Wednesday, March 20, 2013

beer column

in case you missed me on cbc radio yesterday, here are my notes:

Beer geeks love talking about beer. That's a given. And they like answering your questions about beer. However, this innocuous sounding question strikes dread into the heart of on the coast's beer expert.
The question? "What is your favourite beer?"
Really? What's so scary about that?
Its scary because I don't actually have one.
I know the question is well-intentioned, so I don't want to be glib and reply "The one in my hand", even though that's very often a truthful response.
Because I am a beer geek I cannot in good conscience just arbitrarily pick a beer in order to give a quick and concise response.
Because I am a beer geek I feel compelled to answer in full, and that's where the dread comes in. How can I pick just one beer? And if I give you too long an answer will I bore you? Will I turn you off from ever asking me a beer question again? I love beer, I want to talk about it! But I just can't give a short answer to that question!
If asked about my favourite beer style, that I could answer easily. Or if asked about my favourite new beer, that too is a fairly easy answer. If you can narrow it down for me, you're more likely to get a shorter answer. I apologize to all who have asked this question in the past, and all who will ask it in the future, but when you ask me what my favourite beer is, you're going to get a long-winded answer.
What is the long-winded answer?
I can't pick just one beer as my favourite. I have different moods and crave different beers with each of them. It can depend on the season, the day, the hour, what I'm pairing it with, what I've just had to drink, who I'm with, where I'm drinking it... the list is really quite a long one. Do you want to know about my old stand-by? The beer that is readily available and always satisfying? Because I probably drink that one the most often. But would I qualify it as my favourite? If I had to. But I'd much rather tell you about several beers that have rocked my world lately. And wax poetic about one off beers that are never to be brewed again, or hard to find imports, or seasonals I look forward to every year. Then you can tell me about the beers that are rocking your world right now and we can talk beer and order a taster paddle at the bar and try each other's beer picks to contrast and compare...
I want to have a whole conversation about beer, not a quick exchange of unheartfelt information. And that's also a large part of why I can't give you a short answer.
Okay, but really, why don't you have a favourite beer? Don't most people?
I'm sure plenty of people have one. Other beer geeks have one. Some beer geeks have ten. I used to try to track mine in what I dubbed my "evolving revolving top ten" list. But even that caused me grief - it was just too hard for me to keep track of. I could much more easily choose my ten books or ten dvds to take to that desert island than I could ten beers. Having a favourite beer might make my life easier, and I'm not going to say I'll never have one. Currently, there just isn't one beer out there that I would choose above all others. I have had favourites in the past, the ones that made me want to wear the tshirt, get the tattoo and the brewer's autograph, but they only lasted for so long as the undisputed champion of my tastebuds. The more beers I try the more I want to try. I want to try them all - and not just once each!
I have my favourite beer style, ipas; I have my old faithfuls like driftwood's fat tug and central city's ipa that are readily available around town; I have the seasonals I look forward to trying every year like Hopworks Abominable and Lagunitas Sucks Winter Ales; I have imports that make me giddy when I find them, like Brooklyn's Sorachi Ace; my nostalgic picks like Guinness on St. Patricks day; and I could go on into all the beer styles. So many outstanding delicious beers out there. And there will probably be several different ones on each of those lists in two years time. And, I hope that there will be a few more beers on my old faithfuls list too.

Beer pick:
Just one for you this week because I really want you to go out and try it!
Central City has brewed an Imperial IPA. This beer is delicious - all that a northwest imperial ipa should be. But that's not the reason its my sole pick for this week. This beer was brewed for a good cause.
you can find the Imperial IPA in bottles at specialty liquor stores, and on tap at several venues around town, like the Railway Club.
And if you want to try it cask conditioned, hurry up, they tapped a cask of it at Tap & Barrell at 5:00!
"Central City Brewers + Distillers (CCBD) announce their inaugural program dedicated to raise $75,000 for autism. Funds go directly to Canucks Autism Network (CAN) and Autism Spectrum Disorders Canadian-American Research Consortium (ASD-CARC).
The program includes a limited release of CCBD’s award-winning Imperial IPA, in which $5 per bottle goes to ASD-CARC. Sales from limited edition glassware, from Central City’s retail operations, and from the inaugural Auction & Dinner will go to CAN.
The Auction and Dinner will be held April 13th at Central City Brewpub + restaurant. Auction items include Canucks tickets, team jerseys, bikes, and many other great items."

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