Interesting experience over this past weekend. I went to a restaurant that offers gluten free pizza and buns and inquired with the bartender if they had gluten free beer.
He proceeded to inform me that there is no such thing as gf beer because gf beer isn’t REAL beer and was a bit jerky about the whole thing. He informed me that he brews his own beer, so he knows what real beer is.
I was quite offended at this response, as I was ordering gluten free beer out of necessity, not out of desire. I used to love beer and have some favorites that I really miss and the last thing I needed was for him to put that in my face.
So, I let him know I didn’t like the way he responded and that all I needed was a “yes” or “no” answer. I told him that I used to drink beer and I understand the difference without him explaining it to me and that him answering in such a manner really made me upset. He maintained the same attitude, so I walked away and went to my table with my friends, trying to let this go.
However, something I said must have made a difference because he sent a written apology to me at my table and offered me a free drink. He was really sincere, and it made me feel good that I was able to help someone increase their awareness and sensitivity. I spoke to him before leaving and he was very apologetic and said that he let being a bartender and beer brewer go to his head and hadn’t thought about the affect his words might have on someone with my restrictions. He seemed to understand that he was inconsiderate and will hopefully respond to others with gf needs much more appropriately in the future.
I also felt better that I said something and that we worked it out because this is an establishment that I like and want to return to.
[Editor's Note: With media hyping gluten-free as a fad diet, the type of response this bartender displayed is common - but it is still unacceptable. The moral is to always stand up for yourself and communicate your needs when it comes to gluten-free. Some people need to hear your perspective in order to change their own.]
------------------------- Author Information: Jennifer Leeson, Denver, CO Denver Gluten-free Examiner at Examiner.com Jennifer is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and an expert on changing negative emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. After being diagnosed with Celiac Disease last October, she learned there was more to transforming her life around food beyond knowing what to eat and what not to eat. There were unexpected social, emotional, and behavioral challenges that arose. Since learning how to cope with these obstacles herself, she has begun teaching others how to cope effectively with the barriers that interfere with successfully changing one’s entire lifestyle around food. You can reach Jennifer at her e-mail address.