A note about the headline: a more accurate description would be “beers released in the last couple months, which might count as recent in the minds of certain procrastinators, but possibly not to everyone.” But my editor tends to disapprove of headlines that are longer than a David Foster Wallace footnote, so we’ll just go with “recent.”
I tried Omission, a gluten-free beer from Widmer Brothers in Oregon, a couple weeks ago at their release party at Fatpour Tap Works. I’d done a little research (i.e., googling) in advance, and most of what I found praised the brew for actually tasting like beer. Not being gluten intolerant myself, I haven’t tried other gluten-free beers, but I can confirm that the two Omission offerings do, in fact, taste like beer. Not particularly exciting ones—the lager is light and inoffensive; the pale ale is a little hoppier but also fairly mild—but definitely beer that I wouldn’t object to drinking if it were handed to me at a party. Omission seems to be one of the only gluten-free beers brewed with barley (if not the only one); the gluten is then removed through a supersecret “proprietary process” until it’s well under 20 parts per million. It’s $10.99 a six-pack at Binny’s, which I’d probably pay happily if I were gluten intolerant—since I’m not, though, I want a little more flavor for that price.