When beer upsets your tummy (pfft!)

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ObriensI love all my friends equally — even the gluten sensitive ones.

But seriously, do you have to give up on great tasting beer?

Apparently not. So what’s with all the noise?

Refusing to join the moaning minnies’ chorus, John O’Brien, after he was diagnosed with coeliac disease, just got on with the business of creating a beer he could stomach. Not just stomach, but enjoy.

In 2005, the self-taught brewer, alongside established brewer Andrew Lavery, launched Australia’s first commercial gluten-free beer — O’Brien Beer.

They’ve since been collecting awards in the US, UK and Australia. At the 2013 Australian International Beer Awards, one of their concoctions won a gold medal — the first for a gluten-free beer.

Taking a balanced approach, the boys now brew traditional gluten-packed ales too. You can taste them on tap, along with gluten-free ales, at their Rebellion Brewery bar in the historic beer town of Ballarat, Victoria, Australia.

I’m about to crack open a bottled, limited-edition, India Pale Ale. It’s being talked up as “tropical fruit salad with a bitter finish”.

Bottoms up.

[Wish me luck.]

Rob Dunlop