INDIA PALE ALE (Cannery Brewing Company)

The last of the beer trinity purchased earlier in the week, the Cannery Brewing Company’s INDIA PALE ALE promised to be the best of the bunch. At least, it promised me that, with its slightly higher alcohol content (6%). My parents, not big I.P.A. fans, were less hopeful, but that’s an aside. Cannery’s own website advised saving the I.P.A. for last (amber first, nut brown next, then I.P.A.), thus building the whole tasting experience toward a massive crescendo that I expected would leave me weak with joy.

And so it did, my fellow inebriates, but for reasons that bear explanation. Let’s start with the most obvious: I loved this beer. It was strong, hoppy and uncomplicated. With four hop varieties, it delivered the I.P.A. punch that fans appreciate—sultry bitterness with a fizzy snap. Yum!

But here’s the best part. My parents almost couldn’t stand it! Which obviously meant more for me. My dad actually bitched the whole time about this splendid I.P.A. He said it tasted like the white part of grapefruit, but without the fruitiness. He couldn’t decide whether it was bitter or sour, and with a few mouthfuls left he added honey to it as an experiment. This was very win-win for a bear like me, especially since he abandoned his concoction to my grateful tastebuds.

It's not pica if you're a poo-eating fly. It's just a yummy dinner.

My mum reported the I.P.A. tasted like elastic bands and earwax. This makes me suspect she has pica, that illness that compels people to eat weird things. I wanted to ask, What else have you been eating, mum—chalk? eye snot? Seriously, my parents do not have a clue how to taste liquor.

I liked this beer a lot, but not as much as the AMBER ALE, and not nearly as much as the NUT BROWN ALE—the best of the bunch for my money. It’s a classic I.P.A., but there are certainly better examples out there. Still, I enjoyed it enough to RECOMMEND buying the sampler threesome and having your own tasting. If only just to step outside your comfort zone.

NARAMATA NUT BROWN ALE (Cannery Brewing Company)

My Fellow Inebriates,

I find the news baffling, local news most of all. In my local rag: the story of a 42-year-old woman who, after driving four blocks from Boston Pizza to Montana’s Cookhouse without de-icing her windshield and as a result hit THREE pedestrians, dragging one woman behind her car. OMG.

I have several questions about this incident.

Rocket science

First of all: Was my mother the driver in question? She’s 42, she lives in Langley, she doesn’t possess an ice scraper OR a credit card, and she’s the type of woman who gets flustered by the garage door. Could it be…? I will have to ask her later.

Second, why was this woman driving from a pizza joint to a rib cookhouse? Again, this points to my mother.

Third, how did she make it four blocks with an opaque windshield? Does this deserve some credit for bravado? Or probably not, right? Just to be sure, I googled “driving blindfolded” and learned that in some circles it’s pretty cool. In fact, in the UK it is a team-building exercise. Wow! 

It’s really mild here so I don’t even know when my mum would have done this. Also, she’s still at home instead of in jail, but I read that they only fine you $109 for failing to de-ice your windshield, so maybe she just paid the fine.  None of the three (!) women she hit died; I think a couple of them just went to hospital.

But $109! Let’s break this down. The Cannery Collection I just acquired (two cans Anarchist Amber Ale, two cans Naramata Nut Brown Ale, and two cans IPA) cost $11.75 plus tax. For $109 we could have bought NINE of these six-packs. But apparently it’s more fun to plow your car into innocent pedestrians in some kind of middle-aged remote-viewing experiment.

But I have to be happy with what I’ve got. Last night I had the pleasure of sampling the NARAMATA NUT BROWN ALE. I was happy because the Cannery Brewing Company had advised starting with the AMBER ALE (check), then progressing to the NUT BROWN (check). The IPA awaits, but here are my impressions of the NUT BROWN ALE.

A darker pour than its amber counterpart, the NARAMATA NUT BROWN ALE exuded roasted nuts and chocolate, immediately demonstrating more complexity than the amber ale. Again I used a Reidel stemless glass, the better to catch its nutty characteristics. Immediately I sensed it was the more serious of Cannery’s offerings, which made my fur tingle.

The first sip was strong and hoppy, with a slight molasses accent, but not as much sweetness as I’ve encountered with other nut brown ales. As I drank, the ale continued to strike that same note—satisfying but somehow not developing  from top to bottom of the glass. The carbonation was moderate, crisp and punchy. This is a solid sipper—four-chord rather than symphonic, and just fine for uncomplicated enjoyment.

I would have enjoyed several more of these delicious beers, but unfortunately the money seems to have been earmarked for other things.

But at least not dumb-ass driving fines. My dad informed me that we have a Nissan, not a Kia like the one with the icy windshield. Yay, mum, I always believed in you.