You can file Omission beer under Things-That-Say-They’re-Gluten-Free-But-Are-Really-Not.
(And you can also file this post under “First World Problems”.)
Omission claims the gluten in their beer is removed enough to be safe for people with celiac and gluten sensitivity to drink, but I disagree. And new FDA regulations actually prohibit them from calling the beer “gluten free.” but they dance around with language in their marketing to still make the beer seem gluten free, or safe for celiacs. Additionally, stores and bars continue to sell it as gluten free. Crazy pants.
Why do I care that it’s not really gluten free? I could just not drink it, right? There are plenty of other GF beers out there. But, sadly, this beer is so popular that’s it’s often the only gluten free option at many bars, restaurants and stores.
And before you assume that I’m being a trendy gluten-free hypochondriac who has to go crazy about my food just for the hell of it… I urge you take in these factoids:
– If you have celiac disease, or severe gluten sensitivity, eating or drinking even a tiny bit of gluten really, really sucks. It can cause projectile vomiting, major intestinal distress, neurological symptoms, or, as in my case, can cause you your whole body to freak out and then you’re couch-bound for 2 days, with a longer full recovery period. Some (lucky) people don’t feel the damage happen, but it can seriously damage their intestines regardless.
– Some research suggests that people with celiac disease that eat gluten even just once every month have a 600% greater chance of death. Other research suggests it takes up to 6 months to fully recover from being glutened. Seriously.
So my concerns about drinking this beer are not due to me being a hypochondriac. I wish I was one, really. Then I’d just get some therapy and go back to drinking real, gluten-filled beer. Preferably a porter. A glass of Fat Tire’s 1554 would be AMAZING.
Oh, how I miss you, real beer….
But back to why I can’t stand Omission.
Omission is made with gluten-containing grains, then they take out just enough gluten to pass the legal gluten free standards. (or some say it just fractures some of the gluten particles and makes them harder to detect by the tests… who knows.) It apparently makes it taste more like “real” beer than other brands, which is why it’s so popular. But I’m not touching that stuff with a ten foot keg hose. No sir, no way. Omission is probably great for people who are just a bit sensitive to gluten and want a beer. And yay for them.
But, you say, one of the CEOs of Omission Beer actually has celiac disease! Well, I can’t speak for this person, but I think they are probably nuts. Around 41% of people with celiac disease are actually asymptomatic. So he might not react severely like some of us do, and the silly man might be damaging his intestines with this beer without even knowing it. Or maybe he’s a masochist. I have no idea.
The internet is full of people saying they’ve gotten sick from this beer. And I believe them more than I do someone who is trying to sell me something.
Honestly, the existence of this beer would not bug me if it weren’t for the fact that it’s the beer every grocery store and bar and restaurant has decided to offer as their gluten free selection. It’s often the ONLY ONE they offer.
It’s like a sick joke the universe is playing on celiac sufferers.
Everywhere I go this beer is all I have to choose from. And when I tell the bartender or clerk why I won’t drink it, they look at me like I’m nutters. Then I get all Sad Panda and have to order cider. I like cider, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t want cider when what I really want is a beer.
Okay, now I’ve vented, and I’m going to go cry in my cider.