A second guest post in two days! This latest contribution to the Love Good Beer fold is written by Peter Chandler, a good friend of mine and a stellar human being. A technical writer by trade and a seasoned beer traveler, he spins a good yarn. ~ Chris
Mats Sundin’s debut with the Canucks earlier this month was a special occasion for all Vancouverites. Like many of the team’s supporters, I decided that this night was a momentous enough occasion–either that or it was just a good enough excuse for my wife–to trek out to my local Big Ridge Brewing Company to enjoy the game with a few friends and a few pints.
For starters, I ordered their seasonal offering, an Espresso Stout, which sounded like it would be awesome, with a side of poutine (that turned out to be the best poutine west of the Rockies). Unfortunately, to me the seasonal tasted like a melted 7-Eleven Slurpuccino filtered through a dirty ashtray. Okay, maybe that was a bit harsh; the pint probably wasn’t that bad. After all, I was able to finish it, though I certainly didn’t order another one. For seconds, I grabbed a Black and Tan, which was more suited to my palate and more flavourful than the bottle of Bud that the guy beside me was drinking. The Black and Tan blended fairly quickly, tasted very smooth, and quickly cleansed my memory of the previous pint. I guess that is why I love Big Ridge. Within their small selection of microbrews there is enough flavour and variety for everyone–everyone except for that dude who was drinking a bottle of Bud–to find something to their liking. It is that process, the quest for the perfect pint, which I enjoy the most.
By the way, I love Big Ridge, so much so that I went there on my wedding day. Chris (a key member of my wedding party) showcased his usual creative frugality, proclaiming, “This guy is getting married”, while pointing at me, “do we get any free stuff?” The waitress, preparing to make a quick escape from our table, raised her right eyebrow, tilted her head and replied without giving Chris an answer, “This is the saddest stag I have ever seen”.
Fair enough, if that really was my bachelor party, I, too, would have been underwhelmed. Incidentally, my stag was a legendary affair. Sun-soaked Osoyoos, bathwater-soaked hotel room, golf, wine touring and the epic Sage pub. But this is not a tale of debauchery and hooliganism, this is a story about fresh, delicious beer, pleasant surroundings, and good times. I’ll leave that story for another time.