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A Celiac dream: Great tasting gluten-free beer!

Updated: Mar 2, 2023

Beth Vital, Assistant Brewer at B.C. Brewery & Noreen Wheeler, Gluten Free Life & Travels at B.C. Brewery

Shortly after Christmas, I was able to go to Hunt Valley, Maryland, and visit B.C. Brewery. They have a great location! Their business is located about 30 minutes north of Inner Harbor. The Light Rail is just across the street, and can bring you from B.C. Brewery to Inner Harbor and many stops in between. There are also several hotels nearby if you go for a weekend getaway.

B.C. Brewery has a very large space that has several dart boards, cornhole, and a small stage for live entertainment. When you enter the brewery, you give your credit card to the person behind the counter to start your tab. They then give you a card you choose what beer you would like to try and insert your beer card into the tap you want to activate. It then keeps track of how many ounces of beer you drink, you pay for your beer by the ounce. Therefore, you can try several different types of beer. The brewery has both gluten-free and regular beer.

There is a dedicated system for all their gluten-free beer and their ingredients are certified gluten-free. Their line of gluten-free beer is called “Ceal Team” and comes in green cans with green lids. This helps to make it very clear what products are gluten-free.

B.C. Brewery's Ceal Team, gluten-free beer

Beth is the assistant brewer at B.C. Brewery and has Celiac disease. She was diagnosed during her senior year of college while living in Boston. She explained to me that she was on her way to the bar for Superbowl Sunday when her doctor called her with the news of her diagnosis. Her first thought was “I’m about to walk into a bar in downtown Boston, while the Patriots play in the Super Bowl, and be surrounded by fellow fans and friends, but I do not care because I have no idea what I am going to eat." Up until her diagnosis Beth enjoyed being able to go out with friends and enjoying their comradery. As we all know having celiac can be very isolating.

When she finished school, she came back to Hunt Valley and began working at B.C. Brewery. She loves their slogan “Building a community through beer.” As someone with celiac, she felt she had a seat at the table but it wasn't really included. She explains it's a "weird dichotomy of inclusion/ exclusion. I felt there but not included. Not being able to participate in the community the way others can stings."

She really wanted to brew gluten-free beer. She ultimately convinced Jim, the head brewer, by having him try some of the gluten-free beer that was currently on the market. Jim was sure they could make better beer! As she explains "we don’t make gluten-free beer. We make beer that just so happens to be gluten-free."

I'm so glad she and Jim began brewing gluten-free beer! When I asked Beth what her favorite beer was she said, "When I first started brewing I was all about IPAs. Recently I have settled into more complex beers like stouts and brown ales. Though the cantaloupe sour is absolutely my go-to regardless. It is a mighty good beer-and I don’t really like sour stuff."

Beth agrees with most of us that have celiac, that food planning and eating out can be one of the hardest parts of having celiac disease. When looking for a silver lining from her diagnosis she points out that she wouldn't be brewing gluten-free beer if she wasn't diagnosed with celiac.

Do you want to taste B.C Brewery's gluten-free Ceal Team beer? We will be having a Gluten-Free Meet Up on March 4th. Come join us! Make sure you use my discount code GFTravels for 15% off your purchase! Don't forget they ship to MD, PA, VA, and D.C.

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