OKANAGAN SPRING HOPPED LAGER—Fighting terror with 5.2% alcohol

My Fellow Inebriates,

You’d think I’d be pretty habituated to losing an hour here and an hour there, but daylight savings really throws me off. When I realize (a day late in this case) that we’ve skipped 60 minutes, I feel positively robbed.

But what was I going to do with that hour anyway?

  • Visit the People of Walmart
  • Nap
  • Bother Dolly
  • Hang out near the empties
  • Think paranoid thoughts

So the fact that it’s 9:45 instead of 8:45 isn’t the end of the world, although it does give one a sense of accelerating toward the End of Days. And as my parents pointed out, it means one less hour of “love and attention” from the girls.

It hasn’t reduced the paranoid thoughts, however. Yesterday I watched Glen Bear go through a cold-water cycle and tumble dry, all the while listening to my mother wonder out loud whether I wasn’t too fragile to take the next voyage. Even when Glen emerged unharmed, I couldn’t stop shuddering. Especially when my mother said, “Wouldn’t you like to be nice and clean like Fluffy?”

Arrrrrghhh! OMG!

Fluffy continues switching lights on and off, making pictures fall off the walls (he even made my Dan Lacey print fall down) with his mind (!) and generally exuding an uneasy presence/non-presence that creeps me out, people. With his Irishness, plus the extra kick toward St. Patrick’s day that our lost hour gave us this morning, he actually got me thinking about banshees. If you haven’t encountered one before, a banshee is a Gaelic spirit, female, who appears just before someone kicks the bucket and wails. While there are rare reports of them being beautiful temptresses, it’s much more common for them to look like my mother. There isn’t any liquor-related mythology surrounding banshees to recommend them. For all I know they like to put bears in the washing machine.

Needless to say, there’s an air of paranoia around here among the bears. Not only has Fluffy introduced a supernatural draught to the house; he’s raised the bar for bear cleanliness, threatening our general stability and peace. It doesn’t help that my friend Wetherby Bear published a series of washing-machine photos on his Facebook page, depicting the household bears, obedient and brainwashed, lining up to enter the Magtag hellmouth.

Never mind that I thought I heard a banshee howling this morning. After a moment I realized it was only little Miss V, screaming her lungs out because Miss P had scooped the big green towel after their bath, leaving her only 25 or so alternatives. She’d given my mum holy hell already and escaped in the end without a hair-wash.

Super-fresh smelling? Probably not.

Which to say it’s not just me. Lots of people hate getting washed. My friend Scarybear carries a permanent low-grade funk about him. The People of Walmart seem to avoid washing despite all the sweet deals on soap. Dolly describes my own Kavorka* as a “mixture of rancid Corona and derangement.”

Fleecy freshness vs mangy funk

You can maintain such an aroma only by consuming beer regularly—an argument that didn’t help me out too much with my mum. But luckily my dad is cool; he stopped for beer on the way home.

You might say I had some tremors to address, and the Okanagan Spring Craft Variety Pack offered four alternatives—three beers at 5% and, rising somewhat above them for my immediate purposes, the 5.2% HOPPED LAGER.

Despite crying out for a bottle redesign, the HOPPED LAGER is an appealing product. Pale gold in the glass, it sports lots of carbonation and promises refreshment, especially for hopheads. The aroma is fairly standard: hops and grain with some maltiness. In the mouth it bursts with hoppiness, and although the malt provides a decent counterbalance, the finish is lingeringly bitter—great if you’re partial to hoppy beers, but you might want to leave it on the shelf if sweet, malty beers are more your thing.

HOPPED LAGER is sufficiently middle-of-the-road to attract typical beer fans with its crisp fizz and signature hops. There’s nothing earth-shattering about it, but there’s nothing wrong either. It’s not precious or palate-bothering or even especially interesting—just a solid brew.

Poor Wetherby at the vomit bucket

Sadly the drinking experience was spoiled by my paranoia about spilling beer on myself. You see, the washing-machine discussion has not gone away. In fact, the kids have gotten on board, urging my mum to throw me in just so they can watch me tumble helplessly. Only my dad has my back—because he thinks I wouldn’t survive.

But who knows what my crazy mother will do once Dad’s gone to work?

*”Kavorka” stolen from Beerbecue (highly recommended)