Sitting out on the patio and enjoying a cold beer this St. Patrick’s Day may be a bit optimistic, seeing as there is still loads of snow covering the ground. But nothing should stop you from celebrating this Irish tradition by gathering with friends at a local pub for a couple rounds of green beer! … no matter what your restrictions.

It’s no secret that traditional pub food isn’t good for your gut! Classic pub favourites like wings, nachos, burgers, and fries are high in fat and can contain wheat, cheese, excess fat, or other ingredients that can wreak havoc on a sensitive gut. Rather then miss out on a social gathering because of your digestive sensitivities, you can learn how to make choices from the menu that won’t cause irritation.

I suggest to start by being involved with the decision on where to go. Contact a few places in your area to find a local place that offers options or will make adjustments to meet your needs. Many restaurants have their menus posted online so that you can take a look through beforehand and find options that tickle your fancy and won’t cause you digestive distress! By deciding what you’re going to order ahead of time, you won’t be as tempted to order something that isn’t going to do your body good 😉 If the menu isn’t posted online, or the gluten-free options aren’t entirely clear, all it takes is a simple phone call to the restaurant. One of my favourite pubs in Waterloo is Beertown – they are warm, accommodating, and have loads of options. The team and I enjoyed celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with some of their great gluten-free options. This is a list of what we tried and what we thought!

Remember, restaurants exist to create an enjoyable experience for their guests. Don’t be afraid to ask!

 

Resized beer

Gluten-free Beverages

Beer

Talk about selection! It’s often hard to find a restaurant that serves ONE gluten-free beer. At Beertown we had an assortment to sample! They even have one on tap!

Mongozo Premium Pilsner (On Tap)

Our favourite! This beer won Best Gluten-free Pilsner in the World in 2012 & 2013, along with several other awards. Unlike the other gluten-free beers this one is made from malted barely. The gluten protein is removed before the malting process, resulting in a gluten-free product… don’t ya love science? This beer had a genuine beer taste that we all enjoyed.

Bard’s Gluten-free Beer

The Bard’s beer was light and refreshing, we all enjoyed the taste and agreed we’d order it again. However, we found that it lacked the classic beer flavour. It had fruity undertones that reminded us of a wine or spritzer.

Nickelbrook Gluten-free Beer

We found the Nickelbrook to have a very strong hoppy flavour. If you enjoy strong hops this may be the gluten-free beer for you!

La Messagère Gluten-free Beer

This beer fell to the bottom of our list. It lacked the classic beer flavours and its strong alcohol after taste prevented it from being a smooth drinking beer.

Ciders

Ciders are a great option if you aren’t a big beer drinker, but are looking for a gluten-free option. This type of alcoholic beverage is becoming a popular choice and as a result we’ve seen a flood of options into the market. There is a cider for everyone with a variety of sweet and fruity flavours! Remember though, even though it’s gluten free – for you FODMAP’ers out there – this might still be bothersome. Beertown offers:

Thornbury Premium Apple Cider

Light, dry and perfect if you prefer something a little less sweet.

Somersby (Apple & Blackberry)

Somersby is a crowd favourite, its sweet fruity flavours make it easy to enjoy! However, if you find it too sweet give the Strongbow or Thornbury a try.

Strongbow (Apple)

Alexander Keith’s Original Cider

 

Sweet Potato

Gluten-free Appetizers & Entrees

Not only does Beertown have a couple of naturally gluten-free options on the menu, but they are also offer alternatives to some of their gluten-containing favourites. They even have a separate gluten-free fryer to safely prepare some delicious battered options – hooray for all our Celiac friends! We loved the sweet potato fries and calamari! Here is a full list of gluten-free choices:

Crispy Calamari  (They use a cornmeal coating) 

Sweet Potato Fries

Chicken Wings

Warm Spinach and Artichoke Pot

Pecan Crusted Salmon

Ultimate Mac and Cheese (Gluten-free pasta)

Pad Thai (Rice noodles)

Tacos (Fish, Pork Belly or Short Rib Pout with corn tortillas)

Wonton Nachos (Substitute wontons with corn chips)

 

Not only is their menu oh-so accommodating, but the fusion of a retro public house and a modern beer bar make for a great atmosphere that will make you feel like you’re downtown Dublin. And with a name like Beertown I have no doubt they will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day right! So if you live in Waterloo, Cambridge or London check out your local Beertown to enjoy a gluten-free pint this St. Patrick’s Day.

Much love & Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Stephanie