Today was a day during which it began to rain. So I went indoors. Later I drank some things that had booze in them, including a can of Murphy’s Irish Stout. They were of varying goodness.
Lá fhéile Pádraig sona dhuit!
There, now that I’ve got my fake Irish pretensions out of the way, let’s get on to the real business. (I am one eighth Irish, don’t ya know.) St. Patrick’s Day, one of my favourite holidays; Guinness Stout, one of my favourite beers! Who knew that the Irish were actually good at a few things? Not several hundred years worth of English pigs it would seem!
As I was cleaning out my room in preparation of my move back to Vernon, I came across an old in class writing exercise that I had done in one of my professional writing classes with Elizabeth Grove-White. Distant cousin to the great Kildare Dobbs, don’tcha know! No? Hmm, oh well, the exercise isn’t much to speak of anyways, but I thought I would record its existence before consigning it to the recycling heap of yesteryear. After all, my most famous blog post, Date A Boy Who Drinks, also began its life as an in class exercise with EGW!
A Mail Art St. Patrick’s Day/Springtime/Birthday card from my sister.
My friend and I had plans to do some Christmas shopping yesterday afternoon in downtown Victoria, but when I discovered that there were midweek Premier League fixtures about to kick off at 11:45, I rushed downtown ahead of him to enjoy a pint and some association football. Knowing that the Irish Times would be showing the Liverpool match, and doubtful that I could find any place featuring Newcastle at Burnley, I headed there. To my delight there were two proper 20oz pints on special, Guinness, and a certain New Belgium sour beer. I opted to begin with the New Belgium Terroir, and settled down in a comfortable library style side room to watch the game. As a neutral I thoroughly enjoyed the match, and as an England fan I savoured the chance to see Steven Gerrard score a goal. The Liverpool fans up at the front filled the pub with their cheers throughout the game, and with my pint in hand and the library fire exuding heat, the atmosphere was perfect.
The Victoria Pub Co. are the owners of three British Isles style pubs: the Irish Times, the Bard & Banker (Scottish style), and the Penny Farthing (English style). Until recently I had only ever visited the first two since they are both downtown on Government street and are thus an easy place to wander in for a pint. The Penny Farthing not so much, being located in Oak Bay village, a location one would generally only visit if specifically planned. Now in fairness I must point out that my first ever visit to the Pennyfarthing at the end of September went rather smoothly. I was much impressed with the relative lack of televisions when compared to her sister pubs, it had a decent selection of English ales (I enjoyed a Goose Island Honkers Ale, which is from Chicago, but has a very authentic English taste), and combined with the tasteful interior this meant that there was a rather authentic and classic pub ambiance, something that I value very much. So when my friend Ian contacted me the other day expressing an interest in a visit to the Penny Farthing (“I’m craving English style pubs and pints” he said) I was of course delighted to return. I wish I could feel the same way after my second visit, but alas things were a bit disappointing this time around.
One of the best ways to explore a new city is by pub crawling. When I moved to Victoria for university, one of my initial aims was to acquaint myself with as many pubs as possible. While Victoria has too many great pubs to visit in one day, this particular route offers a nice over-view of the different pub styles to be found within the city.
So without further ado, here is my introductory pub crawl to Victoria.