"Alcohol, the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems" - H.Simpson.
Chevron, Xanthines, Steadmans. Hell, everyone else is getting out of town, so am I. Oh don't worry (or get your hopes up) I'm back now and fully charged. You see, I had the pleasure this past weekend to take in the Great Canadian Beer festival in Victoria.
Being Canada's biggest gathering of microbreweries, this event continues to sell out in record time. This year, after the event was announced 3 months prior, it was less than 4 days before the tickets were gone. So, tickets in hand I ventured bravely into a weekend of fine beer and friends.
On the ferry ride I prepped myself with some light reading taken from theonion.com entitled "I'm like a chocoholic, but for booze!" combined with a compilation tape playing such hits as "Jim Beam givin' me the right to do wrong" and "I'm gonna drink you pretty" the stage was set for some beer lovin' insanity.
You need 3 things to enjoy this festival, 1. Tickets, 2. A love for beer and 3. A place to crash (thanks Nina!) I had all three in spades, so off I went with reckless abandon to the mighty conference center. Lets put some time frame around the debauchery. The festival runs for 5 hours Friday and 8 hours Saturday so needless to say, pacing is key. What makes this such a wonderful event, besides the beer, is the people in attendance. With tickets being so hard to come by, only the truest beer lovers get in. It makes all the difference when you're surrounded by people who are there for the beer rather than just for the alcohol. And after an 8 hour stint Friday and 13 hour stint Saturday, let me tell you I know something about beer. it gets you drunk.
But even through hazy memories a few beer stick out, namely Steamworks' "The great Canadian pumpkin ale", Czech 12 - a pilsner from The Creek. And my favorite in name as well as atmosphere, a stout by the name of, "The backhand of god". Oh yeah, almost forgot another prestigious award. the HUSSIES! Yes, with all the fine beverages being quaffed you know in a matter of hours there's going to be some serious leering. Oh, there was leering my friends. And nowhere was it more prevalent than at Hugo's brewhouse where the line up was noticeably longer on Friday when the necklines were lower.
The only thing that played a damper on the festival were the beer nazis. You see the conference center buys the beer from the breweries so the nazis are there to make sure beer isn't given away for free. I guess I should have seen it coming when "the man" busted me for my, how shall we say. clowning around. You see the night before I had an extra token, a drill, and some fishing line, combine that with some naughty suggestions and prest-o change-o I had a yo-yo token all ready for fun. It took less than 10 minutes before it was taken away. They feared the beer peddlers wouldn't' notice a token flying out of their hands by a string.yeah, and I'M the drunk.
But back to the beer. It is at this time I would like to sing the praises of Mike Kelly, brewer extraordinaire at the Howe Sound Brew pub. Mike's fabulous frothy creations went toe to toe with the best. I overheard many an aficianado recommend a trip to the far corner where our home town favorites were being presented. Combine our fabulous beer with the beautiful women working the booth, and you have just another reason why. Squamish Kicks Ass!
Bryan lives, loves and drinks in Squamish.