Sunday, May 30, 2010

It's All In The Grist Movement

The two day dry stone wall workshop in Bethany Ontario is turning out to be a unique experience. We had our first day of hands-on glutten free-walling on Saturday.

The meals were scrumptious and completely gluttenless ( though we nearly made gluttens of ourselves) and there was even glutten free beer !

Our host is a celiac and informed me about the condition. Celiac is an inherited trait, like blue eyes, or curly hair. Since it is a recessive inherited trait, both parents of a person with celiac may not have the disease, but are carriers. It is also more prevalent in Scotch-Irish people, red heads and fair complexions. Celiac is not an allergy to wheat or gluten, but an autoimmune disorder. This means that the body attacks itself when gluten is consumed. As an autoimmune disorder, the only treatment is to avoid all products that contain gluten.

I looked it up on the internet.There are many people that inherit the trait for celiac, but it also requires a trigger, such as massive consumption of gluten, stress, or viral infection, for celiac to become an active disease. It can begin as early as infancy, and as late as adulthood.
Gluten is part of the elastic, rubbery protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. It binds the dough in baking and prevents crumbling. Gluten can be found in breads, cakes, pastries, cookies, biscuits, crackers, battered foods, cereals, snack foods, pastas and pizza and yes beer.

Pretty much all beers, ales, and lagers contain gluten. Those insideous grains are just so excellent at creating beer that about 99% of all beers on the market contain gluten.

New Grist Beer is our host's 'glutenless' beer of choice. It appears as a pale golden liquid with a traditional cap of snowy white. Light hop aromas of mint and wet hay awaken your olfactory senses, while complex sorghum flavors, reminiscent of saki, glisten over your tongue. A medium mouthful finishes clean, leaving you refreshed and all ready to go out again and move some grist-mill-sized stones into the wall.


  1. A great description for a condition often brushed off as an inconvenience. I'm intrigued that you can tie it into the stone wall experience! There's nothing better after a day of working with stone in the sun - than a beer.

  2. Sounds like something that a good concrete contractor would do.

  3. You're writing here is very good John.
    Funny how similar sounding are the descriptions of wine and beer are to perfume.