Finding alcoholic beverages that are travel friendly is sometimes a challenge for a celiac or gluten intolerant person. Although I usually bring a bottle of wine to parties, it's often drunk by others too and then when it's gone I'm out of luck. A beer run just isn't the same when you hand over ten bucks and ask for a bottle of pinot grigio. Even going out to bars can be a bummer when the only "specials" are $2 PBRs and I'm stuck paying $8 for a rum and coke.
A couple exciting months ago when the Bulls and Hawks were in the playoffs, a friend of mine won a happy hour party at a sports bar. Despite the fact that he knows nothing about any sport, nor does he care, we all went for the free drinks and adrenaline rush brought on the games. How upset was I when I learned that the only drinks for free were Bud Light drafts. Yeah...not gonna work.
Being a happy hour party, we earned some pretty good drink specials as well. While I'm sippin' my gin & juice (just kidding) I noticed Alexandra (my celiac cohort) drinking what appears to be a draft beer! *Gasp* She informs me that it's Woodchuck Cider and that cider is safe for celiacs. I'm shocked! Where have I been? Why had I not known this? More importantly, she didn't she tell me sooner?!
Well what's done is done. I visited Woodchuck's website and found that it really truly is gluten free! They claim:
Green Mountain Beverage has received numerous inquiries asking if Woodchuck Draft Ciders contain gluten. Due to these requests Green Mountain Beverage had each of the Woodchuck Draft Cider styles tested by ABC Research Corp., Gainesville, FL. We have received the analytical results confirming that all Woodchuck Draft Cider styles are naturally gluten free! (Amber, Dark & Dry 802, Granny Smith, Pear, and Raspberry).How exciting! Last night found me heading out to Millenium Park to meet up with friends for some free music and great times. I proudly toted my sixer of Woodchuck in my little White Sox cooler, happy that I didn't have to mess with corkscrews, cups, and the like. (Although I am a fan of the mini bottles of wine as well as wine juice boxes!) The cider was delicious! Cold, crisp, and nice and smooth. Perfect for a cool summer night! I'm glad to have another option available as far as alcohol is concerned. I feel safe drinking it, seeing that I had no "celiac symptoms" afterwards.
The box even states that it's naturally gluten free!