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Holy Sh*t! Malone’s Has Great Beer!

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This might come as a shock to many of you, but not every single one of my regular readers is a diehard CAMRA member. If they were, then the title of this article wouldn’t really be much of a surprise at all, honestly, as Malone’s hosted CAMRA’s most recent organized booze up (Oktoberfest) just last weekend and everyone got a face full of good beer awesomeness served up the most recent convertee to the Good Beer Crew.

But for me, and most of the regular public out there, saying “Good Beer” in the same sentence as “Malone’s” would require the insertion of “most definitely cannot be found at” in order to make any sense. To give you an idea of what I speak, Malone’s primary purpose in my life was as the place where you awkwardly killed a few minutes after trying to get into the Railway Club before it opened at 5pm.

After walking in the door, you’d progress through each of these activities in order:

1/ Wonder what that smell is.
2/ Attempt to avoid making eye contact with the sort of pre-gaming hockey fans who feel a normal pre-requisite to viewing said sport is to have legitimate trouble finding the stadium through drink.
3/ Grab a beer menu, and read the whole thing. Twice, because you can’t give credence to so many taps yielding so few drinkable beers.
4/ No really, what IS that smell? Actually, fuck it. Knowing will likely make this experience even worse.
5/ Sigh, and resign yourself to ordering a “pint” of the best (only) decent beer: GIB Winter Ale.
6/ Wonder if complaining about the obviously dirty 12oz glass your beer came in will get you stabbed.
7/ Ugh. When was the last time they sold a pint of this? It’s clearly off, and no one else in the bar seems to be drinking beer darker than light urine.
8/ Put money down, and quickly scuttle over to the Rail to wait the last few minutes outside in the cold.

Sure, I can be harsh, but that is pretty much my exact experience from a trip to this place last spring. Imagine my horror when I wanted to Rail it up with a couple friends a few weeks back, and they informed me it was closed and hence they were at Malone’s.

Me: “Ugh. Please, no. Rogue’s not too far away. Hell, even the fucking KINGSTON has better beer.”
They: “I dunno, this bitter I’m having seems decent.”
Me: “… bitter? Um… not calling you a dirty liar or anything, but who makes it, ya dirty liar?”
They: “Uh… where’s the menu… Swans?”
Me: “I’ll be right there.”

So, what happened? Well, Malone’s has thrown down some serious good beer gauntlets, that’s what happened. Their current beer lineup goes past good to really quite great. Heck, they’re in Rogue Wet Bar territory without the snotty name. In fact, with the name change to Malone’s Urban Drinkery, I’ll even give them the edge. The food is better, although still pretty sketch, but the heavily BeerThirst-inspired tap list does much to make me forget about subpar burgers (very improved from before but still not great food in general).

A decent variety of US imports like Elysian, Pike and Lagunitas balance out my favourite BC beer bar staple: the brewpubs like Swan’s, Longwood, Howe Sound and Central City. Few bars other than the Alibi bother getting in stuff from Swan’s or Longwood.

Also, the use of a Kokanee chalkboard to proclaim “The only good beer is craft beer” was a delightful move, even if it might piss off your account rep (or perhaps especially because of that fact). Keep up the good work, guys.

Written by chuck

October 20th, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Posted in Bars

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