Spending yesterday afternoon in search of great beer was a pleasant reminder to me about why I love beer. Now I know we are only 23 days into this year, but I strongly believe yesterday will easily finish in my top five beer moments of 2009. There was no one particular beer that made yesterday so memorable; it was the combination of great beer, great places, great food and great company that made yesterday shine through the dreariness of BC’s foggy start to 2009.
The afternoon started by meeting my good friend Brad in Burnaby, on route to Brewery Creek. For those of us who live in the Fraser Valley, a trip out to Brewery Creek is not a weekly occurrence and is a noteworthy event. Until yesterday Brad was a Brewery Creek virgin – I was excited to show him the bounty that is Brewery Creek, and he was excited to spend his entire beer budget in one fell swoop. With grins on our faces we perused through the shelves slowly filling our carts with beer. For those who haven’t been, Brewery Creek is like a candy store for adults, only the candy doesn’t cost 5 cents. Brad loaded up on barley wine and I rounded out my collection with beer from Oregon, Washington, BC and Belgium. Had the day ended here it would have already been great – but it continued on.
We still had plenty of time in the afternoon and I had not yet satisfied my desire for new beer, so we decided to head to Firefly. This was my first visit to Firefly, and with a parking spot left open beside the store it was meant to be. Firefly has an impressive beer and wine selection, but I can’t say standing in a fridge while shopping for beer is ideal. Nonetheless, I added a few more bottles to my collection and headed on out; Brad had already overspent his budget and had to go without. I will be updating The Cellar shortly with my most recent additions, although most of my purchases will end up in my belly before they make it to the cellar.
By this time it was quarter to five and hunger was setting in. Yesterday was Thursday, and DIX Brewery has cask ale on Thursdays – good news! We headed over to DIX for an early dinner and to enjoy this week’s cask ale – a Rye IPA better know as Jack the RIPA. The cask ale was fantastic, with hints of spice from the rye, a warming malt flavour, and a great hop kick. One was all it took yesterday – sometimes simplicity and moderation (I can’t believe I am writing this) is a good thing. The food at DIX was equally impressive, I ordered the BBQ Brisket Sandwich and Brad decided on a burger. DIX was the perfect way to end an afternoon beer hunt.
I love beer because it is more than just nourishment to our bodies and a means for drunkenness. Good beer, like good food, becomes exponentially better when enjoyed with good friends, and yesterday’s beer tasted pretty fantastic.