I’m so thrilled with the amount of news, photos and articles popping up in my feed for #CoeliacAwarenessWeek. The support this year has been phenomenal, and seeing as Coeliac Disease affects 1 in 100 people in the UK, it’s great for awareness, and to encourage people to look into symptoms with their doctor, should they be concerned.
One restaurant getting involved were SMITHS of SMITHFIELD in Farringdon, partnering with CELIA lager for a special event. I was very excited to see an invite pop into my inbox that included a press feast of both GF beer AND burgers (fries and buns also gluten free – get in!).
As some of you may know, I work in social media for an advertising agency, and two of my brands are beer brands! This means I’m writing about beer and am around beer a lot, but sadly never get to drink it. This event was MADE for me!
Quick to send on my attendance, I invited fellow gluten free blogger Cristina from Against the Grain to join me as my +1. I’ve been following her Instagram since it began, and often have a browse through her photos for GF eating out inspo. She’s another fab person I speak to a lot on social, but haven’t actually met, so it was great to put a face to an Instagram account! Cristina is just as lovely in person as she is online, and has an shared enthusiasm for eating out, so we got on like a house on fire.
On arrival we were handed a cold bottle of CELIA, my first beer in probably about a year. I’m so used to restaurants not serving gluten free beers, that if I’m honest, I forget to ask. Usually it’s a standard white wine, G&T or fruit cider. Our beers went down very well, and compared perfectly to how I remembered beer (from roughly three years ago).
We were pleasantly surprised to see CELIA had a wide range of beers – a light and a dark lager available in bottle, a small can and, to the excitement of both Cristina and myself, CELIA on draught! The dark was particularly interesting, described as densely black with an almost ruby red hue and a distinctive coffee like aroma with slightly nutty and rye bread undertones. In fact, Cristina pointed out it resembled like coffee.
The brewer then explained the process, where after years of research, the CELIA team identified an enzyme to bond with the gluten which works its magic during the lagering process in the castle cellars. When run through a silicone filtration system CELIA retains <5 ppm of gluten; crafted to remove gluten and vegan friendly, and so can be enjoyed by Coeliacs.
Soon after our food arrived, and we tucked into two gluten free burgers, equipped with gluten free buns and gluten free fries. Such a simple yet affective meal that so many people take for granted, but for those having to follow a gluten free diet – overwhelming to enjoy all three at once!
The bun was soft and fluffy, with a slight sweetness and almost resembled a traditional brioche bun. The chips were thick and chunky, all washed down with more gluten free beer.
You’ll be pleased to hear that SMITHS are offering gluten free burgers throughout May to celebrate #CoeliacAwarenessWeek, and depending on feedback/demand, are hoping to continue this availability in the near future. CELIA is also always available from the bar (as well as from Waitrose), and currently on draught – however this rotates to offer different beers at different times. Great to know they always have a cold brew, whether it be bottle or can, waiting and ready.