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For quite some time the Redbridge ad has been TAUNTING me from the side of the forum. I thought about using an adblocker program in my browser, simply to remove that reminder that I can't drink beer, something I used to love so much. I never drank more than a beer or two a week, a special treat, and I always, always drank good beer.

I'm just glad that I drank a Guinness in Dublin and a Belhaven in Edinburgh before discovering that I could never drink these fine creations again.

Today I stopped at Whole Foods, rare for me as it's quite out of my way.

I'd checked there for Redbridge or other gluten-free beers before, and never seen them. I almost didn't check, but something drew me that way.

As I approached the cooler, there was a small hangtang...Gluten-Free.

(picture a shaft of light on the case, and angels trumpeting)

As a 31 year old male, I felt silly when my eyes started to well up, so I pretended to stub my toe on the cheese display. As cover. In case any one was watching.

There it was.

RedBridge. I picked it up.

Studied it.

Put it back. What if tastes like Tapioca bread? Perhaps it would be better to go to my grave with fond memories of beer. I'm the kind of guy who saves a bite of my favorite part of a meal for last, so I can finish on a good note. I discovered my Celiac after a tour of the British Isles, and if those were to be the last beers I ever drank, they were fine beers to end on. Memories flooded back of all the disappointing gluten free products. The pizza crusts that taste like glue. That damn Tapioca bread. The crispy rice cereal that coated my mouth with this disgusting slimy weirdness. Quinoa pasta. Ugh. Perhaps it was best to simply not ever drink beer again rather than face disappointment.

I left it behind, and continued round the store. I stopped, and loaded up the seaweed rice crackers to which I'm addicted. And bought some Pamela's Ginger Cookies. Those things rock. Lara Bars Cashew Cookie flavor. On sale, I'm getting a bunch! And my brown rice tortillas that I enjoy, better get a few packs of those. Glutino Pretzels, yum...

Wait a second. What if Redbridge is like that? What if it's actually...you know...decent? I'd never bought rice crackers before, now I eat them daily. Could it be? Is it worth the risk? Damn. Now I'm standing in the produce section...Should I? Never before have I faced such a challenge in the grocery store. Is it worth the risk of disappointment?

Every time you ask a girl out, you face disappointment, but you do it because you hope....

I've driven hours to remote rivers, to see if there is water. Holding my breath as the river comes into view, hoping for enough water to kayak.

I used to live near the ocean, and get up pre-dawn nearly every morning to check the surf. Peering into the darkness. Hoping, but risking disapointment. It's part of life, I tell myself.

I bought the beer. I brought it home. Chilled one in the freezer as I cooked myself a chicken, bean and cheese tostada. My wife is in LA, so I was dining alone. Sat down to eat, and lifted, for the first time in 1/2 a year, a cold beer. I watched the condensation drip down the side, and with trepidation, twisted the top. TSHHHHH.....

I raised the bottle to my lips, and took a drink. ....

Not bad. Not over the top great. Nothing like some of my old favorites, but certainly in the drinkable range.

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I am glad you liked it. I went a year without a beer and was very happy to have Redbridge. They even have it at our local Outback. Nothing like a steak and a beer!

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What if tastes like Tapioca bread? Perhaps it would be better to go to my grave with fond memories of beer. I'm the kind of guy who saves a bite of my favorite part of a meal for last, so I can finish on a good note.

:D Are we related? :P

Great story--I actually couldn't wait to scroll down to see what you thought of it. I haven't had a beer in years--used to love it when I was younger. I may just have to try Redbridge now!

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Geoff...lol I hope you write for a living because if your not your wasting your talent. I felt the same about Redbridge, it something that comes very close to what I remember about beer. It still lacks something though but maybe thats good because I couldn't have one of these everyday. Before G.F. I couldn't wait to get home from work and pop open a cold one.

Gail

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love the beer .... hate the price it's $7.99 a six pack here in chicagoland.is that about right for other parts of the country??? i've actually started drinking more capt n coke lately

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Redbridge cost me 10 dollars for a six pack at a small immigrant-owned convenience store in Brooklyn. I'd never been in the store before, and the guy may have just made up the price.

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love the beer .... hate the price it's $7.99 a six pack here in chicagoland.is that about right for other parts of the country??? i've actually started drinking more capt n coke lately

That's about what I paid. I'd say compared to beer or similar quality, it's a bit spendy, but I certainly paid far, far more for a 6 pack. And given that my beer budget for the last 6 months has been $0, I wasn't too worried about it. I've never drank much beer, just really enjoyed the ones that I do.

As a ratio of Gluten free prices to normal prices, It doesn't seem out of whack. My bread, when I buy it, costs 2-2.5 times normal bread prices, and the quality sucks (compared to normal bread). So all in all I'm not too put off by the price. That's only 1-2 drinks in a bar.

Geoff

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GREAT writing Geoff........ I was so entranced as I was waiting to see if you actually bought it and then if you what you thought of it. Like others have said I hope you write more.

I do enjoy the beer also. I was about 10 years with out. $11.00 a six pack here....

Grump

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good point on the price ratio geoff. i was a HUGE beer drinker before celiac, but hell thats just one of the many things we deal with.i used to spend $7.00 for a beer at the white sox game so all in all its no that bad..

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GREAT writing Geoff........ I was so entranced as I was waiting to see if you actually bought it and then if you what you thought of it. Like others have said I hope you write more.

Thanks Grump and others. I do try and write a bit. I actually write for almost every issue of a regional outdoor magazine, and have been published in national outdoor magazines. I'd like to do more.

Geoff

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Very well written! Since going gluten-free, I've been in similar quandries at the grocery store. Takes me hours to shop sometimes. I guess the brain fog doesn't help, either.

I, too, like beer. There's no other drink like it. I've also tasted ales in the British Isles before celiac put a stop to that. And here at home...Newscastle brown ale, what I wouldn't give for another one of those.

I've yet to try Redbridge preferring instead to patronize my hometown brewery in Milwaukee, Lakefront Brewery. They make "New Grist" gluten-free beer and it's pretty good. Also 7.49 for a six pack, but that's the price we'll have to pay, I guess. Check out their website: http://lakefrontbrewery.com/ I see their ads on this site from time to time. It's available in the US. I stumbled across a website for a gluten free beer festival in England (put on by CAMRA...Campaign for Real Ale... http://www.camra.org.uk/) and saw that New Grist won a ribbon. http://www.glutenfreebeerfestival.com/ The festival was in 2006, don't know if they'll have another one. If they do, it might be worth planning a vacation to England. Looks like they had a good time.

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I've yet to try Redbridge preferring instead to patronize my hometown brewery in Milwaukee, Lakefront Brewery.

hey little c have you been on the tour of the brewery yet?? if so how was it??ive been wanting to get up there.im just south of the kenosha border

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I've yet to try Redbridge preferring instead to patronize my hometown brewery in Milwaukee, Lakefront Brewery.

hey little c have you been on the tour of the brewery yet?? if so how was it??ive been wanting to get up there.im just south of the kenosha border

Nope, have not had the honor yet, either. I've heard it's a cool place, though.

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love the beer .... hate the price it's $7.99 a six pack here in chicagoland.is that about right for other parts of the country??? i've actually started drinking more capt n coke lately

In Richmond, Va I have seen it priced as low as $6.57 (Walmart) which is more than reasonable and as high as $8.99 at a discount beverage store which doesn't have a clue. There is no reason why it should be so expensive as AB can produce it and ship it nationwide. I think some retailers are just pretending that it is hard to get and taking the opportunity like the petro companies to rob us. On another note when I ate at PF Changs's the other night it was priced the same as Bud Light in the bottle ($3.50) so I was impressed. I remarked to the manager that I thought it was very fair of them to make it the same price as the other domestic brands. He agreed that even though it cost a little more to get it was not reason enough to treat it like an import. (Sounds like they want my business) What most of the other resturants don't understand is when someone with Celiac goes out to eat they usually bring someone else with them. Something like a gluten-free beer or a gluten-free dessert is all a resturant needs to get someone to visit and then if they like the experience it is a good bet the person(s) will return. I hope to hear in the near future that the price of Redbridge will even out nationwide and get more in line with the other domestic beers. However some of the retailers will probably never "get it".

Tom

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My favorite pre-diagnosis beer was Shiner Bock and Redbridge tastes very similar. The cost was about the same.

Hubby pointed out the other day that we can try a Welsh Rarebit again!!! I think it's go good with the Bob's Multigrain bread.

Anyone tried making beer bread yet?

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In the paddling world, it's pretty common to have a beer at the end of the run, to celebrate a run gone well.

It had been a while since I'd participated, but today, after a 19 mile Class IV+ (with one class V) just outside Yosemite, I was really stoked to pop open my second Redbridge. Yum.

Felt great to sit around with the crew, toasting the run.

Geoff

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After my joy in finding Redbridge a little over a week ago, imagine the elation I felt when I found New Grist at a Henry's in southern California.

I was doubly surprised when I found that I prefer the Redbridge. AB over a microbrew? the former beer snob in me was flabbergasted, but it just tastes better to me. Less of a sake/rice flavor than the New Grist.

Side by side on the shelf, I choose Redbridge, but that being said, I'd be happy to drink either!

Geoff

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