Monthly Archives: May 2011

I miss hops and hockey

Obviously I know that almost all beer has hops in it, but not necessarily the high levels you find in the pacific northwest. When I moved to London I thought I’d be moving to a beer mecca, cask beer everywhere! I actually feel like I’ve taken a step down beer-wise. While there is a thriving pub culture here that I very much enjoy, I can’t say as much about the quality of the average beer. The majority of cask ales have been open a bit too long and taste a bit stale. Even the freshest cask of English ale can only be described as a mild pale ale by west coast standards. We’re blessed in Vancouver to have been influenced by the hopheads of Oregon, Seattle, and Northern California and it tastes good.

Central City Red Racer IPA

Sweet, sweet Central City IPA

I didn’t realize quite how much I missed a 60 IBU West Coast IPA until I had a slew of visitors gift me fantastic bottles from the motherland. Amongst my blessings I counted Central City IPA, Granville Island Imperial IPA, and Deschutes Hop Trip. They were delicious, thanks for asking. Of course there are British exceptions, such as the brilliantly hoppy offerings from Brewdog in Scotland, but I can definitely say that UK brewing lacks the adventurous extremes of the North American west coast and Belgium. Lucky for me, I’m making a quick return to Vancouver next week. Canucks woooo!

I knew that I missed hockey, but (again) I didn’t realize how much until I was reminded of it’s absolute awesomeness. Game 4 of the Vancouver Canucks vs San Jose Sharks series was at noon pacific time, meaning it was on in London at 8PM. I seized my big chance to watch live hockey for the first time in over a year at the Maple Leaf pub in Covent Garden, as did every other hockey starved Vancouverite in London. I can honestly say it was one of the best atmospheres in which I’ve ever watched a hockey game. The place was packed out with fervent Canucks fans decked in blue and teal, complete with UK levels of alcohol consumption, which resulted in really good times. What choice do I have but to come home for the parade?

At the Maple Leaf for game 4

At the Maple Leaf for game 4

Hank didn't touch it, we're good

Hank didn't touch it, we're good

Cheers,

Chris