Well That Sucked (And Yet…It Didn't)

brewpub celiac

How can a night be so delightful yet so sucky?

It’s simple.

I have celiac disease.

Yesterday was Mrs. Dude’s birthday and we wanted to do something different.

As much as we love our favorite sushi restaurant, going to the same place time after time can get stale.

And frankly, it’s not fair to our friends to always go to the same restaurant all the time either, even though my friends are unbelievably understanding about it

gluten beer sampler
A beer sampler from hell

So last night we ventured out with David Z (the inspiration behind the newΒ James Bond Lifestyle website) and his lovely wife Dani.

They have good friends who recently opened a brewpub called Vault.

(If you are ever in the Bucks County PA area, do not pass up the opportunity to go to Vault. One of the coolest establishments I’ve ever been to.)

Being that it’s a brewpub, I knew I was in for a bit of a tough evening.

As mentioned previously, pre-celiac days I was a beer snob.

And there is nothing better for a beer snob than going to a place that brews their own beer.

Oh my…the aroma…the atmosphere…the vibe…the BEER!


this sucks
Enjoying the pleasures of life...that I can't

I ate before we went out, I figured I’d have a glass of wine or two and it’d be cool.

And it was cool. And a great night.

But it was not easy.

The beers looked and smelled amazing.

The food…sinful.

And for the first time in a long time, it got to me a bit.

The exclusion…the resentment…the anger.

I really missed being normal…even just for one night.

I can sum up the evening as follows…

At the end of the night, one of the owners came over to the table. He looked at me and said “Wine??” (as in why am I having wine and not one of his amazing beers.)

My friends said I had celiac disease.

He had a look of puzzlement for a moment and then said “Oh…he’s gluten-free?”

Then he put his hand on my shoulder, looked at me like I just told him I was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and simply said “I’m so sorry.”

That makes two of us.

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33 thoughts on “Well That Sucked (And Yet…It Didn't)”

  1. I know that feeling!!! When I was first told that I may have celiac the first thing I googled was gluten free beer!!! A few weeks ago my old college roommate came up for a viist. I told him I was diagnosed with celiac and then I had to explain what that meant…he almost fell over!! But we hit the pub with a few other friends. They did have some gluten free beer, I cant remember the name but it was actually pretty good. However all my friends we drinking some awesome looking pumpkin spiced ale…yes I wanted it!!!!

  2. It kind of DOES feel like we have been diagnosed with terminal cancer when we first get the news. I, like you GD, LOVE beer. The smell just makes my mouth water. My son is a beer snob as well and goes to a special place in town that makes all their own beer. He gets his “growlers”…I have no idea why they are called that, but I guess I don’t need to know!!!!!! So…each time he brings home a new flavor of beer I will sit and smell it for a minute or so…the saliva running down my chin…burning with jealously because I can’t have any of that special brew. So…sorry makes THREE of us!

    1. There is a story that suggests that growlers are named for the buckets of beer once given to long ago factory workers before their stomachs began to “growl” from hunger.

  3. Dude:
    If your friend owns it, tell him to bring in some GF Brew for ya! Of course, it won’t be brewed there but it would be something. The Blue Ox in Rockledge, PA & the Wet Whiislte in Abington, PA both have amazing beers on tap. This holiday season I am sad to miss Pumpkin Spiced Beer at the Whistle and Chocolate Stout at the Blue Ox. Two of my favs.

    aaahhh, I feel for you.

    1. Good idea Linda, but they don’t carry any bottled or keg beer. Just freshly brewed beer that’s brewed on the premises…just as a microbrew should do it. The pinot noir was exceptional though.

      1. Your making my mouth water. I used to love speciality beers and red wine.

        My Liver was shot about a year ago. Gastro Doc now suspects it was related to undiagnosed Celiac. I had to give up ALL alcohol to help it heal. I will be alcohol-free one year as of Black Friday.

        But, the good news is the last Liver scan I had showed improvement with no or minimal permanant damage.

        I still have Xanax and looking into making “magic” gluten free brownies again. hahahaha.


  4. I have also started to drink, and like the hard cider. A lot of bars have it on tap and its good to just hold a nice pint in your hand. Its also good not having to ask if they have gluten free beer.

  5. I am soooo happy that I have never loved beer anyway. Because is really a pain in the heart when you cant have something because of celiac disease. I am glad here in Brazil we can drink Caipirinhas all around and I can always join my friends when I go out, but I feel your pain when it comes to the eating part.

    But 3 things I have learned with the Celiac Disease:

    1. feel excluded and live with it
    2. feel the anger and live with it
    3. open my mouth to say FUCK YOU CELIAC DISEASE and feel good after all πŸ™‚

  6. Sorry Dude!
    I am feeling your anger today as well. Had a similar situation last night, and still feeling bitter. We’ll snap out of it!

  7. I hate it when that happens! It sucks.

    Three things I have learned:
    1. Call the restaurant before hand, ask if I can bring my own beer in.
    2. See if they can get something for all celiacs from their suppliers.
    3. Go somewhere else where I won’t be immediately set up for anger, frustration, irritation, and disappointment.

    #1 happens most often, #2 occasionally, and #3 happens a lot…


    My favorite brewpub is trying their first batch of gf beer out. I’d at least talk to the owners, especially if they’re friends of friends – they might be open to trying something new.

    1. I try not to get too caught up in the “where”. To me, it’s more about the “who” and focusing on the people I’m with. That’s what’s important in life. But yes, sometimes its tough. Thanks.

  8. Dea, great comment. Ya know if you put the FU next to the CD, it comes out FUCD. Which, if you think about it, we kinda are. I know, it is all about acceptance and embracement…yada yadayada-but sometimes like you said GD you get fed up, like warrior princess mode and all. I had one last weekend seeing the wrecking ralph movie, (kinda good actually) when my eight year old was happily munching popcorn and eating cookie dough bites. Gah! Me, next to hear taking deep breaths of popcorncookiedough air while silently chomping on my air popped corn brought from home, hidden in my hoodie. Seriously?

    I got over it. What more could i need than this precious gift right beside me.

    btw, GD, i know where that brewery is, i might need to stop and sample the chocolate cherry truffle wine…

    Jersey Girl

  9. Recently we went to a local brew pub that said on their website that they had a gluten-free menu. When I asked for it, the first thing on the menu was mussels steamed in ale, so somebody doesn’t know what they’re doing …. Ended up getting my usual “safe” order, a bunless burger. This was served with caramelized onions, which must have been deglazed with beer, because, yup… Not going back there, needless to say.

  10. Dude,

    I can’t tell you how many times I read your posts and think, “yup, thats exactly how I feel.” Thanks for writing down how we all so often feel.

  11. Boy oh boy, this hits on so many levels in so many ways. Celiac has the ability to make one feel totally alone and isolated and different and weird all the same time in an otherwise crowded noisy room full of friends. I hate that about this stupid disease.

  12. Yes I have found that I have become more anti-social since being diagnosed with CD ~ not at first – first I tried keeping up with my regular schedule of going where ever with all the tonnes of stuff and people I knew (including family events) and that wasn’t working …

    So I stepped back …

    Then I tried the hermit approach to just basically keeping at home (started a new relationship so still had family gatherings with his family all the time) and doing the odd social thing … and that wasn’t working …

    And now I am trying to balance things … trying to get back to socializing (with a bit more work and due diligence involved), spending time with friends, trying to figure out how to do the family gatherings, and live life well with this disease …

    And well that is a work in progress πŸ™‚
    I agree though I love this site GD and I love the honesty … some days this works some days it does not … but we can’t stop enjoying life and living and being with friends and family … even if that means some days we are angry.

    There are also the days where I feel blessed – to finally be able to figure out or start to – what is happening with my body, to understand my depression, to understand where all the aches and pains, the discomfort ~ where it is all coming from and why I feel this way. It’s a start and farther ahead than I was 5 years ago when I was just suffering with no idea.

    So work in progress … a work never ended but have to hang onto the moments that work! πŸ˜‰

  13. That’s just awful Dude, as I have only been diagnosed for 3 weeks I’m only starting to come a cross these things and it does make you feel left out. Think I going to hibernate for the winter and worry about it later.

  14. Happy Birthday, Mrs. Dude.

    I agree with you. I miss beer. My husband and I had our first date at our local brewery. He proposed to me there. We used to go to their pool hall and hang out. Since diagnosis, I haven’t been back. Maybe someday, but it’s going to be a while for me. I’m still in anger/healing mode.

  15. I wold have been relieved that the waiter didn’t say something stupid. As in, “oh my friend is GF and she drinks (insert brand) beer all the time without a problem.” My sister recently invited me to a party for a friend and let me know ahead of time it was going to be my “Gitmo”…..and it was. There was all kind of cake, meat trays, etc. etc. Such is my life.

  16. I am/was a beer snob. I live in Florida and was very fond of visiting a local watering hole — the World of Beer. I had 500+ different beers to my credit there! My friends and I wound up visiting every World of Beer in the state of Florida (19 at the time) just as a lark. The Beer Wives joined us for the travel/dinners and to stand in as drivers. Boom! Earlier this year, gluten allergy drops on my head out of nowhere. (Is this the way it happens?) Now, no more beer — except I see my local World of Beer stocks New Planet, which you kindly praised in another post. Maybe I can actually go back … sob. BTW, really enjoy this site.

  17. Beer Snob was the polite way of describing me. A couple of years ago I started getting these leprosy – like skin rashes. They always started in the same places, i.e. the inside, and outside portions of my calves, and then it migrated to my forearms, and then the middle of my back. The doctors gave me creams, and shots. They told me to buy new soaps, and detergents. Finally my chiropractor told me I needed to give up Gluten. I ignored her like a Jackass, and it of course got worse. When I finally caved I realized that I had been GI for a long time.
    My “arthritis ” was gone. It was debilitating
    My “IBS” was gone. It was debilitating
    My acne I had my whole life was gone.
    Gluten had been slowly killing me for a looong time.
    I am glad to see it go. I haven’t felt this good since I was a kid, and it does have its difficult moments, but I got real good at telling the naysayers to go FO. It also makes me feel better. πŸ˜†

  18. Imagine if everyone’s first (and only first) reaction was like that. It would be annoying after a while though

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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