Stunned, the fear-soaked crowd slowly slid backward from the beautiful woman, her eyes bulging, stomach bloating before them. All ready to scream in terror when her midsection explodes. A scene from “Aliens?” Nope. A scene in a local tavern that could be titled, “Attack of the Glutens!”
Grain is good… unless it’s poisonous to you. Duh. I have no idea how many of my listeners have celiac disease or are intolerant to gluten. We get a lot of emails every time we mention it. Since gluten intolerance is currently considered to be the most under-researched illness in America, experts are unsure how many people are affected. Estimates are that 1 in 3 of us are sensitive to the grains used in everyday foods and beer. Only 1 in 80 are diagnosed, usually after they get the full bore gut-wrenching pain from this protein in wheat, barley and rye. What’s a beer lover to do?
Answer: Taste-test gluten free beer!
Our friends Nathalie & Gretchen, sensitive to gluten, joined us on 1150AM WDEL last month to taste the latest gluten-free beer, “Tweason’ale,” by Dogfish Head, one of our favorite brewers. Both have tried Red Bridge, which Nathalie considers to be “an interesting beverage approximating a beer-like substance.” Gretchen nodded in agreement as they both enjoy beer and have pleased their pallets with many varieties… and then double over in pain. Their critique of Tweason’ale was the same as all the Thirsty friends: It’s more like a lambic with a pleasant strawberry flavor, not too effervescent and an oddly sour finish from the bottle that does not exist in a glass pulled from the keg. Dogfish Head uses fresh strawberries and sorghum, which Gina said is the third most popular cereal crop grown in America. Sure it is. You see it all the time at ACME, don’t you? Sorghum Crispies, Sugar Frosted Sorghum Flakes, Sorghum Chex, Honey Nuts and Sorghum, Sorghum Puffs, Count Sorghum. Yeah, right. At least it’s gluten-free.
Nathalie suggested anyone with gluten intolerance should try Greens. This British brewery specializes in “de-glutenized” barley malts. They also proudly advertise their beers as “crustacean-free.” Yeah, doesn’t it gross you out when you slurp that last bit from the bottle only to see a lobster in the bottom? In addition to the usual pilsner and light ale, Greens offers a brown ale and dark ale that many beer lovers say is as good as any in those styles. Maybe Killians can brew a red lobster ale.
Today’s column was inspired by a Samuel Adams Holiday Porter and a lobster.
Don’t stay thirsty, my friends, Slake It!