Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Beer Me!

I cut out beer from my diet long before I realized that I was intolerant to gluten. No, it wasn’t to lose weight (although I did) but because I was having such a weird reaction to it. When I drank beer I would swell. And the swelling continued to get worse over the years.

Let’s step back to high school. Yes, I know, shocking that I indulged as a minor but I feel that to really give you the history I need to be honest. My mother would bust me the night after I drank beer because my face would swell up like a balloon. A natural reaction to beer right? I thought so. Then college came around. And yes duh, we drank beer. And my face swelled. And my tummy. I thought that was just typical from drinking beer a lot. Freshman Fifteen anyone? But I ate a healthy diet, worked out 6 days a week, and seemed to be holding a lot of bumbling bloat that I couldn't beat.

About junior year I met my husband and things REALLY took a turn. Not only was I swollen feeling/looking but also my hangovers were horrendous! I would get very sick, even if I just had a couple beers. One morning I woke up and I couldn’t even bend my fingers all the way because they were so swollen. It was time to figure out what the heck was really going on with my body.

After I talked to a friend of ours about my situation he said that I was probably allergic to it. Maybe the hops? Or the histamines? He had many friends with the same problem. His advice was to cut it out for a week or two. See how you feel.

So I did.

And I felt better. I really didn’t miss it all that much either. I could tell my body was thankful because I noticed my health improving as well as my body. I dropped all the swollen weight I had been carrying around. Things were good for a bit. Well, the whole other food side hit soon after but this is the fairy tale beer story so I am going to give you a happy ending.

I had cut out beer for a few years when I found out that I was intolerant. I heard that there was gluten free beer but I didn’t really have an interest at first. I had lost the taste for it. But, like I said, I wanted to be the guinea pig so I gave a few a go. Here are some of the ones I tried and what I thought about them:

RedBridge- Anheuser-Busch, Inc., the company that produces Budweiser, Michelob, Busch, Bass, Beck’s, Kirin, Stella Artois, Rolling Rock and a ton of other alcoholic drinks, has come out with a full-bodied gluten free beer called Redbridge. It has a very light, clear amber color with a smooth texture and a floral, sweet aroma.
This is my favorite! My husband even said he liked it better than the beer HE was drinking! That’s a huge compliment in my book because this man knows his beer. Some what of a beer snob if you will.

Bard’s Sorghum Beer- The Original Sorghum Malt Beer, sometimes known as Dragon’s Gold Lager, is an American Lager with low bitterness and a floral aroma, containing sorgum, yeast, hops, and water (no wheat, oats, rye, or barley).
This is actually the first beer I tried and I liked it! It’s a bit heavier in my opinion to the RedBridge but has a good flavor.

Daura Pilsner Lager- This beer is brewed by the Estrella Damm brewery in Barcelona. Estrella Daura is a 5.4% mainstream pilsner lager with a universal flavor and character. It is fruity and floral on the nose with a hint of sweet spices.
Hmmmm, not my favorite to be honest. I have never been a huge pilsner fan myself though so don’t let my review discourage you to try it!

These are the only three I have tried thus far. Writing about them gives me an idea for a beer tasting though!

Any takers?


  1. Hey Heidi,

    You gotta try Greens now. They produce a light, amber and double dark. I like the double dark myself. It is pricey but you only need one. Let me know what you think.

  2. How about your Allergy, are you comfortable with Gluten Free Beer ?

  3. I will most definitely try Greens! I am an amber/dark beer kind of gal. Thanks for the advice!

    @Beer Brewer: I have not had any trouble with gluten free beer thankfully. My intolerance may be not as intense as some though so I would always be careful. Those I have talked to with celiac or gluten intolerance have given me all positive feedback on it as well. Cheers!