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United Corpuscular Appeal

Say hello to little "Mikey"...

Some years ago, "Mikey" was diagnosed with Celiac Sprue. Yes, "Mikey" was born a celiac and there is no cure.

Despite what many think, Celiac Sprue is not a wheat allergy; it is an autoimmune disease. Briefly, when "Mikey" eats anything that has wheat, rye, barley (and some say oats) in it, his gut attacks itself. The culprit in those grains is a substance known as gluten. "Mikey's" body hates gluten and has a conniption fit whenever "Mikey" eats any. In fact, his body gets way passive-aggressive about it.

See, the lining of a normal bowel is sort of like an accordion:

These crinkles in the lining of the bowel increase its surface area and that increased surface area helps people better absorb nutrients from their food. When "Mikey" eats anything with gluten in it, his body flips out and for some reason totally incomprehensible to "Mikey", his body attacks the "accordion" and flattens it out smooth as ice.

Flattening out the accordion means "Mikey" doesn't have enough surface area in the lining of his gut to properly absorb nutrients. His only hope is to avoid ingesting anything that has any gluten in it.

"Mikey" hates that he can't have French bread anymore, but he can cope. He's not a complete loser. But what he really misses is beer. See, beer has gluten in it from the barley. "Mikey" never really drank that much beer before, but every once in a while a tasty brew really hit the spot. These days, it's been so long, it about kills him he can't have a beer.

But then over this last weekend, "Mikey" discovered a web page for Bard's Tale Beer. The two guys who created it are celiacs, too. Just like "Mikey"! They, too, used to like a beer now and again, and hated that they couldn't have one anymore, so pretty soon they got off their gluten-intolerant asses and invented one -- a "golden sorghum lager". Sorghum is an ancient grain that has the happy quality of not having any of that bad old gluten in it.

"Mikey" was overjoyed and searched for Bard's Tale Beer in the city where he lived. It turns out there are only two places, one retail outlet (Bierkraft in Brooklyn) and one restaurant (Risotteria in Manhattan) that carry Bard's Tale. Out of one whole city with eight million stinkin' people in it, only two places carry this particular beer.

Well, anyway, "Mikey" was not deterred. Yesterday he journeyed to Bierkraft, but when he got there they told him they were out of Bard's Tale Beer. "Mikey" was brave.

Then, tonight after work, he stopped by Risotteria to see if they had any. They did! "Mikey" didn't exactly weep with joy, but he did have two of his new Special Beers. The first beer he'd had in years.

And here's the thing... they actually looked and, more important, actually tasted like real beer!! Good beer, even!! "Mikey" was psyched! For the first time in god knows how many years, he walked home with that pleasant beer buzz he'd forgotten even existed.

If only "Mikey" could find his Special Beer more places...

How You Can Help

  • Go to Bard's Beer "availability page", find an outlet in your area, then go there and buy some of their gluten-free beer. See, they don't even have a distributor so they really need people to start asking for it. The more retail outlets and bars and restaurants that have people asking for it, the better chance little "Mikey" will have of being able to buy it in his area!
  • Ask your local bar and beer specialty shop to start carrying it. Tell them a big honking lie if you have to. Tell them you can only drink that beer cuz you are a celiac. Make crap up. Who cares? It's not like you're lying about yellow cake uranium or anything. Make them feel sorry for you. Pretend you are a gimp like little "Mikey". Make them feel bad if they won't carry "your" beer. So what if you have to tell your bartender one teeny little lie. You think that's the first lie he's ever been told? He's an effing bartender, fer chrissake. And anyway, it's really good beer! Honest! You'll probably even like it!
  • They even have a letter you can give your beer shop or bartender asking them to carry it! You hardly have to lie to them at all! Just give them the letter! Or, if you are a total wimp, they have another letter where you don't even have to pretend you're a gimp like me. Er, I mean, like little "Mikey".

Heh... "Like it..."

Actually... frankly... little "Mikey" doesn't give a crap if you "like" the beer or not. You think maybe "Mikey" would have "liked" it if he could have had even one stinkin' beer over the last few years? Meanwhile, the whole time you were tipping them back like there was no tomorrow. Think little "Mikey" liked that?

Please. Join the United Corpuscular Appeal. Only you can help little "Mikey".

And after all, he's such a pathetic crip, you might even feel good about doing this one crappy little thing for him. I doubt it, but you might.


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There's a local Quebec celiac microbrew too, I once bought it b/y/ m/i/s/t/a/k/e/ because I liked the label, (which is the only reason I buy beer anyway, as I don't like beer). Actually Emmet, (who is the person who drinks the beer I buy because I like the labels, )liked it perfectly well. I'll check the name next time I'm in the market.

Yay! Yes, please do check the name next time you get a chance. Now that he knows these things are apparently out there, Little "Mikey" is getting very interested in tracking them down.

When I was over at Bierkraft, they suggested I try another gluten-free beer they had. It's made with "molasses, hops, honey & Passover yeast". It's OK. It does in an extreme pinch, but it's too sweet for me. The Bard's Tale is much better.

I don't have a lead on any nice gluten-free beer, but I have another friend with celiac sprue, and yet another who bakes gluten-free stuff for him all the time. If you're interested I could try to get some recipes from her. Her wheat-free cookies are the best thing in the universe.

Also, have you considered brewing your own? Not that hard, I'm led to understand, and you'd have complete control over the ingredients.


I do some gluten-free baking myself. The bread's not bad. Great for sandwiches and toast. They make store-bought GF bread but I've never tried any that wasn't pretty awful. The store-bought pancake mixes are pretty good. There's just a slight "grit" to them from the rice flour, I guess. I tell my guests it puts grit on their chest. One time I made a really good German chocolate cake, which everybody was really impressed with except for one grouchy asshole who clearly doesn't want gimps like me to ... well, no use going into that. My next project will be French bread which I miss desperately. I don't have real high hopes, but maybe.

I'm not sure I have room in my little nest for brewing my own beer. I have a friend who's his own brewmaster -- well, he used to be -- and he suggested the same thing. We did a little puzzling through of how you'd do it GF one night. So, maybe. I dunno. If I had tons of room I think I might look into it a bit more.

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