Barley Mowat 

Archive for January, 2011

Some light reading to go with your Friday pint

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Two bits of beer news came up this week that I thought I’d pass along.

First up here is a good summary of the concept of floor rates for beer. Didn’t know that the government requires that beer bought at retail or in restaurants have a minimum price? Well, you do now. If it weren’t for the minimum price, we’d all be raving alcoholics don’tcha know?

Second, here is a proposal to label beer’s ingredients. Not for nutrition reasons, but to help people who have allergies to barley or wheat avoid allergic reactions. Nevermind that people with freaking Celiac’s disease tend to be careful about what they put in their bodies (“What? Beer has BARLEY in it!?!?”) And not just the normal ingredients list already proudly printed by many microbreweries, but rather a large conspicuous government-designed label.

Okay, so maybe it’s a bit over protective (what’s next? warnings on milk saying “Warning: Contains Milk”?), but there is a catch. Breweries have a large amount of floating stock in the market, bottles that are already printed up which are returned to the brewery after use. Not all of these have labels that come off in the cleaning process (think anyone who prints right on the bottle), and this law would require them to instantly replace all their floating stock at huge expense. A decision like that could put a small brewery out of business.

I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, but I can’t help but wonder if the big breweries are pro- or con- this proposal?

Written by chuck

January 21st, 2011 at 10:48 am

Posted in Uncategorized

What Could Be

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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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A Quick Tip

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The only thing better than good beer is free good beer. It was brought to my attention lately that Rogue WetBar is doing a Twitter promotion on Thursdays for just such a thing. Specifically:

roguewetbar: “Thurs-ty Thursday is back! Show ur server u follow @roguewetbar & tell them ur thurs-ty for a (type of beer) u’ll get that beer on us!”

I have proof that this approach works in the form of a Rogue Dead Guy Ale. It should also be noted that there appear to be no drink or food prerequisites to use this, so I imagine you can just wander up to the bar after work, get your free pint, and head home (remember to tip, though; just because the beer is free doesn’t mean the service is).

I must solidly place my support behind promotions of this kind, bad grammar aside (I know Twitter is only 140 characters guys, but there’s gotta be a better way to phrase this than to resort to “u” and its ugly variants–we all graduated high school around here, right?).

In addition to a the best beer list west of Carrall, Rogue also has excellent eats and a great patio for summer lounging (and Driftwood Whitebark Pitchers are on special Fridays), so absolutely head over there and give them your money. All of it.

Written by chuck

January 14th, 2011 at 11:14 am

Posted in Bars

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