So let me first answer the question:
Wait-barley free means no beer . . . Right?
This is the first thing people ask me when they find out about my allergy. It was hard news for my ex-bartender boyfriend (now husband) from the micro-brewing region of Oregon. Suddenly I could no longer enjoy a dark cold brew with him at a local pub.
When we go out to pubs now I am lucky if they serve hard cider. (My favorite by the way is Woodchuck) because sometimes wine just doesn’t pair as well with pub food. Fortunately the gluten-free fad has grown like a wildfire.
Unfortunately many gluten-free beers taste like the cheap light stuff you might encounter at a college party.
One of the only gluten-free beers I have liked was at the Deschutes Brewery and Public House in Portland. We went there on our honeymoon and they have an amazing gluten-free menu (trust me and check it out!)
But getting that beer across the country is a little tough. The only other options widely available are Redbridge (Budwieser and I don’t like there regular beer so . .. yea) or Omission.
On our honeymoon we also went to the Windmer Bros. Gasthaus Pub because they listed two gluten-free beers (called Omission) and a gluten-free menu (the buffalo wings were pretty good). When they brought my beer to the table I read the label-it had barley in it! See they played with the chemicals and came up a low gluten beer so it will not upset the stomach of someone with celliac’s disease.
So now what? Well I do have some half decent gluten-free beers at our local grocery store (all ambers) or . . . someone can start a new hobby (now I’m getting to the birthday part)
My allergy is actually a good excuse for Luke to start a hobby one of his best friends had been doing for years: home brewing. So two Christmas’ ago Luke got a beer-making kit with plans to make homemade barley-free porters and stouts. But with a wedding, new job, and moving Luke hasn’t started up home brewing. . . yet.
Here we are: A chemistry lesson for a Birthday present:
So I took Luke for his birthday to Rohrbachs brewery and taproom in Rochester NY hoping it might help jumpstart his creativity. We started our tour watching a video explaning the history of the brewery meanwhile Luke enjoying a few samples on tap (5 bucks for tour and 6 samples 🙂 ).
Then we were taken back to the brewery. The tour was a full on chemistry lesson! I followed along as they explained the steps for making different beers the best I could, after the 5th step my mind began to drift-but not Luke. He was fully engaged-raising his hand as if back in chemistry class to ask specific questions. It was informal, informative, and best of all Luke loved it.
We then took some time to drive (I drove) around finding where the science museum, parks, auditoriums, observatory etc. were since it was our first time downtown.
After we went to Rohrbach’s brewpub across town for dinner.
We ordered off their traditional German Menu : Luke ate the sample plate of juicy sausages and sauerkraut while I had crispy potato pancakes with applesauce (can you say yum!). To drink I ordered their homemade root-beer. It was dark delicious dessert in a cup and amazingly I could taste the sasporilla!
And Luke, well he got another sampler of beer, this time of their speciality dark brews only on tap at their microbrewery.
Hopefully now that Luke has been inspired, the home-brewing will start soon . Don’t worry I’ll fill you as we go along.
11 thoughts on “Wait-barley free means no beer . . . Right? aka A Chemistry lesson for a Birthday present”
I was never a beer drinker so this wasn’t too tough a transition for me! Have you ever tried Angry Orchard cider? Particularly the ginger one (you can’t taste the ginger too much though). I always used to drink Woodchuck but now am totally obsessed with Angry Orchard.
Hi Amanda! I do like Angry Orchard -in fact it was served at my wedding! I prefer Woodchuck because Angry Orchard is usually 200 calories per bottle versus Woodchuck which ranges from 150-180 (depending on which flavor you get). I found that Woodchuck’s 802 has a burnt/caramelized taste that reminds me of beer. I been reading up on your blog too-good stuff! 🙂 Thanks for the comment!
Thanks for the tip on the brew pubs in Portland ;>) Great to be a part of Luke’s birthday…loved the pics. Glad to see he plans to use his Christmas present soon.
My cousin was really sweet and made some sorghum beer for me, because he does a lot of micro brewing.
Thats awesome! How dark was the beer? I know that sorghum is the main replacement grain for barley in gluten-free beers.
Um, pretty dark? I`m not actually an expert or anything, I just appreciated the gesture.
Lol I understand and definitely understand appreciating the gesture I’m finding that gluten-free beer is a fun new challenge for many microbrewers 🙂