Barley Mowat 

You Like Me! You Really Really Like Me!

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Did you hear the news? I am no longer a misinformed, angry, libel-manufacturing blogger. No sir-ee, I have moved up into the big leagues. I am now an award winning misinformed, angry, libel-manufacturing blogger. Those big time contracts will just start pouring in any second now… hmm… nothing. Odd that the NY Times hasn’t called yet. Oh wait, the phone’s on silent. Just throw that switch and… dum-de-dum… huh. Well, while we wait for them to redial, let’s move on.

So, during this past weekend all those CAMRA-types got together and had a mid-afternoon booze-up at Smiley’s, and as part of this they handed out awards to whoever looked like they deserved it. I won’t go into the details of who won what, as I–somewhat shockingly–don’t have much of a beef with any one point. I might have moved some stuff around, and maybe included Lighthouse ahead of Phillips for best brewery (or not given YBC bronze for casks), but honestly this is a pretty good list of the who’s who in BC beer.

The thing I want to talk about is that last category, “Best Local Beer Blogger or Writer.” And yes, that is the name of this humble blog sneaking into the top three. So do I have a beef with not winning the category outright? Well, um, uh…


Nope, can’t say that I do. Both Leo and Paddy put more effort into a single post than I do into a month’s worth. I mean, go read their pages; they do actual interviews and stuff. Sure, I guess that’s alright if you’re into that sort of thing, but my form of journalism is to strip down to my boxers, get drunk on the couch, and yell at my computer until it has enough words to hit “publish.”

Although I do have a tip on how to appear like a celeb, my friends: Don’t actually GO to the award ceremony yourself. It just seems… needy. Act like you’re too big for it and send a TV personality in your place. Then be all like “What? Another award? How quaint. Add it to the pile, I guess.”

In all seriousness, though, I would have been suspect of any award which did not put those two guys above me. As well, it should also be noted that getting a piece of paper for third of three basically means at least one person voted for me. Since I only know of one person that actually did, that’s the vote count that I’ll assume. So, uh, thanks Jenn!

This can go on the beer fridge, right next to my restraining order from Driftwood.

Written by chuck

January 24th, 2012 at 11:24 am

My Rio-Related Rant

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I won’t spend much time recapping this one, as most other news sources/bloggers/street callers have covered pretty much every aspect of this story. However, I will say a few things from a Chuck-POV and see what conversation that starts. So, please consider this:

The law in question prevents theatres from serving liquor. This particular law is from BC’s “Booze is a dirty drug to be consumed in shame” post probation hangover. It accompanied other fun laws like not allowing music or food in beer halls, requiring patrons to be seated at all times, and having separate entrances for men and “escorted ladies.” Basically, the idea was that if we made drinking booze even the slightest bit fun, all hell would break loose and society would collapse imminently.

What sort of voting public would accept such terrible limitations on their boozing? Well, a voting public whose only other recent option was no booze at all. So yeah, I guess I’d go for the “take your medicine, rummy” approach as well in that case. The issue at hand is from the same era, but is more of the “won’t someone please think of the children” point of view. The logic is this (and I am not shitting you):

1/ Children go to movies
2/ Movie theatres are dark
3/ Children do naughty things in the dark
4/ Having booze in movie theatres means that children will be drunk!

Yup, that’s the logic. Selling booze at the movies equals drunk children, and you can’t possibly be in favour of drunk children, can you? Well, whatever, it was a weird time. People were kinda kooky back then in the, uh, 1600s, I guess? History’s not my strong suit.

Many of these weird laws have been removed or modified, but lots have not. When you have an old bat shiat crazy law on the books that is not enforced, politicians (quite rightly) decide to better focus their times and efforts on issues that actually affect people. And that’s how we wind up with the cat’s breakfast known as the BC Liquor Control and Licensing Act. Try reading it some time; it’s fucked up. Lawyers who study it have no idea what it means.

To make things slightly better, the BC LCB helpfully issues a policy guide, which is written in plain(er) english, and tells business owners how to go about conducting their affairs. The policy guide has virtually no relation to the laws, but it’s the best we can do. Essentially, the law is so messed up even the governing body has decided to ignore it in favour of something less insane.

And that’s what gets me. During this whole Rio v LCB thing, the LCB *LOOKED AT THIS ARCANE LAW*. During that review, someone there read that bit of tripe up there and thought “Yeah that makes sense. I mean, I LIKE children” and decided to reply with “This is a law we’ll enforce” vs the more common “Yes that is technically illegal and I cannot advise you to do something illegal, but let’s just say a complaint won’t exactly wind up on the top of the Investigate and Enforce pile.” Even when the Rio offered to not sell booze when showing movies, which is a reasonable half-way point to a stupid law. But still, “CHILDREN!”

That’s the fucked up part, and that’s the part that let’s us know how hard legal change will be in this province. It’s not that we have a bird’s nest of legal issues, and non-sensical code (although we do definitely have that), but it’s that the people in charge of the whole mess honestly, truly, think they’re doing the right thing by banning movies in bars amongst other things. Change is easier when the other side also realizes they’re being a bit daft, but it’s very hard when they actually believe in their heart of hearts that you want to take children into a dark room and get them drunk.

Zealots are hard to beat, my friends.

Written by chuck

January 23rd, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Posted in Beer and You

I Done Won… Something!

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I’m shocked. Just stunned. It turns out that I’ve won some sort of award from CAMRA for, uh, something. You see, I got this in my inbox just the other day:

Good day Chuck!

It is our pleasure to let you know that the CAMRA Vancouver membership has spoken and picked you as a winner in the 2012 CAMRA Vancouver Beer Awards.

Award(s) will be handed out at the AGM on Sunday, Jan 22nd. We kindly invite you to send a representative from your company to accept the award(s).

Note that the message says absolutely nothing about what, exactly, I won. Heck, I don’t even know that I truly won anything, since they give out prizes for the top three. And “Second” is just another word for “First Loser.”

I could be getting the nod in pretty much any category here, beit “Best Blogger”, “Best Beard”, or perhaps “Guy We’d Most Like To Meet In Person So We Can Give Him A Bomb Designed As An Award.” Sadly, all are equally likely. Although somehow I doubt I got third in Best Beard. I mean, c’mon! Have you seen Fluffy?

In any event, I won’t be there. I have a Driftwood Brewery tour to conduct at that exact same time. Instead, I will be sending along my lovely, and almost certainly insane, assistant Jenn to pick up the plaque for me (Note to Jenn: Please don’t pawn it before I get back). Please be nice to her, and remember that I’m not legally bound to honour any predictions, pacts or promissory notes she issues on my behalf.

First, why are there so many beer trophies on the internet? Second, why are they all made out of terrible beer?

Written by chuck

January 19th, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Posted in Beer and You

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