Is Omission beer safe to drink?

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I recently asked you on facebook if you include alcohol in your diet. Like us, many of you drink wine, tequila or gluten-free vodka on occasion or regularly. Some of you also like to indulge in a gluten-free beer from time to time. I personally think there is room for alcohol in some people’s Paleo diets. It just depends on your goals and how it makes you feel.

If you are drinking regularly and are not losing weight as quick as you would like or not feeling your best, then it’s probably a good idea to give up alcohol for a while. But, if you are mostly where you want to be and you enjoy getting together with friends over a glass of wine or two, then go for it! I am of the thought that diet is important, but so is fun, pleasure and socializing.

Before I went Paleo, I really really enjoyed micro-brews. If I wasn’t so sensitive to gluten, I might consider taking a sip now and again. But, it just isn’t worth it to me. Even minor gluten exposures leave me with a foggy brain feeling that can last several days. I have tried a few gluten-free beers here and there, but I never even liked them enough to drink a whole one.

Gluten-free beers are often sorghum based and those just don’t taste like beer to me. Also, make sure to read the labels, I have noticed corn syrup as an ingredient in some popular brands of gluten-free beer. This means added sugar in your beer and it is also very likely GMO based corn.

Then my husband discovered Omission. It is delicious, particularly the Pale Ale (which was always my preference). It has a bold and hoppy flavor, with a floral aroma.

I recently shared Food Babe’s article on Facebook, The Shocking Ingredients of Beer. In this post, she uncovered some of the questionable ingredients in some popular brands of beer – GMOs, high fructose corn syrup and even food coloring.

All the Omission lovers came out of the woodwork wanting to know if their beloved gluten-free beer was safe to drink. I had the exact same thought while reading her article. So, I promised you on facebook that I would contact Omission and find out what is exactly in their beer!

 

Here is what I found out.

Omission is free of GMOs and corn syrup. It is brewed from traditional beer ingredients; malted barley, hops, water and yeast. It follows the international CODEX gluten free standard of 20 ppm or less. So the beer is technically not completely gluten-free.

However, I react to minor amounts of gluten and I personally have never had a reaction to Omission beer. Some blog readers that have Celiac disease also mentioned that they never have an ill reaction to Omission either.

Omission removes (or greatly reduces) the gluten content of their beer, by adding an enzyme during fermentation that breaks up the gluten bond. They test every batch both internally and by a third party lab, and they post these results online at www.omissiontests.com. You can actually check your bottle’s results at any time.

The gluten is denatured by using an enzyme, Brewers Clarex. Here is the product description “Enzyme preparation for food use containing proline-specific endo-protease derived from a selected self-cloned strain of Aspergillus niger.”

This description did freak me out a little bit. It is a lot of science-speak and honestly, a bit over my head! A quick Wikipedia search told me that A. niger is a fungus that causes black mold. My first thought was, I don’t think I want that in my beer! Omission says the enzyme is a process aid though, technically not an ingredient. Before I jumped to any conclusions I thought I would reach out to some blog reader’s that might be able to explain this definition in laymen’s terms.

Michael Howell, holds a PhD in cell and molecular biology, and he explained the product description for us . Thank you, Michael!

“Derived from A. niger just means it is purified from that organism. It doesn’t mean that a fungus is in the product. A protease is an enzyme that breaks peptide (i.e. protein) bonds. Endo-protease just means it is breaking peptide bonds within the molecule (as opposed to the ends of the protein). Proline-specific refers to the substrate specificity of the protease. Each protease has a specific sequence that it recognizes and cleaves. There is nothing inherently bad about any of that description, it is a technical description, but that does not make it bad, in the way that complicated chemical additives in food are bad. It is a particular enzyme that has been purified and is claimed to break down gluten”.

 

The Verdict.

I don’t drink beer often (tequila is my drink of choice!), but I am comfortable drinking Omission when I do. I am also thankful that there is a really good tasting beer that I can tolerate!  The ingredients are clean and I personally don’t experience adverse effects from drinking it.

If you know you are extremely intolerant to gluten, I suggest trying a very small quantity to begin with, just to be safe.

 

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Cheers!

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