Beer-ish things for the gluten-free

January 18, 2013

I like beer.

Preferably a super hoppy Surly Furious. Straight out of the can is fine.

When I was a kid, my pediatrician pronounced me wheat and dairy allergic. Today most of the world is either wheat or dairy allergic, but at the time I was just a strange hippie child with a pint-sized soy milk for lunch, and a sandwich made on spelt bread. It was so not cool.

Needless to say, when I was in college and could decide what I was going to eat for myself, I ate everything. My vegan days were behind me (yes, I tried that too), and I threw myself into typical college fair- ice cream, pizza, bagels, and eventually beer. You can eat most things when you're in your 20's, and it takes a while to catch up to you.

It caught up to me. As a restaurant server, I'm annoyed by my own gluten intolerance. I serve people who won't eat gluten for their entree, but then want it for dessert. The hype behind gluten is amazing- much as I realize the truth that many people just don't digest it well. As a 30-year-old, I recognize that I only get one body, and should commit to taking better care of it. Who wants to be tired and bloated and congested most of the time?

Since Hashimoto's thyroiditis runs in my family- and affects my Mom and both sisters- they also avoid  gluten. They are much better about sticking to a gluten-free diet than I am because they truly get the health implications. My older sister Lisa avoids grains all together and is raising my niece Paleo. But, she's never been as attached to a good micro-brew as I am. My little sister Katie (hardly little, as the other four Holway siblings are actually very tall) is another story. She's engaged to a man who loves to brew beer.

Enter Widmer's Omission. It's the only gluten-free beer I've had that tastes like beer. They make an pale ale and a lager (I've only had the pale ale- my preferred kind of beer), and it's delicious. More and more restaurants around town are serving it. No, it's not Surly. But, it tastes like a darn good beer, and that's something to celebrate.

Sister Katie's 22nd birthday is next week, and I think I know what I'm mailing to Michigan's Upper Peninsula...

{Another good beer substitute for the gluten-free is Crispin's Browns Lane English dry cider. It's one of the few ciders that doesn't taste super syrupy.}


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