Barley Mowat 

Introducing the Seal of Approval!

with 9 comments

It could be said that I am somewhat passionate about beer. I think about beer constantly. I view rooms in my house by how easily they can be converted into a beer cellars, and when I meet a new person I often gauge my initial respect for them by what beer they drink. Sure, this does occasionally lead to my loudly professing more respect for the homeless alcoholic outside than the skinny-jeans wearing hipster inside, but hey, it’s a system and it (sorta) works.

Toothless Jim? Yeah, quality guy.

I’m a bit more broad spectrum when it comes to gauging restaurants, where I consider other factors such as: Beer Selection (on tap), Beer Selection (bottled), Quality of (beer) Service, Quality of Food (to eat with beer), and Awesomeness of Patios (on which to enjoy beer). So yeah, lots of things being weighed and compared besides beer there.

Being an opinionated loudmouth, I’d love to share these views, but how can I boil such a comprehensive view of the world into something simple and easy for the mouth-breathing masses to understand? Why, create faux medals, of course!

So I now introduce the Barley Mowat Seal of Approval(tm), which will be proudly awarded to fine establishments, fine brews, and fine what-ever-else-I-damned-well-please-s. There are three levels of my fancy Seal, and an implied fourth (no seal means no good). In order to qualify, I must have actually tried out the establishment or beverage at some point in the past twelve months and cared enough to whip out my iPhone and write down my opinions.

Here are the grades, and what they mean:

Bronze: Barely meets my (very tough) standards. I’ll drink this beer or go to this bar without complaint.
Silver: Hey! This isn’t half bad! They’re actually trying.
Gold: World class. I really only blog to get free stuff at these bars, or more of this beer.

And what use would a three grade ranking system be without gimmicky badges, designed by my sometimes co-tweeter, the lovely and talented (?) Miss Jennifer Gardy!

Okay, fine, they’re drawn on the back of a brown paper bag. What else did you expect? Competence? Do you even KNOW me?

I’ll be rolling out the first batch of awards later this week, so stay tuned.

Written by chuck

October 7th, 2012 at 11:28 am

Posted in Beer and You

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9 Responses to 'Introducing the Seal of Approval!'

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  1. I can’t be the only one wondering how to distinguish between no badge (no good) and no badge (not yet rated). I think we need a “no good” badge. And I think Gardy is just the person to draw it.


    7 Oct 12 at 11:54

  2. Oh sure, point out the glaringly obvious hole in my plan, why don’t you?

    How about a simple, yet surprisingly dismissive, “Reviewed but not rated”?


    7 Oct 12 at 11:59

  3. My (admittedly worthless) vote is for a Gardy “No Good” badge.


    7 Oct 12 at 12:14

  4. CAMRA BC came out with a program this year that gave restaurants and beer bars the “CAMRA seal of approval”. You should see these decals proudly posted at BierCraft, The Whip and St Augustines, to name just a few!


    7 Oct 12 at 12:22

  5. @chuggins – Let’s face it, there’s no way to stop her. I think I heard a pack of crayons being cracked open.

    @Lundy – Indeed they do, and it was this very program that inspired me to blatantly rip them off. However, the CAMRA program falls short in two important ways:

    First, it is very unlikely to get *me* free beer, and let’s face it, that’s sorta the whole point here.

    Second, it’s too nice. As you said, both the Whip and St Augustines get a seal, but those two establishments are not on a level playing field. While both deserve acclaim, one of them deserves much more acclaim (hint: it’s not the Whip).


    7 Oct 12 at 12:33

  6. I have an idea for the ‘no good’ badge. I’ll draw it for Barley tomorrow in exchange for a beer.


    7 Oct 12 at 19:22

  7. Chuck, my brother and his wife are opening a new restaurant on Commercial called Tangent Cafe. It’s going in the former Sorry Babushka space. They’re starting off with just 6 taps and a limited bottle selection, but the beer will all be awesome and they’ll expand that selection in time. It’s going to be somewhere you can get decent beer while getting great food that’s a little different from your standard beer bar fare, including some Malaysian curries.

    They’re open for breakfast this weekend and they’ll be opening evenings starting Wednesday the 17th. I think you should review them.

    Ben Coli

    9 Oct 12 at 10:37

  8. You must not like your brother very much 🙂

    I’ll see if I can stop by sometime in the near future, but this weekend I will be over at the BC Beer Awards…


    9 Oct 12 at 10:48

  9. This weekend they won’t be open in the evenings, anyway. Next weekend things should be swingin’.

    Ben Coli

    11 Oct 12 at 06:16

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