There is a lot of debate about this topic right now, mainly because of the launch of Omission beer, which is made from barley and claims to process the beer so that the end product contains less than 6 ppm of gluten.
The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), which is the agency that regulates beer made from barley, has ruled that the beer cannot be labeled gluten free because there is no validated test that can prove what level of gluten the beer contains.
There are tests, but they have not yet received the endorsement of validating groups and are not accepted by regulating agencies. The TTB recently reaffirmed this position. Barley based beers are allowed to say they are crafted to remove gluten, but they must also say that some gluten protein may remain and they are not gluten free.
Confusion on this issue increased when the Celiac Support Association (CSA) gave Omission its seal of recognition. CSA says the beer falls into a new innovative category and tested to be gluten free using a cutting edge technology.
It’s not uncommon to find Omission being offered as a gluten-free or so-called gluten-safe choice in bars and restaurants. But testing experts we’ve talked to have said they are not yet ready to give the beer the OK for those who have celiac disease.