Tuesday, March 20, 2012

No wheat, no barley, no beer? Part 1

The Problem:


Skye: As we have been getting around and exploring the room of beer culture, history, and enjoyment it has become more and more clear that beer is a personal thing. People enjoy it differently, both in types, how and where they drink it, and their expectations from it.


For folks that suffer from celiac disease though any enjoyment of beer is a hard sell.  Being allergic to wheat, barley, and other grains can put a real damper on enjoying a beverage that revels in them,


Here is what the Mayo Clinic says about it:


This would not be an
enjoyable way through life
(Original here)
"Celiac (SEE-lee-ak) disease is a digestive condition triggered by consumption of the protein gluten, which is primarily found in bread, pasta, cookies, pizza crust and many other foods containing wheat, barley or rye. People with celiac disease who eat foods containing gluten experience an immune reaction in their small intestines, causing damage to the inner surface of the small intestine and an inability to absorb certain nutrients."


Rudy: I am stilled amazed at how many people have developed allergies to food. It seems we can not go a day in the kitchen without having a customer relate to a server that they have a food allergy, (celiac disease). Over the last 30 odd years I have worked in many types and styles of restaurants; one of the major concerns has always been food allergies. Gluten allergies are the worst, for many reasons. We tend to use gluten in everything; pasta, thickeners, breads, pastry’s, cereals and the list goes on.


Wikipedia describes gluten as:
"Gluten (from Latin gluten, "glue") is a protein composite found in foods processed from wheat and related grain species, including barley and rye. It gives elasticity to dough, helping it to rise and to keep its shape, and often giving the final product a chewy texture."


Now that we have a background on “Gluten free” we can finally discuss the real reasons why we are writing this article. Today's brewers are imaginative and creative to say the least and the pure genius of creating diverse beer is remarkable, but to create beer for everyone is a gift worth celebrating (and consuming.) We here at JGF are going to explore some gluten-free beers and look for an answer to the question, "Are they worthwhile?" 


If you have any recommendation let us know in the comments. Stay tuned because on Thursday we will let you know what we found out!

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