The Anonymous Widower

The Finest Low-Alcohol Gluten-Free Beer In The World

In some ways this is an open letter to Archie Norman and Jonathan Adnams, who are respectively chairman of Marks and Spencer and Adnams Brewery.

Adnams brew Southwold Pale Ale 0.5% for Marks and Spencer.

I have three medical conditions.

  • I am coeliac, which means I must avoid gluten.
  • I’ve had a stroke and am on Warfarin, which means I can’t drink too much alcohol.
  • I have a need to drink lots of fluids and I find beer is best.

So I need a low-alcohol and gluten-free beer, that has all the thirst-quenching properties of beer.

I should say that my grandfather had the same need to drink a lot and he eventually turned into a serious alcoholic and died at the age of just forty.

I am now seventy and started drinking halves of Adnams at fourteen in Felixstowe Conservative Club, whilst playing snooker with my father.  Since a stroke seven years ago, I’ve probably never drunk more than ten units of alcohol in a week.

The Southwold Pale Ale 0.5% satisfies my need for a low-alcohol beer and it has a quality taste, that I very much like.

When I was diagnosed  as a coeliac twenty years ago, one of the problems was finding a decent gluten-free beer. So I had a discussion with a brewer at Adnams and he said that their beers could be gluten-free.

But I never tried one!

However, after testing a few bottles of Southwold Pale Ale 0.5% , I was convinced that the beer was low enough in gluten not to have any ill-effects on my body.

But then surely, a low-alcohol beer must be made with less barley to create the low-alcohol level!

I think Southwold Pale Ale 0.5% is a superb beer.

Don’t just take my word for it!

In the reviews on the Marks and Spencer web site, these are some of the titles.

  • Favourite Low Alcohol Option
  • Best Low Alc Beer I’ve Tried Yet
  • Excellent Low Alcohol Pale Ale

Two other reviewers complain about the availability of the product.

Research shows that as many as one-in-fifty of the population of the UK could be coeliac.

Conclusion

Improving the availability of this product could be good for all concerned.

 

Then

November 19, 2017 Posted by | Food | , , | Leave a comment

A Pit Stop At Halifax

One of the objectives of my journey from Blackburn to Leeds was to visit the Piece Hall in Holifax.

Last year in A Trip To Halifax, I had a quick look and said this.

I had hoped to find something hot to drink. All I found was a very bad hot chocolate in the station.

Surely, something better could be done in the green space by the station.

These are pictures I took.

As you can see the Piece Hall is now restored and a magnificent space surrounded by craft shops, bars and restaurants.

I had an excellent breakfast in a bar and restaurant called Elder.

There would also appear to be a sensible hotel just outside the station on the short walking route to the Piece Hall. It is called the Imperial Crown Hotel and it could be a convenient place to stay on a visit to the area.

  • It’s within a hundred metres of the station and the Piece Hall.Trains from the station.
  • Trains are approximately every thirty minutes to Bradford, Hudderfield, Leeds and Manchester.
  • Trains take around thirty minutes to Leeds.

Next time, that I go to Leeds or Bradford, I’ll give it a try.

November 18, 2017 Posted by | Food, World | , | Leave a comment

Where Are The Small Cooking Spoons?

My mother had a very small wooden cooking spoon about twelve or so centimetres long. It was ideal for warming baked beans or making scrambled eggs in a non-stick milk saucepan.

Her’s had suffered an accident and I can remember that one side was slightly burned, but it was still usable. And absolutely the eight size!

I’ve been looking for over fifty years since I left home and not found one yet!

This is the best I can do!

But it’s still too big! Note I have drilled a hole through the handle and fixed a cable-clip in it, so I can hang it up above my cooker.

Is it a Health and Safety requirement that spoons must be big enough, so we don’t get our fingers burned?

I’d actually like one in a high-tech plastic, as it would be easier to clean!

Baked Beans

On the subject of baked beans, I usually buy my small tins in Waitrose.

I should say, that I have a tendency to not eat enough soluble fibre and this was raising my cholesterol. A dietitian recommended that I eat one small tin of baked beans a week and use Benecol instead of margarine. It worked and meant, I avoided going on special drugs.

Last week, I fancied some baked beans with a poached egg for lunch and I was out of stock.

So I went to the corner store close to my house and bought a couple of tins of Heinz baked beans.

Obviously, no problem with cooking, eating or taste, but I found washing up of the saucepan and the spoon much easier!

Which is surely a bonus for the thirty pence extra cost of the beans.

November 8, 2017 Posted by | Food, Health | , | 5 Comments

The Reliability Of Online Reviews

Wake Up To Money this morning on BBC Radio 5 was talking about the reliability of on-line reviews.

So I sent in the following text.

As a coeliac, I find if I type “gluten free restaurant” with the city I’m in, I find somewhere good. Perhaps coeliacs don’t want to drop their peers in it!

It wasn’t read out directly, but someone else had said the same thing and the two messages were combined.

The method has certainly found me some very good gluten-free meals.

November 6, 2017 Posted by | Computing, Food, Travel | , | Leave a comment

Breakfast By Cromwell Tower

I had breakfast in the Cote Brasserie by Cromwell Tower in the Barbican, where I used to live with C in the 1970s.

It was an excellent breakfast, well-served by a charming young lady.

The only problem was that they don’t have a gluten-free sausage.

September 18, 2017 Posted by | Food | | Leave a comment

Gluten-Free In Virgin First Class From Carlisle!

Crisps and a banana!

That is just not good enough!

But it was aerved with a smile!

September 12, 2017 Posted by | Food, Travel | , | Leave a comment

Killing Time In Carlisle

I miscalculated my journey back from Glasgow and have a lot of time to kill in Carlisle.

So I’m in the Costa outside the station, charging my phone and writing these posts.

It’s a convenient place to recharge.

September 12, 2017 Posted by | Food, Travel | , | Leave a comment

Walking Between Glasgow Queen Street And Central Stations

I arranged my trip through Glasgow so that I arrived in Glasgow Queen Street station around lunchtime, so that I could have lunch at a restaurant on my way to Glasgow Central station.

I took the side entrance to Queen Street station and walked to West Nile Street, where I had lunch in Gourmet Burger Kitchen.

From the restaurant, I continued down West Nile Street, before turning right for Glasgow Central station.

This Google Map shows the two stations and the area in between.

There’s probably a cafe or restaurant to suit everybody on the walking route.

Walking the way I did was slightly down hill and parts were in pedestrianised streets.

I know Glasgow’s two main stations fairly well, but there should be a signposted walking route.

September 12, 2017 Posted by | Food, Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

The Ultimate Gluten-Free Product

This morning, I bought a new gluten-free product from Marks and Spencer.

It may only be a humble seeded brown roll, but I think they have pitched it right for the market.

I ate one for lunch with one of their smoked salmon parcels.

I have tasted other gluten-free rolls that were slightly better, but none came anywhere near the 50 pence, I paid at The Angel.

I suspect, I’ll regularly use one for my lunch with an appropriate filling.

I called it the ultimate gluten-free product, as it is precisely targeted at the market.

  • I would expect, that the taste is acceptable to most people; coeliacs or not!
  • It is in a sealed packet with a Use-By Date of the 1st of September, which is four days from today.
  • You don’t have the waste of a loaf, which gets thrown away half eaten after a few days.
  • It would be ideal to buy, if you’re going to a party, in case the host doesn’t have a clue about gluten-free bread.
  • It would also be ideal, if you’re hosting the party and know that perhaps two out of twenty are gluten-free.
  • You could even pack a couple in hand-baggage, if you’re going abroad for a weekend and aren’t sure of the hotel.
  • I’ve stayed in a couple of excellent B&Bs, who would have found this product very useful.

At just fifty pence a time, you could even feed them to the birds or make breadcrumbs , if some are left over.

I’m certain at that price, M&S won’t make much direct money out of the product.

But if it takes off, how many will the product attract to the gluten-free section, who will then buy other products?

 

 

 

August 28, 2017 Posted by | Food | , , | 1 Comment

A Low-Alcohol Beer With Flavour

I was buying my usual gluten-free IPA in Marks and Spencer in Islington, when I saw this beer next to it.

This beer is just 0.25 units for a half litre bottle.

It also has flavour, as it is brewed by Adnams.

But the amazing thing was I had no adverse to the beer despite being coeliac, although I’ve never claimed to be a serious one.

August 24, 2017 Posted by | Food | , , , | 1 Comment