Category Archives: Beverages

Omission’s Roots

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 6.27.19 PM

It’s no surprise that we’re fond of Omission beer, Portland’s own gluten-free beer.

Here’s a little behind-the-scenes video that shows a bit about the making of the beer, the story behind it, and the process. This video was made before the addition of their awesome IPA. I love the fact that the Widmer CEO has Celiac.

New Ciders from Square Mile

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 2.17.45 PM
Some tasty-looking new ciders from Square Mile Cider Co, out of the Portland area. The Spur and Vine variety adds fresh hops to the mix, so your cider can feel at home next to the hoppy beers of your friends. Have you tried Square Mile Cider? Let us know if you have!

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 2.17.52 PM Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 2.18.00 PM

FDA FINALLY Rules on Gluten Free Labeling

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 8.10.05 PM

Call it bureaucracy in action, but a mere nine years after they were told to rule, the FDA finally laid down some rules on gluten-free labeling.  Officially, 20 parts per million and under of gluten will be allowed to be labeled as “gluten-free”. Up until now, it has been entirely voluntary and left to marketers to spin as they see fit.

Via National Geographic:

The regulation comes almost a decade after the FDA began requiring food packaging to list wheat and other major allergens under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004.

“Many people think that developing a labeling rule is an easy thing to do, but a lot goes into it,” says Felicia Billingslea, the FDA’s director of food labeling and standards. Years were devoted to researching a safe threshold for consumers with celiac disease. “We have a standard definition now, and it’s consistent internationally with Canada and the E.U.”

The rules also ensure that companies can’t label products “gluten-free” if they could be cross-contaminated by other foods processed at the same facility. Manufacturers have until August 5, 2014, to comply.

Sprouted wheat, as seen by a scanning-electron microscope

Sprouted wheat, as seen by a scanning-electron microscope

Some terms on food packaging may still confuse consumers—”organic” versus “all-natural,” “cage-free” versus “free-range.” But the “gluten-free” label now stands to ease the minds of millions suffering from serious food allergies.

“My son was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008, and now I can feed him and not worry about it. It’s something every mother would hope for,” says Geller.

Omission Launching an IPA!

Omission beer is out of Portland, and we’re proud of that. Its regularly called the best gluten-free beer in the nation, if not the world. We drink it often, and even many of our gluten-drinking friends have a six pack of it in their fridges. So it’s with excitement that Omission announces their third style, an IPA. Whoo!


Their official press release:

Omission Brewing introduces GLuten-Free IPA in Oregon

India Pale Ale marks brewery’s 3rd gluten-free craft beer brewed with malted barley

PORTLAND, Ore. – March 26, 2013 – Omission Brewing Company today announced it is adding Omission India Pale Ale (Omission IPA) to its gluten-free beer lineup in Oregon. Omission Brewing is the first craft beer brand in the United States focused exclusively on brewing great-tasting craft beers with traditional beer ingredients, including malted barley, specially crafted to be gluten-free. Omission IPA hits shelves in Oregon on April 1.


“Omission IPA is the first authentic gluten-free IPA brewed with malted barley to hit the market,” said Joe Casey, Widmer Brothers Brewmaster. “This IPA is brewed in the traditional Northwest IPA style, yet is specially crafted to be gluten-free. The beer uses a generous amount of Summit and Cascade hops giving it a beautiful citrus flavor and aroma.”

“At Omission, we’re constantly innovating, and exploring new opportunities to share our love of craft beer with anyone of legal drinking age, including those with gluten sensitivities,” said Terry Michaelson, CEO, Craft Brew Alliance, and longtime celiac. “Part of that is experimenting with different beer styles that meet our rigorous gluten-free standards while staying true to our commitment to high-quality craft brewing. Omission IPA hits the mark, and we can’t wait to get it into the hands of our customers in Oregon this spring.”

Omission beers are brewed by Widmer Brothers Brewing in Portland, Ore., using an innovative brewing program to ensure that gluten levels in every batch measure well below the widely accepted CODEX gluten-free standard of 20 parts per million (ppm) for food and beverages. Every batch of Omission beer is tested by the brewery and by an independent lab, and all test results are available to consumers at Fan stories of when they first discovered Omission beers, or what they like to call their “O” Moments, are available at

Gluten-free Omission IPA:

Omission IPA is a bright, hop forward Northwest Style IPA produced in the spirit of the original IPAs shipped from the UK to India in the late 1800s. The heavy-handed use of Cascade and Summit hops give it notable pine, citrus, and grapefruit aromas and flavors. The bitterness is what you would expect of a NW IPA but this beer is balanced and smooth due to the perfect level of malt sweetness. The finish is crisp, clean, and refreshing – it’s a true IPA lover’s IPA.

About Omission IPA


  • Malts: Pale, Carmel 10°L
  • Hops: Cascade, Summit


  • IBU: 65
  • ABV: 6.7%

Omission IPA has a suggested retail price of $9.99 per six-pack and will be available in six-packs of 12-ounce bottles at the Widmer Brothers Gasthaus Pub in Portland, Ore., and at retailers, restaurants and bars throughout the state.

Review: Petunia’s Pies and Pastries

If I could conceive of my dream GF bakery it would turn out looking exactly like Petunia’s. Walking into a dedicated gluten free facility generally has a very positive effect on me (i.e. OMG I can eat anything??) but in addition to this Petunia’s has employees outfitted in handmade uniforms, a cute yet clean and sophisticated design, and I do believe I saw a jadeite mosser glass cake plate. This is my new happy place.

Me, coincidentally matching the Petunia’s color palate.

ImageA successful wholesale business raked in capitol for founder Lisa Clark, and distribution in local coffee shops gave her brand recognition and credibility in the Portland GF market. I think I can safely say that we’ve all been looking forward to this opening, and it certainly did not disappoint.

On top of the dessert treats we’ve come to love (like Millionaire bars and Mint Chocolate Brownies) there is a list of savory items including White Bean, Kale & Tomato Soup, Seasonal Green Salad and Seasonal Vegetable Cheese Tart. But Ben and I arrived early in the day Saturday and couldn’t resist testing some cookies and a double chocolate “Babycake” along with our Stumptown coffee.

The Double Chocolate “Babycake”


Ben enjoying some chocolate mint cookies!Image

It was such a great experience I decided to return later that night for a cocktail. With a special drink menu created just for Petunia’s by Aviation Gin and an adorable staff shaking them up, you can’t go wrong stopping in for a quick sip. They are pretty sweet and the bakery closes at 11pm so I wouldn’t peg this as my new watering hole, but I had a grand time sitting in a cute candlelit bakery sipping a Brandy cocktail from a coupe with my friend.

Libby sipping the Water Lily signature gin cocktail (and also coincidentally matching!)Image

The Widow’s Kiss signature brandy cocktail.Image

Petunia’s, you officially get the Gluten Free PDX stamp of approval!

The Best Hot Toddies in PDX


It’s one of our favorite cocktails, the seasonal, delicious hot toddy. The WWeek has a look at five of the best toddies in town.

Baby, it’s goddamn freezing outside. OK, maybe we don’t have it as bad as most of the country. But Portlanders only complain about the weather to justify their other favorite pastime: staying inside and warming their cores with alcohol. And no drink gets us through the mild inconvenience of the season better than a hot toddy. 

On a particularly frostbitten day, even a lukewarm toddy with lemon concentrate and Fox and Moose Whiskey is a welcome respite. What is the key to a great toddy, though? 

“The first thing people mess up is the glass itself,” says Dave Shenaut, president of the Oregon Bartenders Guild. At Raven & Rose, the new downtown gastropub he manages, Shenaut pours his toddy—made with Irish whiskey and old-fashioned bitters—in a pre-warmed, thick-sided Belgian drinking glass for maximum heat preservation. He only fills it up halfway, too. “It’s important to be able to stick your nose in there and get that hot steam,” he says.

Since it’s going to be a few months before the city warms up, we surveyed five notable toddy destinations to determine which were worthy of shoving your face in.


3967 N Mississippi Ave., 288-6272,

On a crowded weekend, Moloko is often insufferable: blacklights and fish tanks and modernist furniture, and the kind of people who enjoy such surroundings. (And don’t get me started on the restroom, situated in the middle of an always-logjammed aisle leading to the patio.) During a low-key weekday happy hour, though, when the place is practically empty, the room becomes quite comfy, and that feeling is aided by one of the city’s more satisfying toddies. Made with Evan Williams bourbon—honestly, you don’t need to go top shelf on a toddy—and served in an aquarium-sized snifter, the key is the fresh-squeezed lemon juice, giving it a unique zest to match the soothing warmth.

Price: $5.

Hot or not: Hot! It’s not especially complicated, but impressive in its simplicity.

The Bent Brick

1639 NW Marshall St., 688-1655,

At this Slabtown diner, you won’t find a hot toddy listed on the menu. Ask a bartender to make one, though, and the response is, “Oh, yeah, I’ll always make a hot toddy.” Bent Brick’s is delightfully tart, owing to its use of unripened grape juice and chamomile and Angostura bitters that hit a tangy sweet spot at the corners of your jaw without being overwhelming.

Price: $7.

Hot or not: Hot. Nothing fancy, but it does its job.

The Woodsman Tavern

4537 SE Division St., 971-373-8264,

A question immediately springs to mind whenever one orders the toddy at Duane Sorenson’s urban ski lodge: “Why are they making my drink in an 18th-century bong?” Actually, it’s a vacuum pot—otherwise known as a coffee siphon—which heats applejack, rye whiskey and maple syrup via open flame, creating a bubbling amber concoction, then sends the mixture up a glass chamber to infuse with lemon peel, lavender and other flavorings, producing what is, more or less, a cup of hot whiskey. This method has its advantages and disadvantages. On the one hand, it brings out the alcohol masked in typical toddies, which makes it not much like a toddy at all. On the other, now you don’t have to worry about accidentally swallowing
a clove.

Price: $10.

Hot or not: Hot? It mostly depends on your feelings toward having stuff floating around in your drink. Do you prefer pulp-free orange juice? Then this is probably the toddy for you.

Keep Reading About Delicious Hot Toddies: 

Omission to Cross the Border


Our neighbors to the North can soon begin enjoying one of the best gluten-free beers on the market. (Via Omission)



PORTLAND, Ore. – Jan. 3, 2013 – Craft Brew Alliance (CBA) will distribute its gluten-free Omission Beer in Canada beginning in mid-January. Launched in March 2012, Omission Beer is the first U.S. craft beer brand focused exclusively on brewing great-tasting craft beers with traditional beer ingredients, including malted barley, that are specially crafted to be gluten-free.Omission Lager and Omission Pale Ale, the first two beers in the Omission portfolio, will be introduced in British Columbia in January before moving into other Canadian markets in the coming months.

Continue reading

New Local Sponsor: Eastside Distilling

We at GlutenFreePDX work hard, but also know how to unwind. And often that means seeking out a good cocktail. Well, local distillers Eastside Distilling know a good cocktail, and their growing list of locally distilled spirits and liqueurs are testament to that. They recently became our most recent local sponsor, and we’re happy to have them supporting this site!

Eastside Distilling


Holiday Liqueurs

Enjoy the Tastes of the Season with Eastside Holiday Liqueurs!

Our limited edition Holiday Spiced Liqueur is back again this year with a cool new label design and the same incredible taste of the Holidays. This year we’ve added two more Holiday Liqueurs to the family, Peppermint Bark Liqueur and Egg Nog “Advocaat” Liqueur. A limited number of bottles are available, so come down to the distillery and pick up your Holiday spirits before they’re sold out.

Holiday Spiced Liqueur

Eastside Distilling Holiday Spiced LiqueurWe mix a special secret blend of seasonal spices like  cinnamon, cardamom, clove and allspice and infuse them in our Silver Rum at 60 proof. Then we add Hawaiian Turbinado sugar to take off the edge – the result is a very lovely and spicy liqueur – tastes just like Christmas in a bottle! You can order this spirit online for a limited time at  Vintage Wine & Spirits

Holiday Peppermint Bark Liqueur

Eastside Distilling Holiday Peppermint Bark Liqueur

Eastside Distilling’s Holiday Peppermint Bark Liqueur is made from the finest French extra brute dark cocoa chocolate, with the clean, crisp flavor of real peppermint oil. We infuse these ingredients with our 60 proof Silver Rum for a delicious Holiday Liqueur. Give it a try and you’ll find that our “Bark” compliments our “Bite.”

Holiday Egg Nog “Advocaate” Liqueur  

Eastside Distilling Holiday Egg Nog Advocaat LiqueurYou know what Egg Nog tastes like … now imagine it infused with our 60 proof Silver Rum for an out-of-the-bottle Christmas cheer like no other. Inspired by traditional Dutch and Belgian Advocaat liqueurs, we wanted to create a Holiday spirit just for ourselves. The result tasted so fantastic, we knew we had to share it!

Making Gluten Free Dinners for Your Non GF Friends

Dennis Yermoshin for The New York Times

WHEATLESS Hazelnut cheesecake with salted caramel glaze.

The New York Times has a nice little story about sharing your gluten-free meals with your non gluten-free friends. There is some insight here into how to ‘market’ your dishes, or ways to get friends to love your food, gluten-free or not.

Continue reading

Parts Per Million: How Gluten-Free is “Gluten Free”?

What is “Parts Per Million”, and what does it mean when it comes to food? Certainly a contentious point, and one with differing opinions, the notion that people on a strict gluten-free diet can ingest some parts-per-million of gluten is confusing. We’ll try to help you sort things out, or at least start a new discussion.
The definition of Parts Per Million is:
One part per million (ppm) denotes one part per 1,000,000 parts, one part in 106, 1/1,000,000 * 100% = 0.0001% (or 1% = 10,000 ppm), and a value of 1 × 10−6. This is equivalent to one drop of water diluted into 50 liters (roughly the fuel tank capacity of a compact car) or about 32 seconds out of a year.
How this comes into play in the food world is a bit less technical sounding, but just as relevant. As the FDA has hinted toward guidelines but not given them outright, food and beverage producers are taking rules into their own hands.
Here is an article from that talks about PPM in the gluten-free beer world:

Gluten-free Glutton: What’s really gluten free?

Is it possible for your food to be gluten-free and still have gluten in it?

Actually, yes, by definition.

It was nearly a year ago that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued proposed guidelines for labeling foods as gluten free. Those guidelines say food manufacturers can call their products gluten free if they contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. That means your gluten-free food can technically contain bits of gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. The guidelines haven’t been finalized by the FDA, which shouldn’t be a surprise because the agency first submitted them in 2007 and never acted on the proposal before reviving it in 2011. All reports say the FDA is expected to finally make it official sometime this year.

But for those of us with celiac disease (an intolerance to gluten), we have to wonder about this proposal. We are told that we can’t ingest any gluten because if you have this affliction, gluten causes damage to your small intestine. So if our “gluten-free” meal has 19 parts per million of gluten, is that really safe?

I don’t worry about that a lot because I generally don’t get sick if I eat a small amount of gluten. I avoid gluten because I know that it is damaging my intestine and will cause long-term health issues. But I’ve met a lot of other celiacs who tell me they do get sick and feel it immediately when they ingest gluten, and they are very careful to avoid any particles.

So when the FDA guidelines came out last year, I put this question to one of the leading researchers on the disease, Stefano Guandalini of the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center. He assured me that “there is good, solid science” behind the safety of the 20 ppm standard. He also pointed out that the standard has already been adopted in Europe.

He said studies have shown that celiacs can consume up to 10 milligrams per day of gluten without causing damage, or about 1.1 pounds of food that contain 20 ppm of gluten.

With that reassurance, I was interested to read recently about a new beer produced by a brewery in Oregon. The beer is called Omission and it claims to be the first gluten-free beer in the U.S. that is brewed with traditional beer ingredients, including malted barley.

The other gluten-free beers on the market are brewed from sorghum or some other gluten-free grain as a substitute for barley. Depending on who you talk to, those beers have varying levels of success replicating the taste of regular beer. Omission’s beer promises to be more like regular beer because it uses traditional beer ingredients.

Omission, produced by Widmer Brothers Brewing in Portland, says it has a “proprietary brewing process” that reduces the level of gluten below the 20 ppm standard while still using barley.

The company also says that every batch is tested by an independent lab to ensure that the beer meets the FDA’s proposed gluten-free standard.



What do you think? Should limits for gluten be set at Zero PPM, or is that impossibly, unrealistically low? Have you been contaminated with gluten-free foods that claim to be in the very low-range of PPM gluten? We’d like to know!

Here is another good resource on the Parts Per Million issue, from Ultimate Gluten Free: