My Fellow Inebriates,
There is a time and a place for mass-market beer. The hockey game, on my couch.
This is where mainstream beer really shines—you can drink it fast with no pretentious tasting pressures, and it gets you nice and gooned. My good friend Jean-Guy recommends starting a case of LABATT BLUE just as Don Cherry starts mouthing off before the hockey game, then stretching it out for the next couple of hours. Perfect. Neither item distracts from the other: beer and hockey synergize into a perfectly anaesthetizing pocket of time.
Jean-Guy has all sort of other ideas about alcohol. He was the dude who first urged me to mix Stolichnaya and Smirnoff in a 50:50 on pointless-feeling days.
I barely know anything about hockey. I’m usually looped before the puck gets dropped. But as a Canadian bear I like to be semi-present for a game once in a while. What I can’t decide about hockey is, Is it emblematic of Canada? Or is it a meathead sport? What does “offside” mean? It seems to mean a couple of different things.
Cherry does explain some of his get-ups. He has worn his pink suit, for instance, to thumb his nose at the left. “I’m wearing pink for all the pinkos out there that ride bicycles and everything.” Wow, so cool.
Don Cherry triggers me to drink LABATT BLUE, and fast. This last part is key, because LABATT BLUE has little to recommend it tastewise.
Straw-colored with a quickly dissipating fizz, LABATT BLUE feels empty and light in the mouth, with a bit of a twangy, metallic funk. It has a pleasant crispness that is dependent on its being cold—hence the importance of pounding the case quickly.
As far as macro beers go, LABATT BLUE isn’t the worst, simply because it’s not memorable in any aspect. It’s an entirely appropriate accompaniment to anything mediocre you plan to do.