Happy New Year to all my readers! Normally WordPress offers up a pre-made annual report, but this year they either didn’t do that, or I failed to encounter the pertinent notification of offer. No matter the truth, this has given me the opportunity to craft my very own 2016 in Review!
Over the last couple of years I have reviewed several beers that can only be found in stores at this time of year. So for your convenience, I have decided to put them all together into one post to help you navigate the oft’ overwhelming realm of the Winter ale/Christmas ale/Seasonal release shelves. This post is mostly applicable to British Columbia, but certain brews may be available in other jurisdictions too!
Last week England played Wales in Euro 2016 at 6 AM, and so I excitedly got up early and prepared tea, bacon, eggs, and toast for the morning meal. Oh ya, that day was also my university convocation, and so my parents duly came down from the Okanagan to watch me walk across a stage for about thirty seconds. The ceremony itself wasn’t a big deal to me, but the chance to watch the match with my father and to later go for a picnic on the beach made the whole thing worthwhile. Whilst at the beach, my father and I shared a Merridale Scrumpy.
I have long had a fascination with all things from the British Isles, with those originating in England striking the deepest chord. One of those things has long been cricket; that very British of sports, queer, elusive, incomprehensible, yet indispensably appropriate if one is to understand the antics of P. G. Wodehouse’s Bertie Wooster, or the gentleman thief A. J. Raffles of E. W. Hornung fame.
And so a sport that had merely elicited British stereotypes in my mind slowly transformed from mystery into a sport that I knew and loved: first during an eight hour One Day International at the MCG in Melbourne, 2013, and more recently during the 2015 Cricket World Cup. After that I was hooked; I needed to play cricket. In the summer of 2015, the best that I could do was to practice one time with the Kelowna Cricket Club, but in the summer of 2016 I did one better!
This past Wednesday at UVic I attended Beerology, hosted by the Scientific Method, and held in the Vertigo room of the SUB. This was not a new event, for I seem to remember seeing posters last year, but this was the first time that I had ever attended! There were six local breweries in attendance, one cidery from up island, one brewery from Vancouver, and one promotional booth for the second edition of Joe Wiebe’s Craft Beer Revolution. They all had about three or four creations for sampling, and owing to the social nature of my attendance, and the relatively small for tasting notes 4oz glasses, I opted to drink rather than think too much at the event. Despite my lack of tasting notes, I did keep a list of all that I tried, and some general observations were made.