Not all Canadians are clowns

Last week the WordPress community went berserk and a well-known Canadian blogger’s site imploded, taken down by another blogger under accusations of e-harassment. As usual I was late to the party and didn’t have a clue about what had happened until sometime after. I was a follower of Le Clown, albeit a half-hearted one, having hit the “follow” button as a gesture of reciprocity, only to decide later that his posts lacked a certain…kindness that I look for in a blog, whether it’s about beer, parenting, or whatever. And while I checked in with his blog occasionally, I had no sense of the WordPress politics brewing—and honestly, still don’t. I’m just a bear, and while I feel ardently that cyberbullying is not okay, I wasn’t following this blow-up and I don’t feel justified commenting on it.

What I must do, however, is redeem Canada for you, my fellow inebriates. Not all Canadian are clowns, and Canada has a lot going for it.

Case in point: Look at all the bears we have.

Bear collageLike, OMG, right?

And never mind bears. Look at all the beers up here.

Picture: Edmonton Journal

And then look at how nice Canadians are. No, really, my fellow inebriates. We actually don’t mind lining up. And our national pastime? Apologizing. Okay, sometimes we show off a little bit about health care, but then we apologize and tell you how long we had to line up for it. Right?

Is it freaking cold? Yes, it’s minus 4 at LBHQ, but that’s Celsius, so no biggie. If you haven’t tried Celsius, you might like it. Everything counts by tens, which is really great when you’re drunk, but not much good when you have two paws instead of ten fingers.

I will admit, we have Rob Ford, douchebag extraordinaire (but gift to comedians).

stephen-harper-beer

And PM Stephen Harper, who poses with cats just to get you to like him. He poses with beer just to get me to like him!

My parents say that if I can corral one of our cat-sized silverfish in the bathroom, they will pay the shipping to send it to Stephen Harper as a pet.

My parents say that if I can corral one of our cat-sized silverfish in the bathroom, they will pay the shipping to send it to Stephen Harper as a pet.

But still. There are some cool things here. Did you know that Alberta has a UFO landing pad? The Ministry of National Defense inaugurated it in 1967.

UFO landing pad

kirk-vs-gorn

And the Shat? He came from here!

So did the Bloody Caesar… 😉

Okay, fine, Canada did give the world Justin Bieber, but we also pour a lot of SLEEMAN HONEY BROWN LAGER

What do you guys think about Canada?

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DEAD FROG NUT BROWN ALE—Froggy style has a lot of variations

My Fellow Inebriates,

Two nights ago my dad returned from a trade show with two bottles of DEAD FROG NUT BROWN ALE.

I’d been wondering where the hell my dad was. Often I can find him spread out (his work gear, not his junk) all over the dining room table, stressing my mum out with his tentaculate electronics, and offending us all by playing Pink Floyd’s The Wall out of sequence. But for the last week he’s been scarce.

I suspect he’s been wined and dined by suppliers this week, plied with swag far beyond the two beers he brought home. But we’ll never know. My dad has this effective trick of entering the house with his headset on, carrying on a conversation until the novelty of his arrival has worn off and everyone’s forgotten to ask him about his day. Repeatedly throughout the week, and well past the bedtime of the kids—who would ignore his phone conversation anyway and attack him—he’s entered mid-conversation, muttering away about terminations and racks and permits, and—seeing he won’t respond anyway—I’ve gone back to looking at the People of Walmart or trying on moustaches or whatever other productive thing I was doing before he came in. Effectively I’ve forgotten to interrogate him about this trade show and whatall’s been going on there. For instance:

Why only two beers?

Why NUT BROWN ALE particularly? Does he know that DEAD FROG markets an array of unusual brews (mandarin orange, pepper lime, toasted coconut)?—not quite targeted at craft beer geeks (too light, too lager-y) yet not targeted at the Molson Canadian crowd either. In fact, DEAD FROG has been a bit hit-or-miss when it comes to aligning with the increasingly divergent craft and mass beer markets, particularly with its 650-mL specialty brews, and would have found itself dead indeed had it not sought $500,000 in investment money earlier this year.

 

If my dad hadn’t been yammering into the headset I would have asked about DEAD FROG’s beer portfolio—did Dad have the option to scoop some other products for yours truly or was he just not interested? Did he have his fill of them at the show? OMG, would my dad do that without me?

Fact is, Dad might have picked the best of the bunch. DEAD FROG NUT BROWN ALE is a nice beer. Dark and almost cola color with a moderate-to-weighty mouthfeel, it carries a hoppy punch yet doesn’t distance itself from the warming, mellowing maltiness of a good ale. Crisp carbonation focuses the hop/malt intersection nicely. You can detect chocolate in the background plus the eponymous nuttiness, making for a solid, interesting brew that doesn’t cloy and isn’t so intriguing that it becomes annoying or precious. Paws up for sure. Or flippers or whatever.

With its recent cash infusion and wealth of marketing ideas, DEAD FROG, just one of three new brewers making a splash in British Columbia, evidently has some (frog) legs. If we all boost our drinking, we should be able to keep the frog alive.