The story begins at the Making Tracks for Celiacs Walk on Sunday, April 27. I was parousing each vendor station and came upon the Wegmans table. There was a sign for “Exclusive Gluten-Free Beer Event” with a raffle box underneath. Now, since I was diagnosed with Celiac AFTER college, I am a pretty big beer fan and this was pretty exciting to me. So, I dropped my ticket in.
Almost a week later, I got a phone call from Wegmans saying that I had won 2 tickets to the event! I felt pretty darn lucky, because I never win anything. So I immediately emailed my Celiac Support Group friends and told them the good news. First, Caitlin responded saying that her mom and friend had won too. Then, Julie said she won tickets as well….and I began to feel less lucky, but still pretty excited.
I imagined the event would be a “standing event” where you walked around tasting different beers, enjoying passed hors d’oeuvres among a sea of people. So I was quite surprised when I walked into the Wegmans Conference Facility and saw 10 dinner tables set up, a lot of familiar faces, and big signs for Omission Beer. I knew the event was exclusive, but it seemed that the only people in attendance were from the Celiac Walk and that this was a kind of a test event.
That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the event, I did. I loved that tiny beer mugs that the Omission team poured their three kinds of beer into (Pale Ale, IPA, and Lager). Omission IS my favorite gluten-free beer so I was pretty enthralled with their presentation about HOW they take the gluten out of the beer (it has to do with brewers clarex read more here). There was an interesting discussion on what the limits are for making gluten-free beer with this process and we learned that there aren’t many, except for maybe a Hefeweizen.
We also tasted Stella Cidre, which I liked because of the drier quality, and Applejack, which I didn’t because it was too sweet. The three course dinner was delicious. We had a summer salad, salmon, and hanger steak – all recipes from Menu magazine. However, I would have preferred a Wegmans gluten-free brownie at the end and skipped the steak. I did really love the branded drinking glasses we got at the end.
But, the event felt sort of confused to me. I felt like it was not quite small enough to be intimate like the Next Door Gluten-Free Dinner was but not quite large enough to feel like a party. And, I wasn’t sure if it was just a Omission marketing event. I’d rather attend a smaller gluten-free beer dinner pairing event that features one brand OR an all out invite your whole friends circle beer tasting with more many different gluten-free beers and ciders and with lots of small plates to nibble on. That’s my two cents, Wegmans, thanks for the free meal!