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Out With The Old, And In With The Brew! Are Puns Bad? They Are? Huh.

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Ah, New Year’s Eve. Nothing says “binge drink” and “horrific morning-after regrets” like some completely arbitrary twist of the calendar. Really, the second most important holy day for Xtians is but a week past, and all that yielded was some polite conversation and perhaps one-too-many whiskey sours for Uncle Ted. A few days later we have a holiday that celebrates literally nothing and people the world over find excuses to pour grain alcohol all over themselves and blow shit up. Now, I’m not saying I disagree, just that I find it all rather amusing 🙂

So let’s hop on the bandwagon. It’s time to cram ourselves full of decent food, good champagne, and even better beer, then head to the vomitorium, deep-throat an ostrich feather, and start all over again. Hedonism never hurt no one, so long as you remember to drink responsibly between purges.

GIS for “drink responsibly.” I literally could not do this job without ironic Google Image Searches.
All Hail Sergey Brin.

So, cheers to you guys, wherever tonight may find you. Just remember that the New Year is really just more of the same; the world won’t change because a digit rolled over in the calendar date (here that, 2012 folk?). In particular, I advise everyone to stay clear of gyms and avoid buying RRSP Investments at the same time everyone else is (contribute now, but convert from cash to stock in the spring–also reconsider taking investment advice from a blog about bloody beer, you moron).

If you really must make a resolution, try to make it beer themed, but hilarity-themed is also acceptable. I recommend things like vowing to attempt less papal assassinations, especially if the people around you don’t know you that well.

On a parting note, Nigel’s 200th beer list has inspired me to create one for my NYE party. Sure, it’s not as sweet/awesome as his, but it’s not too shabby either.

Beer. It’s what I’m drinking. No you can’t have any. OK, maybe one.

Written by chuck

December 31st, 2010 at 11:40 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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


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CAMRA is organizing yet another Vancouver-based beer fest; this time it will be at St Augustine’s on Commercial, and have a decidedly winter theme. I know I’ve been down on this location in the past, but the UFC schedule seems to imply the hot sweaty man-on-man action won’t start until after the Bearded Beer Brigade has left the building.

The Winterfest-of-Ale is on December 4th from 12pm to 5pm, and presumably has been created to replace Dix’s Winter Caskival, which expired last spring along with Dix’s itself. (Can we take the black arm-bands off yet?)

The website for the fest (here) doesn’t have any information on participating breweries yet, so I took some time to talk to CAMRA’s esteemed president Lundy Dale at FireFly yesterday.

The goal is apparently to have 16 beers, with four entrants in each of four categories:

  • Barley Wines
  • Stouts and Porters
  • Spiced / Winter Ales
  • Full Flavoured Ales

The trick is, of course, getting a brewery to actually bring whatever beer they promised. Several have told Lundy they’ll be there (names like Howe Sound, R&B, Storm and Driftwood have been thrown around), but won’t commit to a specific beer style just yet. And some early hints of casks defy classification (there has been talk of Talyor’s Crossing producing a BBQ’d Duck Ale… that frightens me).

Lastly, one brewer has just flat out refused to conform to the four categories. If you guessed this was James Walton of Storm, you were correct. I picture James as the rebellious teenager to Lundy’s mom, screaming about how he won’t “bend to society’s freaking rules, man!” He then storms out and slams the door to his bedroom–which is also for some reason a brewery–loudly.

So we might as well add a fifth category added to the above for a “Walton Special,” keeping in mind that at last year’s Caskival he produced a greyish pale ale the colour and viscosity of paint. It will likely be very odd, and more likely be the oddest of the lot. Yes, I say that knowing I typed the words “BBQ’d Duck Ale” and “Paint” not four sentences ago. I’ll let the implications of that sink in for a bit.

In any event, tickets are 25-35 dollars depending on the status of your CAMRA card and the date on the calendar. I will be there, and so should you. I fully expect to get a sneak preview of several of the local releases of barley wines and cellaring ales, so that alone will be worth the penalty of sniffing a glass and wondering if they actually used meat in the brewing process.

Written by chuck

November 9th, 2010 at 10:42 am