Saturday, March 8, 2008

It's a fine howdy-do to find out you're allergic to beer at the age of 55.

I've suspected it for years. I drank through my 20's, never enough to be a problem. Got married at 31 to a tee-totaler, and just sort of slowly slacked off since I don't party or go to bars.

Still, I've always liked beer. I like how I feel. I like how it seems to stimulate thoughts. So every once in a while, through my 30's and 40's I'd drink a bit. Wine got too acidity, and I've always been wary of hard booze, so it was beer or nothing. Mostly nothing.

Because it just seemed to have a harsh effect on me. Even one beer would make my muscles ache, my nose would fill up, and a couple of less than dream filled nights later, I'd be very cranky. So much harsher reaction than anyone else I talked to, especially since it was so seldom and so little at a time.

Didn't seem fair, but it didn't seem worth it.

So I had a friend give me three home-brews for Christmas. Drank a honey-beer in January, and really liked it.

Then, about a week ago, I drank the second bottle, a strong stout. Got only halfway through the bottle, and my eyes puffed up, my nose started streaming, and I had a very tough couple of days. Half a frikken' beer!

Told my friend who gave me home-brewed stout, and he diagnosed me being allergic to hops.

Try Miller, he said. Miller uses hops oils, instead. (Barely concealed disdain.)

What's interesting about that is Miller was my preferred beer in college, and after. Sometime in my 30's I moved to Budweiser, and had the above problems. And then in my 50's I went to micro-brews and had even worse problems.

So sometime this spring, I'll try some Miller and see what happens. I still like the taste of beer, and the buzz, but damn, I hate the aching bones.


juliejulie said...

Dear Duncan, perhaps the time has come to switch to red wine. Most mommies of a certain age come to this conclusion after repeated attempts to keep up with beer and vodka. Red wine is good for you, it's like a serving of fruit.

Nice to see you in the paper today! I'm flattered to be in the same article with you, since you are my idol.

Chubby Mommy

Duncan McGeary said...

Well, Julie, I've been pointing out the quality of your writing since I first found your blog.

Idol, smiddal. I'm going to go get smashed on red wine....

Jon Abernathy said...


Pure tragedy.

Allergic to hops... hmmmmm... there are a few beers out there brewed without hops-- using other things as alternatives. A heather beer, for instance.

But not many.