Barley Mowat 

Archive for November, 2010

Oh, Alberta

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Many of you have probably seen this floating around the ether, but I figure I’d throw it up here for fun’s sake. Or something like that.

When folk talk about liquor and Alberta, they’re usually doing it to point out how much better their system is than BC’s (not perfect, mind you, just better). Today that’s not the case. The Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission has up and banned beers with an ABV over 11.9%.

The worry is that these beers could be targeted by youths or binge drinkers. Right… because hard core alcoholics and kids under 18 (Alberta, remember) are the types that shell out a premium on Barley Wines, Winter Ales or odd-balls like He’Brew Jewbelation and BrewDog’s line of insanity (some of which are >$500/bottle).

It should be pointed out that while they thought it an urgent service to the public to ban these beers, wines costing less and containing more alcohol were strangely untouched.

Perhaps if protecting the masses was truly the motivation here, a better solution might have been to ban sale of booze for less than $X/fixed volume of pure alcohol. Something like 40-50c per 100ml would get the worst offenders, while still giving wine a bottom price of ~$6 and hard liquor ~$15. Worse ideas have been made law.

I’m not sure what to make of this, honestly. Anyone have any idea?

Link to story here

Link to Elliott Brood ranting against Alberta in song form here

Written by chuck

November 30th, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Okay, Okay, I’ll Review Some Beer

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I’ve finally cracked, and will put individual beer reviews up for your consideration. However, I won’t update the main page here with my thoughts, but rather keep my malty musings of the variety “beer good, you drink” over here.

As you all know, I’m a fan of folk making up their own mind about such things as beer, so I’ll keep it simple. I’ll either say to skip a beer, drink it, or consider replacing your blood with its sweet amber nectar. That’s it. The ratebeer’s of the world can have beer ratings down to 1/1000 of a point accuracy.

Written by chuck

November 25th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Posted in Beer and You,Beers

Secret Beer Hint

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I’m happy. Why am I happy? Well, I’m just generally a jolly-ish fella, I suppose, but today I am especially happy because my bulk order at the BCLDB came in. Yup, I am now the proud owner of a metric shit tonne of Upright Five and Seven.

What’s that, you say? The LDB doesn’t sell Upright? Fuck yes they do, you just gotta know how to ask. Because our liquor laws where written sometime around 75 AD by an obsessive compulsive with control and/or mother issues, *all* liquor sold in the province must first be processed by the LDB so the government can know about it (and take their 100+% markup/cut).

A beer brewed in Portland, imported by a guy in Vancouver, and then sold in a retail outlet in Maple Ridge must pass through LDB hands, if only virtually (the product might never physically go to the LDB warehouse in Burnaby). This means two things. First, all liquor products legally sold in this province (be it in wine shops or at restaurants) are listed in the LDB database. Second, any old fart can call up any LDB store and put an order in for one of these items so long as you have the Stock Keeping Unit # (SKU) and are willing to buy the minimum wholesale amount (1 case).

So, where do you get this magical SKU? I mean, it’s not like the importers or LDB list it online or anything. Oh wait. Yes, they do. So do these guys, these guys, and these guys. I’d list more, but I’m sure you’re all aware of the existence of The Google.

You don’t always need the SKU, as any helpful LDB employee can just search for the product you’re interested in and find the SKU in about 5 seconds. However, every time I check the helpful employees are all in the back or on their breaks or some shit, and the guy at the “Customer Service” desk tells me to fuck off.

Not everything is available this way, listed or not. Listed products generally fall into three categories:

1/ Generally available (probably on the shelf behind you, you git)
2/ Speciality (not on LDB shelves, but ordered pre-emptively by the importer, and usually in stock at importer’s warehouse)
3/ Speculative (only ordered on demand, or seasonally)

The LDB is happy to order items for you in #2, but can take some convincing to get a pre-emptive order in for a product that might not be available for several months (#3). I recommend bribing them with cigarettes. The LDB is very similar to prison in some ways.

Lastly, be prepared to answer/clarify the employee’s common misconceptions about beer. I’ve had to explain:

  • “Yes, I’m sure it’s beer, even though it’s not in six packs”
  • “Yes, $10 does seem like a lot for a bottle of beer but it’s cool, I know about it”
  • And, most importantly? “No, I’m not saying Canadian is bad.” Trust me on this one, these people love their shitty beer, and you need them happy.

So why would you want to buy beer this way, when you can just walk over to the nearest Cold Beer & Wine and get singles plus great customer service? The price. The Upright mentioned above is $9.79/bottle, including deposit. Since that’s virtually the same price the CBW pays, there’s no surprise that they turn around and sell it for $12.50 – $14.00, or more. That’s a 33-50% savings, people. You can tip me later.

Written by chuck

November 18th, 2010 at 2:37 pm

Posted in Beer and You

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