The renaissance of craft brewing in Canada all started with a single beer.
We are not talking about the first bottle rolled out the door by Granville Island Brewing, in 1984. Nope, we are talking about that experience enjoyed by every dedicated craft beer drinker somewhere along the road … that time “the beer” set them upon the road to beer enrichment.
There are very few of us craft beer lovers who did not start somewhere in the past with a light, fizzy, pale-yellow wobbly pop. After all, that’s probably to be expected. Our first step on the road to food enjoyment was probably Pablum, and our first step on the wine road might have been Cold Duck.
Somewhere along the way we have had that moment of epiphany: we learned that all ice cream is not necessarily vanilla and that you can put more on a cracker than just Cheese Whiz.
Not that there is anything wrong with vanilla ice cream or Cheese Whiz, by any means. But if that is your limit to creativity with desserts or snacks, you are just plain missing the boat.
Let’s face it, most craft beer drinkers were, at some point in their life, uncertain if not afraid of “dark beers” or “bitter beers”.
It only seemed like these were enjoyed by weird foreigners in strange lands. But somewhere along the way, they took the chance to step outside their comfort zone and, for many, there was no looking back.
In truth, “the beer” is more likely a series of beer sojourns spaced over an extended journey into craft beer.
For every craft beer lover, life is a series of single beers and defining moments: the right pub and atmosphere at the right time with the right people, warm weather and the perfect quencher, celebratory moments with family – or a stolen hour of personal solace at the end of a long day. Each accompanied by “the beer”.
For many of us, part of the process was the tour of a small brewery after a satisfying sample of their product. After all, something about what they were doing was different from the behemoth brewers.
What better way to discover what that something is than to go see for yourself?
Another part of the process that we may be able to enjoy, soon, here in Whitehorse, is a brewpub.
Generally speaking, brewpubs have very small brewing systems, so that they can offer a wide variety of beers and beer styles on several tap handles. This often gives you the opportunity to try small sample glasses of many different beer types, ordering only the one that resonates with you that day.
So, here’s to cappuccino-mocha frozen yogurt, herbed cream cheese on crackers – and, “the beer”.
This column is courtesy of the Yukon Brewing Company, an organization that always offers to bring the beer … and lets others bring the snacks.
Mark Beese is our co-publisher.