Craft Brew Alliance shares gluten-free beer secrets

Craft Brew Alliance shares gluten-free beer secrets
Photo courtesy of the Portland Business Journal

It's not often that a company offers up a bullet-pointed list of ingredients and processes behind a new product.

But that's exactly what Craft Brew Alliance is doing with its new gluten-free Omission Lager and Omission Pale Ale, which are both brewed in Portland by Widmer Brothers Brewing.

In a press release, Craft Brew said its new beers are getting plenty of attention — including in a Business Journal story about Portland companies capitalizing on the gluten-free craze — and that it felt compelled to offer "greater insight into the proprietary brewing process."

“We’ve had a great response to our new line of Omission beers and, naturally, a lot of questions about our approach,” said Craft Brew CEO Terry Michaelson in the press release.

“After a significant investment in research, testing and development over the past two years, we’ve established an entire brewing program focused on managing gluten in the brewing process from start to finish,” Michaelson told the Portland Business Journal.

That includes using low-protein barley and something called Brewers Clarex, which is used to break down proteins in beer. It also includes extra efforts to sanitize equipment and independent lab testing. You can read the details for yourself here.

For those of you who think Omission beers may sacrifice taste along with the gluten, it might help to know that Michaelson has a personal motivation for making tasty gluten-free brews.

What he didn't say in the press release is that he was diagnosed 12 years ago with celiac disease, an affliction which makes it difficult for the body to absorb gluten and other substances.

As he told Business Journal reporter Wendy Culverwell  for her story last month, "We expect that there will be a lot of people who do not have celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity who will drink it because it's a great beer."

You can find out for yourself. Omission beers are now available in most grocery stores, and many bars and restaurants throughout the state.

Craft Brew hopes to eventually launch Omission nationally.

The Portland Business Journal is a news partner with KATU