Tuesday, September 20, 2011

When beer gets in the way of writing about beer

Too often a blogger slips in from an absence with a credible excuse about being busy with real life. I have not written in close to two weeks for much better reasons, and all of them to do with beer.

1. Great Canadian Beer Festival
The GCBF took place the weekend before last. My saintlike wife encouraged me to attend both days. I obliged. It was blisteringly hot, but the quality of the beer was excellent. Unlike previous years, I was "working" for much of the festival this time round.

2. BrewVIC
I am one of the "founding members" of Victoria's new home brewers' association/guild "BrewVIC". The website is in advanced beta at the moment under the guidance of Dave S. I compiled a links page of my favourite homebrew resources, I'd welcome any additional suggestions from kind readers… You didn't know that I brewed? Well, I don't…

3. Building a homebrew setup
…Yet. For the last month I have been attacking four empty kegs with angle grinders, drills, spigots, hoses and dirty great propane burners. Dave (from beerontherock) and I have finally completed our brewing system and will give it a maiden brewage with a stout in the very near future. A future blog post is earmarked for a photo rundown of what we have done so far.

4. Campaign
Readers may remember that I recently began to look into the nature of CAMRA in Canada. This project — which began as journalistic curiosity — has morphed into something more. Part of my research involved asking local brewers and retailers "What is the biggest impediment to good beer in BC?" They gave a very consistent set of replies relating to certain regulations and practices of our dear, government Liquor Distribution Branch. This inspired me to learn more, get in touch with lots of other potential-activists, and begin a campaign to promote some changes. I collected lots of signatures for a petition at the GCBF, and there is a small Facebook group setup. If you're a BC good beer drinker, give it a look. I think we stand a chance of going somewhere with it.

Time for a beer in the last of the sun, then I'll think about writing a proper blog post.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Favourite Beer Glass

Ian is aroused by a variety of glassware; I am more monogamous. If I had to drink every beer from only one glass I would choose the O-Riedel Cabernet/Merlot "wine" glass. My usual drinking glass is a Unibroue standard, which falls somewhere between a tulip and a flute, and is elegant and suitable for many styles.  If I am drinking while going about some task, like assembling furniture or fussing over the barbecue, I like to use a no-nonsense contoured pint glass. I was recently gifted a nice fat Duvel tulip, which is grandiose but a little much for most occasions. Even ordinary wine glasses are perfect sometimes.

But the Riedel is easy to hold and the circumference of the rim feels natural to drink from. It is capable of holding a whole pint, but looks best half or two-thirds full, which is just right for home drinking. The thin and invisibly clear glass makes for vivid, honest photographs. Washing the fragile vessels can be nerve-jangling, but aren't most of our favourite things vulnerable and fleeting?