Barley Mowat 

What Could Be

with one comment

I found myself in North Vancouver this weekend. After spending some time to ponder my situation and question every decision I had ever made in my life (since it led me to this horrible, horrible low point), I wandered over to Everything Wine and discovered that we Friends of Barley have much to be jealous of in terms of how the other half lives.

What in Gord’s sweet name am I rambling about, you ask? Everything Wine is a store that sells, well, everything related to wine. And while walking through its spacious and airy interior I found myself wondering why we have no such beast devoted to beer. Here are but some of their myriad benefits:

  1. Massive space, probably upwards of 7000sf
  2. Great selection of companion products, including serving ware, novelties, home brew kits, and good ole Random Shit
  3. Massive selection, including most titles carried by the LDB, and scads not
  4. If something is carried by the LDB, it is on offer for the same freaking price, if not less
  5. Buy 12 bottles and get a further 5% off
  6. For the truly lazy or permanently inebriated, they will even ship your order to you

Point 4 cannot be stressed enough, as it really does take the second-guess work out of patronizing a non-government store like Everything Wine. Sadly, rent is not always so cheap that these stores can afford to cut into their already thin profit margins by doing so, but at least this shows it can be done at all.

That an Everything Beer was not hiding around the corner saddened me deeply. I have no doubts that the local market could support such a beast, but we’d need the importers and local breweries to step up to the plate first in order to, you know, fill the damned thing with something.

A quick glance a the LDB website shows what I mean: 3,757 wine products in stock, 507 beer products. The imports are vastly skewed in favour of wine, but that is slowly changing. Beer-only or Beer-focused importers like BeerThirst and RainCity Brands are leading the way in getting us access to the >1500 breweries across the border to the south, and the thousands more in Europe that have yet to make their ways over here.

So, keep buying those crazy-good beers and they’ll keep replacing every sold out item with two more. Soon enough, you’ll turn around and notice that the Barley Barn has opened shop. (ooo… I’m registering that bad boy right now)

Written by chuck

January 18th, 2011 at 3:54 pm

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One Response to 'What Could Be'

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  1. Because beer is where wine was, say, 20 years ago, that’s why we don’t have a Barley Barn yet. It will come.

    I remember going into a place in Sint Niklaas, Belgium, that was like a Costco of liquor. My eyes bugged out at not only the beer selection, but that beside each beer was the glass that went with it!

    How quickly we can get something like that depends on how quickly we can convert enough of the masses to drinking better beer. This year in BC, let’s make it the Year of Craft Beer. If every craft beer lover has a goal of converting six people away from mass market brands, we will see great progress.

    Rick Green

    19 Jan 11 at 08:36

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