consistently absent of the celiac toxic amino acid sequences. Watch for refined processing systems for wheat, barley, rye or oats that remove the celiac toxic amino acid sequences. Watch for commercial testing procedure advances.”

    Apparently the future is now. And someone at the CSA hasn’t heard of Dr. Fasano, or doesn’t agree with him. The CSA website doesn’t have the Omission press release up yet.

  9. Sadly, I suspect you hit the nail on the head – $ is power. I certainly hope CSA hasn’t compromised their ethics in exchange for a financial contribution, it would certainly discredit their good work. I simply can’t think of another reason the certification program with the most stringent requirements would back a gluten-derived product for any reason.

  10. Thanks so much for this – I actually was trying to find Omission beer in my area. Thank God I never found it. Now I really am getting paranoid!!!

  11. Very well written! I have celiac disease and am just too afraid to even try it! I especially like where you wrote how there are fantastic gluten free beers out there that are not made with gluten. We definitely should be supporting those companies! What is your take on Red Bridge?

  12. BUT….this is the same organization that says distilled alcohol is not safe for celiacs. Really. (we know this is false)

    “…the Celiac Sprue Association …. recommends celiacs consume only potato-based vodka, rum and tequila (all made from non-gluten grain sources), along with preservative- and dye-free wines and brandies and gluten-free beer.”

    So, do you think their stance on this particular GF beer makes any sense to me at all? Nope.

    Listen to Dr.Fasano.

  13. It does remove gluten but some add mash back (scotch), add flavors, and are made in a contaminated factory… All that said I like to know they were careful… And what is more careful than not hanging wheat in your factory.

  14. All distilled liquors are GF, from applejack to whiskey, even if they’re made from grains, like wheat, barley and rye, that contain gluten.

    “The process of distillation separates substances that are volatile from those that are not volatile,” gluten expert Tricia Thompson, RD explained. “Protein, including gluten, is not volatile and it does not vaporize. Therefore, in a proper distillation, you will not have protein in that final distillate.”

    Thompson said that spirits were firmly established as safe for those with celiac disease to drink in 1988, when Canadian researcher J.A. Campbell published a landmark paper showing that distillation removes all proteins, including gluten, from liquors.

    • I was not arguing with distillation… Just with how the distilled product is handled. Maybe you could try to read my comment and how I said “it DOES remove gluten”.

      • This can be a discussion for another day soon which I will hit upon. Like how Shaq is coming out with his own Vodka and it will be labeled gluten-free. It just adds more confusion. Let’s stick to Omission today.

      • Sarah

        I was not replying directly to your comment, hon.

        In fact, I had not even seen it yet.

        I was looking busy looking for the
        comment from Tricia Thompson RD
        because I thought it added to the discussion.

  15. I am a research associate in an immunology lab at a University.
    This paper outlines why I will not drink ‘gluten removed’ beers that test at acceptable levels (or eat anything made in a shared facility that tests under 20ppm for that matter).

    the TL:DR or too full of science speak version:
    ELISA results did not correlate with the relative content of hordein peptides determined by MS (Mass Spectrometry) with all barley based beers containing hordein. We suggest that mass spectrometry is more reliable than ELISA, as ELISA enumerates only the concentration of particular amino-acid epitopes; this may vary between different hordeins and may not be related to the absolute hordein concentration.

    This outlines the problem of relying solely on ELISA determination of gluten in beverages such as beer and highlights the need for the development of new sensitive and selective quantitative assay such as MS.

    • The executive director of the CSA told me that Omission provided Mass Spec… But at this point we don’t have a validated method, so I’m not sure how it would get CSA approval for such a blatant source of contamination.

  16. Seems appalling to me. CSA has been a label I’ve trusted, but this decision makes me (very strongly) question that choice.If they’re going okay “gluten-removed” beer where all the gluten isn’t really removed, what does that say about other products they’ve stamped with their seal of approval?

  17. Don’t need it, and the GFCO and CSA are really messing up lately. I get so sick with Omission.

    Do we seriously need ANOTHER certification group that will uphold international standards in the US?

    Bleh. Lame.

      • Same as CSA with gluten removed junk – they are only inspecting once a year, too. Very thin oversight and standards now.

        A company I am working with reviewed certifications, and I was shocked when I saw that the GFCO had hidden their standards for a while last year then posted lower ones that we saw about 4 weeks ago. It was so weird! We saw how easy it would be to get GFCO certified and said – no way. BUT, they have the brand recognition, so we may have to do multiple certifications. *sigh* Too crazy on top of our sourcing efforts, finding a safe workspace, etc.

        • A number of GFCO-certified products have tested “gluten full” per Gluten-Free Watchdog testing. Subscribers cannot divulge results, but I urge everyone to subscribe to that program for their own safety. (I am not affiliated with it in any way; I’m simply a subscriber and a fan.)


          • Good to know. Thanks Shirley. Unfortunately I can’t afford $4.99/monthly, but I’ll keep it in mind for the future. I’ve bought so many things with the GFCO logo on them without a second thought.

            Wish I could afford the home test kits.

            I’m assuming subscribers can’t divulge results because the subscription is paid? But it’s too bad. Limiting for those of us who can’t pay but need to know.

            • Amanda, The gluten free test kits have a lot of challenges. Different foods can require specialty extractions, but only one is provided.

  18. Honestly, this just… ugh. I’m frankly becoming a nutter about food anymore. Things like this keep happening, the GF goldrush has turned into a tidal wave that is just done on me. Food used to be fun. I love to cook, it was how I reached out to people. Then came celiac and what now feels like a mandatory paranoia over every bite I put in my mouth. It seems like I can’t trust any label, that the risk in trying is too high. With each one of these stupid non-gf products being given a “GFish, Only a small chance of making you sick as a dog for a week” label to slap onto their products, it becomes harder and harder to trust anything. This is one tiny product that shouldn’t bother me (thankfully my cranberry and potato based vodka is more my style) as I didn’t drink beer before so why start now? But it just feels like it’s all getting closer to the proverbial straw/camel. I honestly don’t know what to do anymore when it comes to food. Last time I went to a grocery that had a large section of “Special Oddball Foods for Weird People” I had an honest to god panic attack after trying to read my way through dozens of labels. I just don’t want to do this anymore. Eating and cooking used to be fun. Now it’s just something I dread, and if I can avoid it, I do. (Kinda how I went from a size 18/20 to a size 8/10. Live on GF diet soda, carrot sticks, and fruit and the weight just falls off. So does the energy and the desire to do damn all.) All this labeling malarkey and the blatant prostitution the CSA is offering just makes a GF label worthless and untrustworthy. Just another limit to be bound back by in my grocery shopping and eating. Just another bit of proof this isn’t ever going to get easier.

    • Sorry. This came out way more depressing then I meant to. It’s just been a rough haul lately and I’m having a hell of a time digging out from the last glutening. Each time I get sick it’s harder to get myself pulled back together. Each time it’s little bit more difficult to get myself to the point of WANTING to get myself together. There comes a point in the quicksand that you just think for a moment how comfy it could be to just….. not work yourself into another frenzy to get out. Meh. Sorry GlutenDude, I seem to lately be a serious bummer on your page.

      • Jenna, hang in there, dear. Many of us have decided to eat very, very few gf specialty products for this very reason. Real food, whole food, and grain-free foods/beverages just end up being much safer in the long run. (Plus many of them are much healthier and less expensive.) Gluten Dude has talked here about how much healthier he feels when he eats that way. And whenever one gets glutened, it throws everything out whack. It’s really hard to get back on track after that and this kind of “direction” is very disheartening indeed so your feelings are understandable.


        • Thanks for the kind words Shirley, you are (and have been) a major go to source of GF goodies for me over the years and I am so grateful for all you have done for such a long time. I’m starting to think this is something beyond the ‘normal’ slog through a gluten recovery. I don’t know, I’ve always struggled with being slightly manic depressive and have managed to ride the waves as they come. But this time… I don’t know. I already make about 95% of our food (I’m blessed – the day I had the biopsy and it was ‘just’ celiac & not the 4th stage stomach cancer he had been warned about casually by the doc as they wheeled me away, he declared our home GF. He sometimes has beer and occasionally will eat something glutenny when out with friends, but at home he eats GF, he shops GF, he’s even the one who emptied the cupboards of everything gluten based while I slept off the meds from the procedure. He even gave all our pans and such away to friends and replaces everything from the cutting boards to, in the end, ripping out the entire kitchen to the studs and rebuilt a 100% gluten home for us.) up to and including grinding the majority of the flours freshly. I’m lucky to be in a position to do so, and I work from home so I ~can~ take the time to make everything from scratch. I’m a whiny child for saying this, but… it’s just overwhelming when yet another thing become a danger, another thing to take off the list. I don’t know, it’s just all…. becoming more them my rather tenuous grip seems up to handling, and I know that’s stupid.

          • Jenna, thanks so much for the kind words, dear. I’m so glad that my sites have been helpful to you! Your fellow sounds like a prince. That’s wonderful to have that support! However, it doesn’t “fix” all you are dealing with, of course. You are not a whiny child and being upset and having such feelings is not stupid. We should talk more offline. I will be keeping you in my thoughts!


  19. It really is a shame that they gave them the stamp of approval. I will never touch the stuff again because I got sick. When so many other companies (beer) are doing it the right way it sucks that this happened. There needs to be more standardization especially when it comes to the health of those that suffer from celiac disease.

  20. Have you listened to Dr. Michael Marsh’s presentation at The Gluten Summit on beer and celiac disease?

    Detecting barley in beer is difficult, if not impossible. I don’t know all the facts, however even amongst leading experts in the field the beer argument seems debatable at best.

  21. If Dr. Fasano says it isn’t safe, then it isn’t safe. Period. And, yes, even though I may have a crush on him and wish I could have his babies if I still had a uterus, trust me that this is THE MAN to give out accurate information. Why even risk it? I’ll stick to my New Planet, thank you.

    • ….who doesn’t have a crush on him? :) :)

      His presentation at the “summit” was one of the few that actually had any credibility.

  22. I guess it all depends if you are true celiac, or just gluten intolerant or just allergic to wheat. According to Peter Osborne, if you are Celiac, then you need to avoid ALL forms of grains including rice, quinoa, buckwheat (which is not wheat at all). and corn. He even says that certain fruits are no no’s such as avocados and tomatoes. Which at this, I holler Bull! I am just allergic to wheat/gluten but not a true Celiac. I can enjoy a GF beer now and then, but not too many or else I start to itch

  23. Since the launch of our Omission Pale Ale and Lager, we have been committed to using the best available science to measure and monitor the gluten content of our products. SCIENCE IS EVOLVING and researchers around the globe have been studying detection and quantification of gluten in beer using LC/MS, a testing method based on liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. Earlier this year, DSM Food Specialties completed research on Omission lager and pale ale. The results show that OMISSION BEERS ARE DEVOID OF KNOWN TOXIC EPITOPES, the specific peptide sequences and reactive sites in gluten molecules that cause reactions in the human small intestine. These same beers were tested using the R5 Competitive ELISA and were found to lack any measureable gluten content. It is because of these results that Omission beer has earned the CSA Recognition Seal.

    The R5 Competitive ELISA was internationally validated in 2013 by AACCI and the American Society of Brewing Chemists for testing fermented foods and beverages to determine whether they conform to the Codex* threshold of 20mg gluten/kg in total gluten for gluten free products. The recent FDA ruling does NOT apply to malted beverages that are made with both malted barley and hops. The TTB will have the final ruling.

    As far as we know, Omission beer is the only food or beverage company to publish all gluten test results for every batch and make those test results available and searchable for consumers at

    Further, our CEO, Terry Michaelson, and our brewmaster’s wife are both longtime celiacs. Omission beer would not exist today if it weren’t for our team’s personal mission to make more great tasting beer options available to those who need them. We are proud to make high quality, delicious beers that OFFER CHOICE to the celiac and gluten intolerant community. Since the launch of our product line, we have been committed to:
    •Transparency in our ingredients, brewing process and in sharing testing results publicly
    •Using the best available science to measure and monitor the gluten content of our products
    •Vigilance in identifying testing innovations that offer additional scientific validation of gluten content

    • Peter does a great job summing the ELISA problem up:


      As for the LC/MS testing – it is great that scientists are working to improve these new methods, but they are far from ready for primetime in a regulatory context. Articles on this technique are still being published on basic challenges, such as, working to develop ways to solublize prolamine proteins – one challenge that can reduce the amount available in the test solution for quantification. The method also has not been validated and is not approved for determination of gluten content.

      The CEO being a celiac is irrelevant. His being a celiac does not mean he is making health decisions in his own interest. I know a celiac who cheats on their diet. This does not make that person any less of a celiac – or anymore my role model for choices I should make as a celiac.

      I think the company should spend a little more time trying to understand why so many celiacs have reported adverse effects.

    • I appreciate the reply folks. And understand this is nothing personal against you or your company.

      If you’ve read the comments on this page and my other posts about your beer, you will see that MANY celiacs respond negatively to Omission Beer. Could it be something else in the beer that’s making them react and not gluten? Perhaps. But perhaps not.

      And when some of the top celiac experts question the science behind the brewing process and the removal of the gluten, it gives me pause.

      Here is my question to you, which I posed above as well. The company was founded by two fellow celiacs. Why use barley at all? Why take any chance whatsoever?

      The fact is, other companies (New Planet, Glutenberg, Harvester Brewing) are producing phenomenal beers that even my non gluten-free friends say is fantastic. Why not make a beer with NO gluten whatsoever so there is no controversy and there is no risk? You will simply be increasing your potential market.

      • Gluten Dude,

        As you know, our CEO and the wife of our Brew Master are both Celiacs and have been consuming Omission without incident for years. It was their personal mission to create a great tasting TRADITIONAL beer brewed with malted barley that was specially crafted to remove gluten. We acknowledge that people have varying levels of sensitivity to gluten, which is one reason why transparency is so important to us. We are transparent about our ingredients, process and testing, so each consumer can make the best, most informed choice, the right choice for them. Here’s a sample of the many positive responses from those living with celiac disease thanking us for creating Omission beer.

        “Since reading about Omission, I have been waiting, rather impatiently ,for its availability in my area. Sooooo happy to have found Omission beer. Shared my first 6-pack with a 96-year-old friend who has lived with celiac disease since the 1960s. She had told me that beer was what she missed most of all. We both loved the lager, which is infinitely better than any of the rice or sorghum brews. Thanks so much Omission!” -Connie Flint

        “I have never sent a note to any product but yours. It is great and a game changer. You are in a class by yourselves. I am a 47 year old who has missed beer ever since my celiac diagnosis. You have brought something back to me I thought I would never have…a go to beer that tastes like beer. May your god bless you. Keep going!” -CJ Davis

        “I am a celiac, and I love Omission. Beer was the hardest thing to give up when I went gluten-free, but Omission has brought beer back into my life.” -Mark Perlow

        “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I was diagnosed with adult onset celiac last January. Before that I was a dedicated beer afficionado. When I got the diagnosis and found out I could no longer drink beer I was devastated psychologically. Apple cider, those disgusting sorghum beers, and wine just don’t do it for me. As Ben Franklin once said we know there is a god because we have beer. About two weeks ago I bought a six. OMG! You guys are brilliant! This is real beer! The taste is remarkable. Many thanks.” -Kevin Moran

        “Dear Friends, Just wanted to let you know that two weeks ago I had my first taste of your Pale Ale. I have Celiac Disease and have tasted many gluten-free beers inc. from Europe. Your beer in my opinion is the closest tasting to a quality gluten beer that I have ever had. It is now my only beer of choice. Thank you for making the effort to produce this quality G.F. beer.”-John Cevasco

        “13 years with celiacs. Great beer. Thanks. Very impressed, especially with the ability for me to see the test on the batch I’m drinking. Keep up the good work. I could hear angels singing and then I wept. :) Peace.”-Nancy Kureth

        “Thank you for such a great beer. Your beer is truly good. It is nice to know there are people who care about the celiacs. Thanks again.”-Joan Backer

    • Given the range of symptoms and reactions among Celiac individuals how is it that the company determined that Omission Beer is safe for Celiacs? It took me a bit of figuring out that the headaches I was experiencing were happening after having the beer. Typical symptoms for me ranged from aching stomach, canker sores, exhaustion, crankiness and anemia. After Omission I would just get a wicked headache. I would love to know what that was about if there were a readily available test to determine that outcome but I really am not interested in having the experience so I have chosen to omit Omission. My beers of choice now are Bard’s, New Planet Amber Ale, and Green’s Amber Ale. All made without any offending grains.

    • Hi guys,

      So glad you brought Omission to market. Finally a real beer a celiac like me can drink with impunity. The other GF beers on the market are awful to me. This really hits the spot.

      I know this website is hostile to you, but I think it is up to each person to decide what to put into their own bodies. I took on the risk to try Omission, and am super-glad I did. I react quickly to normal gluten products and have had not so much as a hiccup with Omission. I would know right away otherwise.

      Everyone out there missing real beer, this is it!

      Thank you so much for bringing a scientific approach to this issue.

      Omission rocks!


  24. This is a startling challenge to the regulatory authority and scientific legitimacy of the TTB and FDA; it undermines the credibility of CSA; and it will certainly cause major confusion.
    We have urgently requested the technical details behind this decision, and will share our analysis as soon as we have reviewed the data.

  25. Thank you for this post! I agree with you 100% and have been wanting to see some statements about how it’s total BS that they tout themselves as gluten free. They need to say they’re gluten reduced and stop trying to lie to everyone. I refuse to drink this beer and happily put my money with the true gluten free beers.

  26. Jane Anderson did a piece with some clarifications from Mary Schluckebier, the Exec Director of CSA.

    From the article: “[Schluckebier] says CSA never intended to quantify Omission as “risk-free,” and in fact doesn’t consider it to be risk-free.”

    So why does the CSA have this new program with things that may not be risk free for celiacs?

  27. Yeah, this sucks. I’m on the sensitive side, though luckily my reactions when I do get contaminated are usually mild.

    This stuff can cause damage even in people who don’t feel a reaction, though, which makes me worry about all the folks blindly trusting this.

    I don’t drink a lot of beer anymore (I’ve gotten more into hard ciders), but when I do it’s New Planet or Glutenberg – neither of which have any gluten-containing grains at all.

    • Well Doc, this not only makes the CSA look bad, but makes Omission look terribly shady. The use of the term “risk-free” is completely contradicted by Ms. Schluckebier’s final comment. From the first time I read the Omission label, I got a bad feeling about it. When it makes me queasy BEFORE I drink it, I will avoid it.
      Thanks for asking the tough questions.

  28. I am new to celiac diagnosis. As in, I was diagnosed November 6th of this year. A friends and i went to a local bar in Minneapolis yesterday who said they had gluten free beer. It was omission. I was skeptical, but i like to try things that are deemed safe.
    While the beer was delicious, after three (not drunk, and home before 6pm), i felt queasy and unable to eat the rest of the evening. Lots of water later and 8 hours of sleep, and i woke up feeling like death. Exhaustion, chest pain, weakness, and sickness, but not a hangover. This beer is not safe.

  29. For anyone who absolutely has loved beer all of his life, I have to love that Omission is considered to be gluten free. Last December (12/2012), I was diagnosed with celiac by a gastroenterologist after having an endoscopy and then a blood test. I was always skeptical of the results as I have never had any symptoms of having celiac, but accepted them and have been on a gluten free diet for over the past year. Has anyone responding to these remarks ever tasted the gluten free beers? I mean really? How many people who drink beer have tasted the gluten free beers that are on the market? Horrible is one word that comes to mind? It is amazing that beers like Red Bridge, New Grist, and Bards, and Tweason’ale can call themselves beers. They are not beers! It is incredible how awful they taste. Give these beers to anyone who does not have celiac and they are lucky to get past the first sip. Greens has a nice gluten free beer, but it is so expensive. I have been fortunate to find Brunehaut (a Belgian beer), but this also is pricey. Over the past year, I have come across Omission and Estrella Damm Dauro, which some stores had identified as gluten free and then I discovered that other stores had identified them as low gluten. I decided that since they were low gluten to not drink them regularly. I had never experienced any problems from consuming these beers during the past year. Recently, I had another endoscopy and blood tests, which showed no signs of celiac and very low blood counts. So, I am thrilled that Omission is now considered gluten free as for those of us who have to be on the damn gluten free diet, but never have any symptoms or signs of celiac but have to be on it, it at least gives me peace of mind that I am drinking a beer that is supposed to be gluten free and tastes like a beer. Hey! If you have a problem drinking it, don’t drink it! But for those of us who might be on the edge, let us drink a gluten free beer that tastes like a beer.

    • Yes, exactly, thank you! I was diagnosed as celiac (blood test and then endoscopy) two years ago, and I’ve tried every GF beer. I came to accept New Planet as a tolerable substitution, but mostly I just drank more vodka. Then I tried Omission, and also served it to my regular beer drinking friends – the IPA is actually a good beer, gluten or no gluten.

      I appreciate Gluten Dude’s vigilance, but adjectives like “phenomenal” do not belong in front of the words “gluten-free [beer]” (in brackets because it’s not beer). The only reason not to try it once is that you’ll be more upset about what GF
      ‘beer’ tastes like.

  30. I thought everyone might be interested in this special report that the Gluten-Free Watchdog’s Tricia Thompson (with the help of lots of experts) just put out: Can Individuals with Celiac Disease Drink Barley-Based “Gluten-Removed” Beers such as Omission? (pdf) It asnwers all the questions that can be answered at this time.


    • Hi Shirley, I’m also a tremendous fan of the work that Tricia Thompson does for the GF community.

      I’m not sure that her article adds a lot to what has already been discussed extensively on this topic, but I’m disappointed that she does not permit comments on her articles, so she misses out on possible useful input from the larger community. I appreciate that her main focus is on assays for measuring different kinds of protein in the gluten family, but this is mainly dependent on known toxic peptides (primarily from wheat). These results may be suggestive, but I don’t think that it’s appropriate to try to conclude too much about SAFETY, which is really what most of us care about.

      I was also puzzled by the mysterious “experts” whom she mentions repeatedly, but had to keep anonymous. I cannot imagine a legitimate scientist in this field who would not be willing to speak on the record about the technical aspects of detecting peptides (pretty unexciting and uncontroversial, I would think!). Ironically, this reminds me of the “trust me” response that prevented us from learning the details of gluten peptide assays from the Celiac Sprue Association last year. Ultimately, any safety determination needs to rely on publicly validated and defensible scientific data and reasoning.

      • Peter, I think that Tricia’s article basically just says that we don’t know that Omission is safe based on the testing we have available right now. I know where you are coming from on wanting much more detail, including the names of the experts who weighed in for the report, though. It seems that there’s a lot of fear of stepping on others’ toes in the gf community. I’m not sure that’s the reason behind that info not being included here. That’s purely my own speculation based on previous “controversial” topics in the gf community. Personally, while I can understand such “caution” to some degree, I get more than a little annoyed at it because in the end I don’t think it serves the gluten-free community well at all.

        When I shared the GF Watchdog report, I also shared your interview with Mary Schluckebier on the CSA’s ruling. Thank you for that!

        Sometimes I feel like we fight so many unnecessary battles in the gluten-free world and those who are gluten free suffer unnecessarily as a result. This is another one of those battles to me. :-(


        • Shirley,
          In a quick email to GD yesterday, I said essentially the same thing to him as you are saying here. I said: “TT knows who the researchers are. If they wish to remain anonymous, it’s because they fear the backlash from the OTHER “celiac researchers”.

          I doubt Tricia Thompson would risk her reputation by publishing such a report if she did not have expert opinion weighing in on this–and yes, maybe revealing those names would lend more credibility to it.

          But would it?
          I see people disregard information from top celiac doctors and researchers all the time For example, they have repeatedly stated there is no evidence of “cross-reactive” foods as being harmful to celiacs, yet many in the GF community post this on their blogs “Do not drink coffee! Do not eat corn!” etc, etc, –based on another person’s blog article. Some information dispensed after the “gluten summit” had people fearful that drinking milk would cause depression so intense that they could commit suicide or that drinking beer was okay because “the doctor said so”. Information gets disseminated and twisted and then…..there’s bickering…and, where does it end?

          Maybe the researchers who agreed to help her with the report are fearful (or just plain tired ) of the backlash this type of information often provokes.

          I cannot tell you how many times I have thought to myself the same thing during the last few years. After offering solid information to fellow celiacs/NCGS about the GF diet and what may be safe/unsafe based on valid research, I get blasted by people who insist that it’s untrue.
          I don’t get paid for doing this and I have no ulterior motive. I just care about helping people transitioning into the GF life.

          I share your annoyance, yet I also see on a daily basis how the GF community is pulled left and right and sometimes duped by people who post erroneous information all over the internet. Anyone can say anything with enough insistence and “authority” and with a few letters after their names and sound “official” and suddenly, we’re all fearing product X or dozens of safe foods or hotel sheets. (yes, I had someone on worried about gluten in detergents after reading someone’s post somewhere)

          ….and absolutely no disrespect to people who have letters after their names. But I wonder if I were to post my degrees after my name–or if indeed, I posted my full name for those who are skeptical of me– if it would carry any more weight? Probably not. ;)

          In the end, we still remain our own best advocates and researchers and ultimately, the ones who watch what goes into our mouths.


  31. And there is the science bursting through the haze of uncertainty. Whether they can’t or won’t submit it for peer review doesn’t matter until they do. And I understand their hesitancy to submit it, because there is a great possibility they will lose their niche market.
    But I’m in no position to trust maybes.
    Thank you Shirley

    • KEN –No, huh? …me neither. ;)

      SHIRLEY– thanks for posting this article!
      The hubs ( a chemist & home beer brewer ) and I both read it and when he was done, he turned to me and said “yeah, well, YOU’RE not drinking it!”.
      This, we already knew–but I like it when he gets all protective. :)

      Science trumps unwillingness to submit for peer review.
      People will have to decide for themselves if a bottle of beer is worth the potential risk.

      You know, GD, Ken,… fellow readers… there is even a Dr. who runs a laboratory with expensive tests for “gluten sensitivity” and “food intolerances” that has never made his research available for peer review either.

      Despite the fact that leading celiac researchers say “there is NO test for NCGS at this time”, many people, understandably desperate for help with their symptoms will eagerly fork over hundreds of dollars.

      Labs– such as this one –are numerous. Just take a stroll through google.
      BTW, I have never met anyone who did not test “positive” on one of those IgG4 food intolerance tests…except me. BEFORE I was Dxed with celiac. The antibodies should have been through the roof, don’t you think? Perplexing.

      But I digress…… and that is a discussion for another day.

        • ARRGGHHH!!!!
          Let me guess, this writer… does not have celiac ? and did not do any research first? eyeballs rolling hard here (and I think I may have just sprung something).

          that’s ok, I just answered a person on who told me she “was” a celiac when she was little and she “was” GF for 15 years but she isn’t now and she has terrible anxiety, h.pylori and a plethora of symptoms
          and do I know why?

          Day not starting out well for “celiac awareness”….gonna go walk on the beach and just…breathe in, breathe out……..

        • I love the response by John Holl (the guy who chose the beers in the article) to a comment that two of the beers in that list are based on barley malt: “Good point Jim. I did explain to her the process with Daura and Omission. But that was lost in favor of a “clever” turn of phrase. I miss real journalism.” Ha! When even the people you quote in your articles are trolling in the comments, you’re probably doing something wrong.

          Side note: I visited the very gluten-free-friendly restaurant Risotteria in NYC recently and was disappointed to find that EDD and Omission are given the same “gluten-free” billing as their other GF beers on offer. If even they aren’t getting it right, how can we expect sites like Thrillist to?

          • But–and this is just IMHO-:)
            – it is not the restaurant’s job to vet what’s
            “truly GF”. They are likely given the info from the distributor.

            We need to do the homework. That’s on us.

            …but someone writing an article IS responsible. She’s a “journalist”.
            and if she had done some homework, she’d have found the controversy surrounding those two “GF” beers and mentioned it.

            • I saw that they had Steadfast and didn’t even know they had Omission. But I’ve never had an Omission- had EDD at a restaurant and regretted it- because it looked iffy from the get go. The thing is, Risotteria sells itself as a GF establishment (which they aren’t, completely) so they SHOULD know.
              But yes Heart, ultimately it is our responsibility as to what we consume, especially if it has a label on it.

              • Agreed with Ken, it’s not cool to represent yourself as “the pioneers of gluten-free dining in the USA” and a “gluten-free heaven” (both pulled from the main page of Risotteria’s website) and then be behind on this kind of detail…ESPECIALLY if they’ve been informed of it by patrons, which I’m unhappy to hear. I know no one’s perfect and our health is our own responsibility, but come on.

                But Irish, totally agree it’s very annoying for a journalist not to do the research. Then again, every journalist seems to say the same things over and over about the gluten-free diet, giving me the feeling that none of them ever bothers to do a quick Google search before putting together their article or clip.

  32. As this blog post and the pdf file from linked elsewhere in these comments both note, there is a distinction between gluten-free beers and beers that are merely gluten-removed, and this distinction is formally recognised by the FDA and other appropriate authorities in America.

    Sadly this isn’t necessarily the case elsewhere.

    Here’s webpage for Omission from a Canadian beer retailer that makes no reference to the beer’s GR nature:

    It even shows the GF claim right on the label!

    This webpage from another Canadian retailer details another so-called GF beer that I just discovered today:

    This quote appears in the above link, emphasis mine:

    “MONGOZO PREMIUM PILSNER. … This premium Pilsner is a Fairtrade, organic and ***GLUTEN-FREE*** lager. Brewed using only high-grade organic ***BARLEY*** malt, organic hops and Fairtrade certified-organic rice.”

    Now I thought, well maybe this is only retailer web copy and could be wrong, so I went to the website for the beer itself, which happens to be from Belgium, and I got this confirmation:

    “The brewing process for obtaining a gluten-free beer can vary. The challenge lies in retaining the flavour of a real lager. During the brewing process for Mongozo Premium Pilsner, a special method is used for ***removing the gluten*** [emph mine – J] from the beer.”

    But you have to kind of dig to find this info; it wouldn’t necessarily be immediately obvious to a casual web surfer (I’ve deliberately left out any link and left it as an exercise to the reader to find the above quote by eye on their website). So I think you can put Mongozo right next to Omission on the “Approach With Caution” list.

    Good thing I saw this post; I might never have known the GF/GR difference being on this side of the border. I guess this means I won’t be able to drink any so-called GF beer without first researching it online.

    Keep up the great blogging, GD!

  33. it’s funny you dreamt that, because something so similar happened to me in waking life. i went to a gluten free fair where they had tastings for gluten free beers. i walked up and started tasting different brews from different companies and then after drinking my first brew from one company, the guy/rep proceeds to tell me that the beer I was drinking had it’s gluten removed by the special process. i asked him if there was any gluten in it at all and he said it had very little. i freaked out like a deer in headlights and yes got sick later. i was so pissed. they didn’t disclose it anywhere or any way before i drank it. i learned my lesson that i should never assume even if i am at a gluten free fair!! (by the way, the beer was Brunehaut.)

  34. TTB Stands its Ground on Gluten-Free Labeling of Beer Made From Barley

    Just received a friendly email from Tom Hogue, Director of Congressional and Public Affairs at the TTB (Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau), regarding the labeling of “gluten-free” beers in the U.S. The TTB Ruling (2014-2) affects beers such as Omission Beer, which have been crafted to reduce the level of “gluten”, which is toxic to people with celiac disease.

    More detail:

  35. Thanks for doing what you do… the amount of misinformation out there is just amazing sometimes. Just want to point out that many celiac’s also can’t have other stuff (like dairy / cheese) but another big one that can be difficult to avoid is yeast. Omission’s Ingredients are: Malted Barley, Hops, Yeast, and Water. I personally can’t do 3/4. Bring on the water :)

  36. I am a psychology teacher, lab confirmed highly gluten sensitive, and drink Omission beer without incident.

    Don’t overlook the strength of association in producing a gluten reaction. In drinking Omission, all the other stimuli of beer are present. If these other stimuli had been paired in a person’s past with gluten, and thus a bad reaction, then those stimuli themselves could take on the ability to trigger a similar reaction, even when gluten proteins are no longer present. This is how classical conditioning works (you remember Pavlov’s dogs). What people outside the field of behavioral psychology fail to realize is how strong, and how persistent those past associations can be. This could explain, at least for some folks, why they react to Omission and others do not.

    For some of you, your gluten reaction is so strong that drinking real beer again isn’t worth the risk, and I totally get that. But for me, getting a dose of gluten just means a few days of digestive system discomfort and flu-like fatigue. I can tell pretty quickly when I get an unexpected dose, as my acid reflux kicks right on. I don’t have any of this after drinking Omission, and since going GF is not a religion for me (it sure seems to be for some of you), I am guilt free about it.

    Best regards,


    • Let’s see, Jeff … you are a psych teacher you say, so perhaps your provocative comments are designed to elicit a ration of angry comments in response?

      hmm…this makes me wonder if I should bother….. what to do, what to do….

      ah, what the heck. I’m just killing time while it rains a bit before I can go to the beach. I have to ask:

      How does guilt enter into the equation? (it doesn’t) but it is interesting that you brought it up. Do you feel guilt often, Jeff?
      <see what I did there? :)

      What VALID lab test is there for "highly gluten sensitive"? (none)
      Unless you mean you tested positive for celiac, in which case you would not call being GF a "religion". (it's more like a penance, some might say, but mostly we call it "life-saving")

      You suggest people are "creating the reaction from past stimuli"–wouldn't this hold true then for anytime they also eat GF pasta, bread, cookies, cereal, etc…It's the same stimuli, same "connection to gluten of the past"?


      • No, IrishHeart, not seeking angry comments. Yours wasn’t angry anyway, it was sarcastic, and demeaning to anyone who you feel does not have a true gluten disease like being celiac. From the About Us section of Gluten Dude:

        “Even though this site is called Gluten Dude and my name happens to be Gluten Dude, this site is not about me. It’s about US.

        US…the ones lucky enough to have celiac disease or gluten intolerance.”

        See the “gluten intolerance” listed there. I thought I was safe posting on this board, apparently not. I thought I could safely post as one of “us”. That’s the same feeling I have experienced in the past from various religious groups – a very narrow and demanding and punishing of anyone who was not saying exactly what the rest of the official group was saying. There are many of us out there that can drink Omission beer. Some of the comments on this strand were pretty strongly worded against another gluten person doing that. And telling someone they are only worth responding to if you are killing time waiting to go to the beach? What’s that about?

        One does not have to have multiple small intestine biopsies to confirm gluten sensitivity – full celiac disease, yes, but there are many of us suffering with gluten insensitivity (which you ironically seem to be insensitive to). There are five different, progressive blood tests that can be done to help with this diagnosis. It is confirmed by eliminating gluten from the diet to see if the patient feels better.

        That’s my situation. I eat bread, I get sick, as I described in my post. Same for pasta. Same for foods cross contaminated (as I found out the hard way at a frozen custard shop). I drink Omission beer…nothing. The enzyme process just happens to work for me (and obviously for the owner of the brewery who does have celiac disease or he never would have brought the beer to market).

        I offered the psychology bit more as a musing, and clearly stated this might only be for some people when no other explanation was at hand.

        Anyway, when I signed off with “Best regards”, I meant it. I don’t think you had the same intent with “cheers”.

        • Jeff,
          No one is a bigger supporter of NCGS than I am. You do not know me at all or you would know this. My own mom is NCGS.

          There are no valid tests for gluten sensitivity at this time. I am not just saying that–this is from the leading celiac researchers, so I asked what tests you had so I would know what you mean.

          I did not find your comments about people reporting symptoms at all helpful because you suggest that people are “making up their reactions”. I do not take kindly to that one–on behalf of anyone who has ever been told their symptoms are “all in their heads”.

          I have a giant sense of humor and often respond in like manner.
          Maybe you didn’t get that part. (I actually do live near the beach)

          It seems as if you’re back pedaling now to make it appear that you meant no disrespect to people, but your comment
          “and since going GF is not a religion for me (it sure seems to be for some of you),” does not seem “friendly”.

          Maybe I am reading it wrong, which is possible given the written word can be misunderstood. If I am wrong, I apologize.

          And I assure you, when I sign off “cheers” or “best wishes”–it is my standard closing and I mean it. I am one of the good guys.
          Best wishes!

          • Irish is indeed one of the good guys and this site is for EVERYONE who has gluten issues and takes it very seriously. Omission is made with barley. They use a proprietary system to remove said barley. There are a handful of amazing gluten-free beers out there that are legitimately gluten FREE.

            My feeling? Why risk it? Glutenberg, Harvester Brewing, New Planet. All awesome. All safe. See all these stories on this page. You really think it’s all due to some psycho-babble? A few…maybe. But too many to pass off that it’s all in our mind.

          • My apologies for the religion comment. I can see that was not the best way to express myself.

            I had an IgA test come back very high, and my cardiologist (herself a celiac patient) recommended an elimination diet, which I have responded to very well. She said I am gluten sensitive and did not order a biopsy.

            When you said:
            What VALID lab test is there for “highly gluten sensitive”? (none)
            Unless you mean you tested positive for celiac, in which case you would not call being GF a “religion”.
            it sounded like I was not good enough to be considered part of the GF community, or to post opinions on this board. It is bad enough I have to explain myself everywhere I go to eat now, but then to come here and feel like I don’t belong, well, that was just great.

            A classically conditioned response is certainly not “made up” by a person – it is the same (or similar) response to the real stimulus. It could (possibly) explain the discrepancy of this thread. Some people have dreadful reactions to Omission beer, while others do not. Are you saying that the owner of the brewery is not really a celiac patient? I assume he drinks the stuff without any negative effect or he wouldn’t have brought the product to market. He’s trying to do a good thing here, using science to solve a very vexing problem (not being able to drink beer was a big blow to me – I am a mug holding member of my local brewery).

            Anyway, I hope there is room for those of us without biopsies and for those of us who enjoy the efforts of people like the brewmasters making Omission.

            I am very sorry to have offended. I’ll put the classical conditioning back in the closet.

            Sincere best regards,


            • Sorry, but you keep misreading and misinterpreting what I wrote
              and now, you’re twisting things even further to make yourself appear like you’re being “rejected” somehow. (I knew when I answered you this was going to happen. I sensed an agenda of some kind.)

              People’s physical responses are NOT psychological. Every time you say that, you alienate the readership that makes up this community of both celiacs and NCGSes even further.

              I keep saying this but you keep refusing to see it–there are no tests for “gluten sensivity”. Yes, there are several tests for celiac. But, you did not have the complete panel, so I have no idea why any member of the AMA would tell you “you have gluten sensitivity” and tell you to go GF before you had a biopsy.
              Not sure what test this doctor ordered, but if she is a celiac herself, surely she knows there is more to the diagnostic protocol.

              …and now, you are staunchly defending the owner and the product so when that happens, I have to wonder about your motives. Call me skeptical.

              • IrishHeart, wish I could just talk to you in person. AND you would be amazed in one of my lab classes.

                At the risk of upsetting you again, I must insist that physical responses ARE psychological to a behavioural psychologist. I think there is a difference here in lingo.

                In my lab classes I am able to condition a patellar reflex (very much a physical thing) to the sound of a sport whistle. Those who did not witness the training are dumbfounded that I can make an entire group of students’ knees jerk on command. I can take control of their pupil dialation as well.

                We go beyond simple responses like those to very serious, very complex ones. The classic example that started the field of psychoneuroimmunology back in 1975 involved rats whose entire immune system could be shut down just by giving them a sip of saccharine (it normally doesn’t do that). See:
                Since celiac is an immune system disorder, my thoughts leaned that way as at least something to investigate.

                I have no agenda (I wish I owned a brewery, but I am nowhere near the West Coast where I think Omission is brewed) – I certainly get nothing from anyone for posting. I laughed when you said you doubted my motives. My motive is to understand this disease, to try to work to make it better for people. I thought many comments in this strand were being a bit too harsh on Omission – they seem like good people.

                I do offer my apologies to you, but I did feel second class and left out by your comments.

                Wishing you the best (maybe we can get together for a true GF beer some time, although I am beginning to understand just sticking to vodka).


        • Sorry Jeff, but I got the same feeling that you meant “it’s all in your heads.”
          If you didn’t, fine. But after hearing it since I was a child, and still hearing it from some folks post diagnosis, I’m pretty tired of it. If you want to drink Omission, go for it.
          I won’t because I don’t know what the long term effects will be. A family history of cancer is a bell that I will respond to.

          • Very sorry Ken – didn’t mean it that way at all. Was trying (and failed) to propose a different look at things through the eyes of a behavioural psychologist. Won’t try that again….

    • Jeff,

      Your comments are both offensive AND show your misunderstanding of those with gluten sensitivity, especially Celiac. To compare people on this thread to pavlov’s dogs is EXTREMELY offensive and since most of us have had people telling us it is all in our head, for you to come on here and say the same thing does NOT tell the rest of us you WANT to be a part of this group. What you said is, “many of you don’t really have a problem, it is all in your head.” That is NOT an inclusive statement but an EXCLUSIVE statement. I am sure there are some that are still trying to pin down their specific issue, but most here fully understand their issues and it is NOT just in their head as a trained/conditioned response. Based on your comments here I would say it is a good thing you are a teacher and not in private practice because your empathy appears to be nonexistent.

      Now to the other issue that you seem to TOTALLY MISS. I have said this MANY times in a number of places including right here on Gluten Dude’s site. Just because you don’t feel a physical response does NOT mean you had NO response. There a folks that have been diagnosed with Celiac that had NO outward appearance of any problems, YET, their small intestine was a slick as a babies bottom. NO ONE should EVER base the safety of a food on how they FEEL!!! The lack of a bad response or feeling bad does NOT say the food is safe for you, feeling horrible IS an indication that the food is bad for your. You seem to be of the opinion that if you FEEL okay, then it is alright. This MAY be true for a gluten sensitive person but WHY risk it??? Gluten Dude and I agree on this point, there are so many REAL GLUTEN FREE BEERS out there, WHY would you want to risk it with one that is gluten removed (which CANNOT be proven)? Much better to be safe than sorry, especially when it comes to your health.

      • Easy there – didn’t mean to offend. You raise some good points.

        Absence of feeling bad doesn’t mean no harm, got it.

        This is an honest question, as I fight my way through this diesase. What followup do celiac patients have to determine if they are improving or not? Is it all based on small intestine biopsy, or are there blood tests that go along with it. I am talking at least a year in to the GF diet. How do you know if you are the same, better, or worse? I’d like to know how to better question my own doctor.

        I never said “you don’t have a problem” and I certainly never said “it’s all in your head”. Certainly didn’t mean for it to be taken that way either. I am sorry!

        To a behavioural psychologist, classical conditioning is very real, and is by no means a put down. It is not the same as someone saying, it is all in your head, because that means it isn’t real. A conditioned response (well beyond Pavlov’s salivating dogs) can be very complex. I was thinking more of Rob Ader’s work in rats:

        If an entire immune system shutdown response can be conditioned to happen when an animal simply drinks saccharine water, then it was not too much of a stretch to suggest that some people’s response to a gluten removed beer might be similar, in some cases. Acid reflux, pain, stiff joints, heart palpitations, crippling fatigue, etc. (those are just some of my fight with gluten) are very real and I in no way was making light of them.

        Not much else to say – I have apologized, and do appreciate your passionate response. I’ll seek psychological research linked to gluten related diseases elsewhere.

        (I am able to maintain a limited private practice, BTW, and my patients love me. I think if we were able to be in the same room together and have a normal conversation this might have gone much better.)

  37. The antibodies may go down despite there being continued damage. GIs are starting to recommend a repeat biopsy a year out or so.

    • Thank you Sarah. I thought they only did biopsy if you were currently eating gluten. You don’t have to do some sort of “challenge” to get the biopsy done, do you?

      • The challenge is only for a diagnosis of celiac disease. They want to confirm there is damage to the vili while eating wheat. Once you go off wheat you should recover. If celiacs are still symptomatic there could be another illness or continued damage. A repeat biopsy off gluten should show the vili have healed. Continued damage even if it’s a mostly gluten free diet puts celiacs at risk for all of the adverse health effects, cancer, osteoporosis… That’s why the trace gluten is such a big deal to us.

  38. I was medically diagnosed with low level Celiac and Crohn’s Disease approximately 4 years ago. Although, I am fortunate in not experiencing most of the symptoms of the diseases, I have come to accept the fact, I must adopt the GF diet as part of my lifestyle or possibly suffer the long term damage the diseases inflict.

    Not an advocate, I nevertheless have concerns with those folk who self diagnose themselves…..”I avoid wheat and feel much better”. They may be masking an underlying medical condition that will not be picked up during examinations. In addition, I feel the seriousness of Celiac is dismissed or at best lumped into gluten sensitive as the latest health fad!I

    Although I welcome the greater choice I now have, I continue to be frustrated with the restaurant/food industries who blur the lines when addressing a new niche in the market. I am not GF sensitive…I have to avoid it PERIOD. I find most reataurant staff are well intended but continue to be poorly educated on the topic. I had one manager tell that me the meal (pasta) was GF but was shocked when asked about the sauce (wheat flour was used as a thickener). Or the waitress telling me it depends on different levels of sensitivity!!! It is either GF or it is not. Or the vegetable soup that arrives at the table with a lump of bread in tow!

    My concern is most responses to questions on food, and beer in particular, is anecdotal. Forget that you felt fine the next day…what about the possible undetected damage the intake of even small amounts of gluten on a steady basis is having on you.

    With this in mind, I was told the same thing last night about Heineken. I shouldn’t be told it is GF when in fact it still contains gluten even in lower than normal industry standards.

    I continue to search for a ‘normal’ tasty beer but have come to terms that for my health (which fortunately currently, is very good) I must stick with ciders and GF beers.

    So off the soapbox, here are IMHO, a few of the better beers out there

    Dauro (Spanish)
    St Pete’s GF (British)
    Green (Belgian?)

    I have heard opinions on the Japanese beers (Sapporro, etc) but again they are contradictory. Omission is ‘gluten removed’ but is till made with barley malt.

  39. I have celiac (clinically diagnosed, blood test + GI biopsy) and drink Omission beers regularly with no problem.

    Other gluten-free beers, made with naturally gluten-free grains, are an abomination and should not be allowed to call themselves “beer.”

  40. Also, I don’t know if I get the distintion between gluten free and gluten removed. In both cases the gluten is gone. If you get robbed of your money, you are both money free And money removed. What’s the difference?

    Spirits are gluten free because the distillation process removes the gluten. If they can do the same with beer through an analogous process, well that’s great.

  41. They fooled me! I am furious that Omission is being misinterpreted as Gluten-Free on restaurant menus. I had 2 (tasted great) and was rewarded with a case of DH on my face and 6 days of being “gutted”. I had no food at a restaurant that day and drank from the bottle. Trace sensitive people like myself are probably getting sick all the time. If you are a sensitive Celiac DO NOT DRINK OMMISSION!!!!

  42. Omission Beer has blocked some of us who like to make sure they don’t refer to themselves as gluten free on their Facebook page and who encourage people complaining about side effects to file a report with the FDA and TTB.

    We’ve made a Facebook group to collect reports of adverse effects. If you drank one of these many brands of gluten reduced beers and you got sick – Please join us and share your story. Our stories are part of the data that need to be evaluated in any future changes to gluten free labeling.

  43. I understand there are wheat allergies, celiac sprue, and something in the middle that is referred to as gluten intolerance. I fit in the middle.

    Tried all the gluten free brews, made some with chestnut, made some with buckwheat. The sorghum based commercial brews are terrible, as were my own experiments. Sorghum makes me stink like a sweaty cow, it affects me the same way garlic does, I exude an odor very noticeable to my better half.

    Sorry if you have trouble with Omission, I do not. Have been enjoying it since it was presented as an option at a local restaurant (whose owner is a celiac). I am anxiously awaiting a stout, and a porter. The lager, pale ale and IPA are great.

    If you have a problem, don’t drink it. It took a long time to figure out all the ways you can get hit by gluten, I finally am generally not making any errors, Omission is not an issue for me.

  44. I’m gluten sensitive and I realized this when I took gluten out of my diet completely for a month and tried to reintroduce it. After throwing up once and feeling nauseous every time I ate for at least the week after that, AND breaking out on my face for about 2 months after that….in the same spot….it never went away!! I decided I was better off without it and feel soooo much better!!! However, I drank Omission from the time I was introduced to it and have never had an adverse reaction!! On the other hand….I discovered Glutenberg at our local Greens recently and since it is seriously the MOST DELICIOUS beer I’ve ever tasted(the American Pale Ale to be exact) I had switched off of angry orchard and omission to completely Glutenberg….and I started breaking out everywhere on my face!!! So annoying!! And it’s not just regular pimples….it’s like before when I tried to reintroduce gluten into my diet….which makes me really sad, because it really is delicious beer..

  45. Just woke up very sick… This beer definitely isn’t safe for me. I could tell about a half hour after trying one. Not happy about all the contradictory info.

  46. Well crap. In related news I was at a festival the other day and asked the beer girls at the counter if they had any gluten free beer. She looked at me and said “we don’t have any gluten free beer, but our IPA is almost gluten free!” … what does that even mean? I’m thinking her translation is about as loose as Omissions.

  47. A product can be labeled Gluten-free in the United States if it contains less than 20 ppm of Gluten. A beer like Omission uses this or something like this:

    This product gets the Gluten down to less than 10 ppm in a barley product, which is below the Federal Standard.

    White Labs is a high-end company with a strict chemistry background. I’d trust them highly to make something to produce a Gluten-Removed product.

    • Sorry, Jeff. Gluten free labeling for beer is not as straightforward. Beers made from gluten grains cannot be labeled gluten free.

      “Moreover, based on FDA’s determination that there is still no scientifically valid way to evaluate the claims that beers made from gluten-containing grains can be processed in a way that removes gluten and that there is inadequate evidence about whether such methods are effective, it continues to be TTB’s position that use of the term “gluten-free” for such products would mislead consumers who are seeking to avoid the consumption of gluten for health reasons.”

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