Not-So-Fun St. Paddy’s Day Fact

I’ve never really been big on celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. Sure, I grew up on the (suburban) side of Chicago where Irish heritage reigns supreme. I just don’t belong to that group. At all. And I kid you not when I say it took me physically being in Ireland for the date March 17 to stick in my head as being St. Paddy’s Day.

Not only do I have my non-Irish heritage working against me, but in the not-so-distant past, I developed an allergy to beer.

Yup. You heard me. I’m allergic to beer.

This isn’t a doctor-approved diagnosis and is something I unfortunately grew into rather recently, evidenced by above picture of the shamrocked Guinness I enjoyed during a 2010 trip to Ireland. Just after moving into my first post-college apartment in the city, I started feeling sick a lot after nights out. I figured that, no longer being in college (at a Big10 school that oft tops the list of notorious party schools, no less), I had lost my ability to have as much as often. But one night, after having -I kid you not- one beer with a friend and being sick all. damn. night. I knew there was more to the story.

My roommate suggested I might be allergic to beer, and that she knew a person who had a beer-specific allergy. Having never felt sick after partaking in my favorite food group, carbohydrates, I never thought beer alone could be the culprit.

And so, after a few not-so-scientific (and so-not-recommended) trials of eating tons of pasta one day, and sipping a beer the next, I discovered my allergy. Not wheat. Not gluten. Just beer.

What. A. Bummer.

So not only am I decidedly not Irish, but I can’t even share in a green beer with my friends who are on this most celebrated of Irish-American holidays. I will take a pint of your finest cider or Chardonnay, though.

And I definitely partake in beer-related accoutrements whenever possible.


So have a beer for me, and one for you, too, and enjoy this day (that’s almost over) for all it’s worth!

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