Several weeks ago, my facebook inbox and twitter account decided for me that I would be going to the Atlanta Summer Beer Fest this year. The beer tasting celebration has become somewhat of a hallmark event since its inception in 2009, drawing Atlantans together for an afternoon of beer sipping and music when the weather has just become near-to-unbearable. This year, the event’s website featured a gluten-free list. This caught the eye of several prominent ATLiens (mainly foodies and gluten-freers) in the twitter arena, and I was delighted to be the recipient of many good vibes as my tweeting comrades related this information to me.
My relationship with cider and beer (especially beer) in my post-gluten era can pretty accurately be described as one of a tragic breakup followed by gradual disinterest and a open-armed embrace of wine to fill the void. Gluten-free beers and ciders have made a welcome appearance to Atlanta bars and restaurants recently, but more often than not, us gluten-freers that do imbibe are left to choose between wine or certain spirits but no other gluten-free alternatives (and PLEASE be very careful when treading among what you think are gluten-free liquors; most brown liquors and even some clear ones that we all assume to be have added wheat or other grains).
Come summertime and the nearly 110 degree weather that it brought to Atlanta this past weekend, and a glass of merlot has all of a sudden lost its appeal. I want beer! (And lots and lots and lots of ice water…) Unfortunately, the Beer Fest did not live up to its or my expectations, if not somewhat misplaced, and I didn’t have a single gluten-free beer. Lots of cider, and some, especially Jack’s, were quite refreshing and worth hunting down for a future Saturday night. Boasting the only gluten-free sign that I saw the whole time, Jack’s booth pretty much became my homebase for the entire evening.
But no cold, gluten-free beer. Maybe next time.
For this Fourth of July, I’ll be picking up some Redbridge. Anheuser-Busch’s gluten-free baby is one of the more ubiquitous GF beers in bars and supermarkets alike. Now that Atlanta’s weather has taken a turn for hellishly unbearable, I’m back on the beer train and very eager to hear suggestions from y’all!
Happy Fourth to everyone and fireworks, family, barbecue and ice cold beer for all! Be back soon with some new restaurant suggestions and recipes I’ll be exploring in the coming week.