WARSTEINER DUNKEL—Not destined for the toilet, even on World Toilet Day

My Fellow Inebriates,

Today is World Toilet Day. Before you assume I’m being facetious (which you might from a cursory glance at the World Toilet Day website), check this out.

Click to sign

Scant generations ago, in what we now term the developed world, people used outdoor sheds to empty their bowels. In these outdoor privies you’d typically find an earthen hole, sometimes with a makeshift lid, ash or other substances to cover offensive deposits and mask the smell, and a stick—one end of which you’d use to wipe, the other of which you’d use to wash your hands, giving rise to the expression “the shit end of the stick.” In winter your ass would freeze to the seat (if there was one). In summer the whole affair would reek to high heaven.

Today’s convenient plumbing and sanitation put us at something of a remove from shit and where it eventuates. Modern washrooms brought not only cleanliness but also discretion, introducing the formerly unknown notion of privacy to bodily functions involving waste. And with privacy came secrecy. With secrecy came repression and outright denial of shit, the fact that shit comes out of us, and the fact that it goes somewhere upon exit. Consider the panic of being at a dinner party where, on a brief visit to your hosts’ swankily appointed facilities, you release a log too large for the porcelain appliance to accommodate, then feel your blood turn cold as your dark progeny hesitates upon flushing, then bounces to the surface, only now surrounded by soupy chunder—how mortifying, right? Frantically you look for a plunger, only to realize your hosts are far too suave to leave such a foul thing visible or even accessible to guests. OMG!

Over a billion people in the world defecate openly. Get involved so we can change this.

No doubt we’ve all been in this desperate situation, although my friend Scarybear insists he has not. He claims he poos outside as a rule, although I’ve never seen him move from the couch. To be honest, until I learned it was World Toilet Day, I didn’t give a moment’s thought to where my own (surely liquid) waste goes. I unconsciously assumed two things:

  • It happens after I’ve passed out.
  • Since I am, pejoratively speaking, a “stuffie,” what comes out is inoffensive and blends into the carpet and/or the dust bunnies under our furniture.

I’m not here today to solve this mystery, though. I’m mainly here to plug World Toilet Day, a cause you can support by signing the petition, updating your FB status with a sanitation-related message, tweeting about the event, and promoting awareness of the world’s gaps in sanitation— and then I’ll segue crassly from that subject to beers you might pour down the toilet.

As far as I’m concerned, there are none. But my mum threatened to pour out her half-glass of WARSTEINER DUNKEL last night. Not that she actually did it; she is far too frugal. She just drank it and complained about it. My dad liked it better, and I hung around to mop up whatever they didn’t finish (talk about the shit end…).

How did we acquire this dunkel?

My dad’s beer choices are branching out. In fact, my dad has started using this blog as a justification to buy beer. When he gets fed up yakking on the phone with technicians who later pretend not to be there when he calls back, he gets a notion to cruise the liquor store and find us something new. This is exactly why I started the blog.

WARSTEINER DUNKEL pours a solid almost cola brown with a reddish tinge and an off-white head. First aromas include chocolate, coffee, and an off-putting metallic note reminiscent of a Canadian hockey beer—very incongruous wafting from this dark brew. The base is yeasty and pilsnerish and a lightweight 4.9% alcohol—too light to carry deep and boomy flavors such as cocoa espresso, so the impression is of a macro beer that had some coffee beans floating in it overnight—or a chicken-legged dude being bullied into doing front squats at the gym, take your pick.

But the overwhelming top note is metal. Not the good kind that makes you remember all the hair you used to have but rather the kind that makes you wonder what you’re ingesting and whether a general metallic overload is responsible for those memory dropouts.

WARSTEINER DUNKEL is, ultimately, drinkable. Just not highly enjoyable. But not something you’d throw down the toilet. Well…maybe after ten of them, reverse-peristaltically. Aren’t you grateful you have a toilet?

World Toilet Day FACTS

  • Sanitation is a human right, yet 2.5 billion people do not have a clean toilet.
  • Around the world, 1.1 billion people have no other option than open defecation.
  • Safe toilet facilities keep girls in school. Dignity and hygiene matter, particularly at the onset of puberty. Taboos surrounding menstrual hygiene preclude discussion of girls’ needs in many countries, leading to high numbers of school dropouts. Particularly in repressive regimes, the silence around feminine hygiene perpetuates the already dominant notion that women are not welcome in public.
  • Sanitation is a good economic investment. In fact, sanitation returns $5 for every dollar spent. Health and productivity increase; tourism benefits; production of sanitation equipment produces jobs; education rates improve—along with dignity and safety for everyone.

Get involved

Click, my fellow inebriates, click!


If I were a 100-meter sprinter (LOL), I’d want my name to be Usain Bolt. I mean, bolt, people. What a fantastic handle. And today the dude broke an Olympic record to win the final.

But who knew some guy would throw a beer bottle on the track just before Bolt bolted to victory? Seconds before the starting gun, a man hurled some verbal abuse followed by a beer bottle, prompting his immediate arrest. Bolt was so focused on his 9.63-second sprint that he didn’t even notice the bottle.

American Justin Gatlin did notice the distraction, even though he achieved a personal best of 9.79 seconds. Perhaps the beer bottle helped?

I think beer bottles always help, with everything, particularly when they contain a yummy hefeweizen like HOYNE SUMMER HAZE HONEY HEFEWEIZEN. I doubt this is what hit the track field in London (what sort of macro beer would an Olympics hooligan toss…anyone?). Hailing from Victoria, BC, brewmaster Sean Hoyne can probably rest assured he had no influence, even lepidopterally, on the 100-meter outcome, but he does brew one wicked wheat beer.

And that’s a big statement at LBHQ, where we’ve been disappointed by many a hefeweizen, mostly because they tend toward citrus, banana, or just general weirdness. SUMMER HAZE avoids these pitfalls by balancing the expected wheaty lightness with that delicious honey that we bears go apeshit for. Prefacing this lingering sweetness is a crisp and malty aroma. Nicely balanced, SUMMER HAZE hits the tongue with an enveloping maltiness, dramatically contradicting the sharp expectations I had for it. Mid-palate the honey redoubles satisfyingly and holds into a marvelous finish. Ahhh!!

We can thank Christine (once again) for SUMMER HAZE. Perhaps I flatter myself, but I think she brought it over because bears like honey, and I certainly loved this slightly cloudy, mildly hopped brew. Unlike an IPA, this beer couldn’t possibly make you angry or ornery; it’s too docile and friendly. You wouldn’t, for example, chuck it on an Olympic track just behind the soon-to-be gold medallist who’s about to school everyone on sprinting. And he wouldn’t even notice anyway.

There’s a time and a place for hooliganism, my fellow inebriates: my house, after we move on Wednesday. We’ll take the door off its hinges and you can hurl bottles everywhere. You can wreck the place.