Monday, March 11, 2013

A Year of Craft Beer, Vol. 71, OMission Pale Ale, by Widmer Bros.

And yet Gluten Free Week continues.  Last night I postulated that I might continue gluten free week for a whole month with ciders, etc..., but after looking at how many ciders there are at the Craft Beer Store, I began to think that I am going to bore the heck out of my readers with that stuff.  I, myself, am getting a little bored with the gluten free offerings as a few of them have really sucked.  But alas, I have 5 or 6 more beers in the gluten free realm and I will finish with a gluten free selection from the devil himself, AB.  Tonight I'm going to focus on a beer from a west coast conglomerate corporation named Widmer, famous out west for a Hefewiesen that is sort of a good entry beer to craft beer.  Anyway, here is their attempt at a gluten free Ale called OMission Pale Ale and from the get go, it smells pretty nice!

Ah ha!  I stumbled upon their secret on their website.  It has been brewed with barley and the gluten removed probably via flocculation.  Whether or not it is really gluten free and the ELISA test is accurate is debatable.  If you have hardcore Celiacs, you will want to do more research into the contents of this beer and the fact that recently ELISA testing methods have been questioned as to whether or not they are 100% effective.   For me, this is a great alternative as I don't think that I have full blown Celiacs.  I haven't been tested as I haven't had medical benefits for a while.  But it's nice to know that gluten can be mostly flocculated out with natural additives that are also used for clearing up your beer.  I'm pretty sure that they are natural.  Don't quote me on that.

Beer Advocate has this listed under American Pale Ale which is a generic term, almost, for and English Pale Ale that has been experimented with in many ways, but mostly in the realm of NW hops making it a, sort of, mild IPA.  That is pretty much how I would describe this beer.  I do not use the term beer loosely for this one as it actually tastes like beer!  It's delicious!  One thing of note, it's a crimp top bottle and perfect for homebrewing!

The beer pours a coppery amber color and is crystal clear with an off-white thin head that fades to a ring and a tiny Friar Tuck type center cap.  After a while it starts to fade, but while doing so during the drink it leaves a little bit of lacing.

The aroma is an extremely pleasant and balance mix of floral west coast hops with a bit of caramel malt sweetness and the tiniest aroma of citrus.  It's quite nice.

This beer is an APA.  It starts off a little flat with a hop bite and as it moves across the tongue the malt sweetness comes through while the citrusy hoppy flavor stays along for the ride.  The finish is a little flat and dry with a little bit of black pepper, but it's pretty well balanced. 

As for mouthfeel and body, well, the body is a little light.  If you put it side by side with your avarage APA you'd think it was a little watery.  It is, however, mildly sweet balanced with hops and is a great alternative for gluten intolerants like me.  I hate to use the word "Glutards" as it grates on my soul to think that most people think this is all in our heads and we should just "man up" and eat pizza.  Can I hear an "AMEN" from all the Glutards?  How many think you are crazy too?  Has the term "bitch-slap" ever crossed your mind in relation to such folks?  Anyway, this is great.  The carbonation is moderate and not too lively.

Overall, I'd say that this is the best Gluten Free that I have had, BUT is it really gluten free?  That is the question.  It is more like a modifed American Pale Ale.  If judging by APA standards, I'd say that it was watery.  That is not always a bad thing because it makes the beer sessionable.  Will I seek this beer out again, HAYLE yes!  In the gluten free realm, this beer scores overall 4.25, or better, out of 5.  In the APA world, 3.6 or so.

Hey, get out there and enjoy real beer.  Life is too short to f@ck around with pee water (unless, camping, etc... but even now, there are great beers in cans for that other than pee water).  Live it, love it, drink it.  Craft Beer.


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