New Grist at the Whistler Beer Festival


Today I went to the Whistler Beer Festival. I biked up around noon, and was looking forward to trying the three… yes, three Gluten-Free beers that were available, and taking home a free souvenir mug. Of course I have already tried the Glutenberg and New Grist, so I was not expecting much in terms of surprises.

When I rode up on my bike and saw the crappy plastic souvenir mug, and heard the obnoxious accordion music, I just said “fuck it… I have better things to do.” I went for a rip on some of the trails on my bike and had my own beer festival at home.

Such is my new attitude when choosing health over awesome beer!

New Grist

Somewhere in Wisconsin this beer with the funny name is made, and somehow, is the most accessible easy-drinking Gluten-free beer in the world.

It is not organic, which is too bad. But up until a few weeks ago, this has been in my fridge every day for the past month… Next to the Bards and Schniter Brau.

It has a straw colour, and a lively but short-lived head, with a mild yeast aroma.

It is mild tasting with a slight citrus flavour, and no real aftertaste. It easily replaces a hefeweizen on a beautiful summer day like today.


The New Purpose

August 9, 2014.

No, sensitivity is not a cute name for a beer. The reason I started writing about beer a number of years ago was that I could not stand beer with additives or preservatives. I would research to find those beers with no chemical additives because these chemicals would make me sick. Really sick.

Personally, I couldn’t see any excuse for any brewer to add artificial preservatives, just like I do not understand how they could use GMO grains, and why they would not at least try to use organic ingredients.

Now I have a much greater understanding of how I have multiple chemical sensitivities that make me less able to consume certain chemical additives. About a year ago I started noticing eczema on my hands when they came in contact with certain chemicals. It also got worse if they came in contact with white flour. Eventually, after a diet eliminating gluten, the eczema almost disappeared.

In addition to this, my body shape changed, and despite not losing any weight, my waist size reduced from 34 to 31 inches. As it turns out, there was a high degree of inflammation occurring in my body, especially my abdomen, because I was sensitive to gluten-containing foods.

Strangely, the eczema would re-appear if my skin came in contact with certain substances like some kinds of soap, and household cleaners. The worst was actually white vinegar. Although white vinegar technially contains no gluten, it is made from gluten-containing grains, and even the trace of gluten (less than 10 ppm) causes an instant rash and breaking of my skin.

That’s pretty great, isn’t it.

So I switched to rice vinegar. I use soap that is made using no gluten-containing ingredients.

Then, last, I gave up beer. Never again!

I even switched to wine for a while. As it turns out, the sulphites in wine give me a headache, if I have more than one glass. That’s no fun!

Now, thankfully, there are a handful of brews made from gluten-free ingredients.

Initially I was embarked on a journey to find preservative-free organic beer. This is a significant fork in the road. My journey is now to find organic, non-gmo lagers, ales, etc, made from alternative grains…

Wish Me Luck

Kosciuszco Brewing Pale Ale

The flight home to Vancouver from Perth is about as long as it gets, a minimum of 24 hours of travel time. It was nice to break up the journey with a stop for the evening in Sydney. We stayed at a hotel that overlooked the runway. I downloaded an app called LiveATC that allows me to listen to the air traffic control for just about any airport. We could listen to the controllers greet each plane with a “g’day” and then watch them land.

Adding to the thrill was an app called FlightRadar24 that allows you to see all the planes’ positions on a map in real time, complete with actual photographs and details about the flight.

It was really fun watching the planes with my son.

For dinner we went to a restaurant called the Terrace Bar and Brasserie at the Sydney International Terminal.

First of 2014

I ordered a Kosciuszco Brewing Pale Ale on tap. I noticed that they had no beer prices posted anywhere on the menu or chalk board. I wasn’t born yesterday, so I know that this usually means that they are going to charge me double if they know I am foreign. All I have to do now is speak with a perfect Australian accent, and figure out how to pronounce “Kosciuszco.”

Incidentally, this is the highest peak in Australia. Nobody knows this, because nobody gives a shit about this mountain, as it is not even as high as Grouse Mountain.
I ordered a “Ko-SHOO-sco”. I also asked the bartender where it was from.

The barkeep, a true blue Aussie of what looked like aboriginal descent said “it’s the highest peak in Australia mate!”

Bringing the drinks back to the table I explained to my wife that I was drinking a “KoSHOOsco” and it was named after the highest peak in Australia.

It’s “Kozzy-OS-co” she said.

And that’s why these pints cost $15 each!

This beer has a summery and fruity aroma, is full bodied and had a good head.

3/5 G1-2