Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Time for bartender gluten-free training

I think it's time that we establish a formal gluten-free training programming for bartenders.

Too many times recently, I've stopped in bars to ask about gluten-free beers and got answers which told me the bartenders didn't understand what I was asking. This is dangerous, because some of them were trying to offer beers which clearly aren't gluten free.

Today I stopped in the new Hoptinger Bier Garden & Sausage House in Jacksonville Beach. I wasn't planning to eat or drink there but since I was walking by, I thought it was a good chance to see what they have. You'd think a place called "Bier Garden" that brags about its beer selection might have something gluten free.

Unfortunately, they don't. They told me about a couple of ciders they have, which is fine, but then one of the bartenders said "We have Bud."

Seriously, he thought Bud was a gluten-free beer??!! Fortunately, the other bartenders corrected him. But then one of the other ones said there are no gluten-free beers except cider. Of course, that was wrong too.

And by the way, Hoptinger doesn't have a gluten-free food menu either.

This follows a check of the bar last week at the new V Pizza in Jacksonville Beach. When I asked the bartender if they had gluten-free beers, he said they tested all of their beers for gluten and they didn't have it.


To his credit, as I told him that was impossible, he said he'd text the bar manager, who did let him know they don't have any gluten-free beers.

I don't mind so much when a bar or restaurant doesn't offer gluten-free beers, but I do expect the people working there to know the difference. Maybe that will be my new profession: a gluten-free bartender training school.

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