Wednesday, March 27, 2013

FRUITY BEER? NO THANKS


I may have mentioned this before but I can say it again...I like beer. Always have. It’s certainly not a dependency and I don’t consume anywhere near the amount of beer that I did in my old “Weekend Warrior” days but I’m still known to occasionally drink a few cold ones. My Dad always said that my love of beer came from my Mother's Hungarian roots and pointed out how Mom's father and brothers enjoyed a cool one or two every now and then but that theory flies in the face of Dad's Welsh/English beer guzzling ancestry.

            In fact if you look up the top twenty countries by average consumption per person in litres of beer Hungary ranks 17th at 75.3 litres per person while the United Kingdom, (Ireland not included), is ranked 6th in the world at 99.0 litres per person. Canada, by the way, is ranked 19th at 68.3 litres per person and Ireland all by its lonesome is ranked number two in the world at 131.1 litres per person. Who's number one, you ask? The Czech Republic at 156.9 litres per person. These are statistics people, not judgements, okay?

            So anyway, short-story-long I like to experiment with my beer choices and try different kinds of beer from all over the world. My way of thinking is that you really shouldn't call yourself a beer drinker, though, if you've never tasted a Guinness. The Irish really take their stout beer seriously, too, so seriously that the original Guinness Brewery in Dublin has a 9,000 year lease on its property, at a perpetual rate of 45 Irish pounds, (roughly $26.00 Canadian), per year. Now there's a safe business model, eh?

            Our little Liquor Board store in town here is very good at bringing in a variety of beers from all over and, as stated above, I like to experiment every now and then so they bring something in and I try ‘em out. But now we’ve got some trust issues going on because I stopped in and was shopping around and they had brought in some kind of fruity beer from France called “1664 Blanc” and I was reading on the packaging that it is a wheat beer and it has a “Fresh & Fruity Flavour”. I was waffling and saying I didn’t know if I would like two of my favourite things mixed together. I like beer and I like fruit but I don’t know if I’d like a combination thereof.

The staff at the store assured me it’d be good and the beer company’s advertising stated that it “turns every beer moment into a sip of French pleasure.” Really? I beg to differ. If this is France’s version of beer drinking pleasure then it’s no wonder they aren’t even in the top 50 of beer drinking nations. My guess is that they like their beer to taste like wine or something.

My first sip of “French pleasure” was not so pleasurable. Yeeuchh! Ptooey. Those six bottles went down so slow it was terrible. Not even a near-frozen state helped it slide down better. Again, I’m not sure if it’s an English thing or a Hungarian thing but if I pay for something I’m going to use it. Even if it almost hurts.

I recall my famous words to the Liquor Board staff members quite clearly, “What if this stuff tastes like s…not good. Is there a money back guarantee?”

“Oh, no, no…you’ll like it”, they assured me…WRONG!

But, then again, as they say, “to each their own”, and one should never question anyone else’s tastes but, at the same time, I also recall a wise local store clerk who once exclaimed, “it’s good if you like it!” However, in this particular instance…I just didn’t. Like it, that is.

“Taste every fruit of every tree in the garden at least once. It is an insult to creation not to experience it fully. Temperance is wickedness”-Stephen Fry (1957-).

 

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