American liquor connoisseurs have Canada to thank for keeping their palates wet during
Prohibition, as it was Canadians who made sure they didn’t go thirsty.
In fact, in its heyday Canadian-based Seagrams was the largest distiller in the world.
It’s no wonder than that Canadians are always near, if not at, the top when it comes to the consumption of alcohol.
A recent survey showed 77 per cent of those calling Canada home enjoy drinking – and that’s just the ones who ‘fessed up.
And the Yukon is where the country’s highest consumption takes place.
While some of it can be attributed to the thousands of tourists (Oktoberfest=Germany=Loves the Yukon), for the most part it is Yukoners doing their part to keep us at the top.
Of course not every Yukoner partakes of the drink.
For the dozen or so of you out who don’t, this article won’t make sense. Sorry.
During my time in the north I have seen more grizzly bears than I have people turning down a pint, glass of wine or shot of tequila.
Why not, I say. It tastes good, brings friends together, makes karaoke fun, the Canucks good. And up here in the Yukon, let’s face it, the options are plentiful.
In fact, many of you may even be enjoying a wobbly-pop as you read this very issue of What’s Up.
Yup, like a fine art, Yukoners seem to be able to take any regular situation and have it involve booze.
Example #1: Good friends of mine throwing a keg party on the day they moved into their new house.
There, amidst boxes of their treasured possessions, furniture and pots, plates and pans, were friends enjoying some brewskies, plastic cups in hand.
Three years later that keg party has become an annual fixture in our social calendars.
Example #2: Driving many kilometres to Haines one a particular weekend, risking potential and unnecessary interrogation at the border, just to drink beer in a dusty fair ground for five hours.
From there, once the beerfest closes, heading back to the campground for more beers before heading to the Fog Cutter or Bamboo Room for some dancing and – you guessed it – more booze.
Example #3: Dressing up like Santa and going from pub to pub, singing, dancing, accosting.
Those are just a few of my examples, I’m sure you have your own.
How many of you attended the Rotary Wine Festival held last month? Or, as one Yukoner described it to another, “the buffet of booze!”
A good chunk of you, obviously. It was sold out.
How about the Dawson Music Festival?
Who can’t say they have missed out on a great set or two on the main stage because the beer tasted so good in the adjacent garden, or they had to get to The Pit for last call.
Staying with Dawson … anywhere else it would seem strange to line up, pay $5, and have a shot that results in someone’s actual toe touch your lips.
In the Yukon, though, the Sourtoe Cocktail is mandatory for all – cheechako, tourist or sourdough alike.
Then there is Rendezvous.
Men in drag showcasing their various talents to win – you guessed it – beer tickets, Can-Can girls hopping from bar to bar selling raffle tickets, snow shoe shufflers performing in various bars ….
And who among us hasn’t tried the classic “no booze for a month or two” trick?
It seems that just becomes an invitation for strangers to ring the bell at the Gold Rush, for friends to have keg parties and free shots to be sent your way!
Yup, from potlucks and pond hockey to pub crawls and plays at the Guild, booze seems to be the consistent.
I guess, for me, the Yukon is Canada during Prohibition and I’m America.
Cheers. Please drink in moderation. And take a cab!