I, on the other hand, had about 10 craft beer glasses in my cupboards, which suited my son (The Glass Nazi) fine at the time as one of his chores is putting away the dishes and he was very resistant to me getting new ones. However, as I recently mentioned, my Beer Buddy Hago cured my boy, David, of his glassphobia by simply suggesting to him that he pick out Daddy's new craft beer glasses during brewery visits. Stunningly, it worked. Like, really well. So despite my ongoing efforts, one simple sentence from Hago turned my boy around 180-degrees.
Perhaps now, I should also suggest that he buy the new glass for Daddy. You know, so he can really feel like part of the process! Parenting is all about inclusion. It is also a case of saying the same thing over and over to your children but expecting a better result each time. This is also the working definition of insanity. That is no coincidence.
So, anyway, while my craft beer glass collection is now somewhere in the mid-30s, a nice jump in a very short time, occasionally I am given some, as well. This was the case when I met up with my former coworker, Gordo, at Rib Eye Jack's Ale House a few weeks back for beers after work. (Despite the fact that we are surrounded all day by beer, our employers prefer we keep the drinking of said-beers to after-hours. Rules, rules, rules...)
Now despite being a loyal Molson Canadian drinker, Gordo seems to land some pretty cool craft glasses. I don't ask him how (because I don't want to know) but this time, he handed me a Lagunitas Brewing Company beer glass.
|Okay, the 420 at the top is definitely a marijuana reference just as|
the 3.14 at the bottom is a nonsensical reference to Pi. But that
10/6 in the middle? What the hell is that all about? Mysterious...
But because it's a Mason Jar style, Rib Eye Jacks GM Steve and I noticed the glass had some odd measuring markers along the side.Of course, mason jars are usually marked on the side, measuring either ounces, millilitres or cups. But these were unusual numbers to be sure. The top one was 420, which no doubt refers to a drug bust that nearly shut the brewery down in 2005.
The bottom number was 3.14, which is, of course, Pi, the number we use to calculate the circumference of a circle because it's important for 15-year-olds to memorize as many high school Math formulas as possible. Speaking as an adult, will you ever use these formulas again? No, not unless you go to work for NASA. So why are you being forced to learn them if even the teachers (who are now my age) know they are pointless to you in the future? Simple. Because some day (never), you might need to calculate the circumference of a circle (still never) to save a life (again never because that's just ridiculous).
But back to the glass and the number in the middle, 10/6. Now that one stumped both Steve and myself. As a fraction, it equals 1.66666666 (so you know, that six goes to infinity... and beyond!)
|All those Millennials who leave the tags on their|
ball caps are following in the footsteps of Alice
In Wonderland's Mad Hatter, who left the actual
price tag on his hat. Also, he was quite insane.
I forgot about it for a couple of weeks until the other night when I was yacking with Beer Bro Stevil St Evil on Messenger and after noticing I was using the glass, I bounced it off him. He was uncertain of the 10/6 himself and decided to Google it. Because he has a stupid amount of free time. Eventually, he found a reddit.com chat-session about the Lagunitas glass and its unusual marking. The general consensus among the drinkers who owned the glass is that it was a reference to the Mad Hatter's hat from Alice in Wonderland. And what does it mean? According to the book's author, Lewis Caroll, it means the hat cost (in British currency) "10 shillings and a sixpence" or maybe $40 to us in North America. As to why Lagunitas used it on their official glass? Still shrouded in mystery but we did mention drugs, right?
Ah yes, back to drugs and the infamous St. Paddy's Day 2005 marijuana drug bust at Lagunitas. It seems, back in the day, both the clientele and staff at the Petaluma, California brewery were not adverse to stepping outside to - how do the kids put it again? - spark a bone, blaze a spliff, fire up a doob, chief some leaf.
And since no actual arrests came of it, owner Tony Magee was able to strike a deal with the ABC headquarters in Sacramento. It ended up being a 20-day suspension of their selling licence with a one-year, zero tolerance probationary period for the then-12-year-old brewery. So, a pretty close call there.
|As Hago ponders the mysteries of the universe|
in the background, in the foreground is the
Redline Brewhouse's Artifacts Farmhouse
Brown Ale that Kaitlyn K brought out from a
super-secret backroom at the brewery. Tasty!
But since is a blog about beer, not the devil weed, why not talk about beers, instead? (Angel on my left shoulder: "Alcohol is also considered to be a drug." Devil on my right shoulder: "Oh, why don't you just shut the hell up?") And a great place to start would be some of the beers that came home with me from Barrie or were enjoyed there because there was some great ones.
When we stopped into Redline Brewhouse as Stop #1 on our Barrie Craft Beer Mini-Festival, we were joined shortly thereafter by Redline's Kaitlyn K, a very cool lady that I have had official craft beer business with over the phone for the last few years. (She used to work with the good folks at Flying Monkeys Craft Brewery across town. I'm employed by the Beer Store and drink a lot of their Smashbomb Atomic IPA. So the usual thing that draws people together - beer.) However, while Hago and I enjoyed many fine Redline beers that day (while David happily sipped his chocolate milk), Kaitlyn brought a couple of bombs out of the backroom for us to sample with our flights.
The first was the brewery's Series-1 Barrel-Aged Golden Brett Saison and folks, this one was a kaleidoscope of funky Brettanomyces yeasty flavours!
|Three different beers, all blended in different|
red wine barrels, made up this Series-1 Barrel
Aged Golden Brett Saison by Redline. Very
fruity, very yeasty and a total beastie in a glass.
But Kaitlyn K wasn't done with the goodies yet, hauling out a Artifacts Farmhouse Brown Ale, a 6.3% ale aged in a port barrel with sour cherries. (Hago, next time we're at Redline, let's sneak into the super-secret backroom because clearly it's a treasure trove of tasty treats!) I love when brewers do something wild with a bland old brown ale and man, did he ever with this. Once again, using Brett yeast, what popped with this 6.3% beer was the sour cherry flavour. Part beer, part Sweet Tart and all delicious. Frankly, Kaitlyn K spoiled us during our visit and I, for one, could get used to that...
Let's move across town to Stop #2, Barnstormer Brewing and Distilling for the next offering. While I walked away with five of their beers, the one I have to single out is their SR-71 Blackbird Black IPA. Reason #1 is that a dollar from every bottle went to Autism Ontario (Simcoe Chapter) so that is just cool. But Reason #2 is the timing of the beer release itself. This is not to say we didn't other favourites. Hago was a huge fan of their Buzz Aldrin Sour Peach while I, in turn, loved their Iron Compass Irish Red Ale. But the SR-71 Blackbird was literally released the night before we arrived. When I excitedly pointed out the announcement on Twitter to Hago and said, "It's like they knew I was coming!" Barnstormer's media man, Brad, stepped in to quip, "Just for you, Don!" Well, damn, that's pretty neighbourly, I'd say! The beer's official slogan is now, "The SR-71 Blackbird Black IPA. Brewed just for Don. But enjoyed by others! As he allows it..." (You're welcome, people!)
The SR-71 Blackbird is classified as both a Black IPA and a Cascadian Dark Ale. At 6% and 41 IBU (international bitterness units), it won't slap you upside the skull with hoppiness.
Okay, moving along to Flying Monkeys, the one I was most excited to grab was their Graceland Too White IPA, a collborative effort with Propeller Brewing, a place I thoroughly enjoyed during a Halifax visit last October. Now White IPAs have never been my thing but when two of my favourite brewers get together from 1,872 kilometres (1,163 miles) apart to make a beer, dammit, I will drink that very beer! Again, no need for thanks. Just a service I provide. But again, you're welcome.
As White IPAs are a blend of that west coast IPA style and Belgian Wits, this 6.5%, roughly 55 IBU beer did have some grassy wheat on the nose but also a nice whiff of citrus. There was a quick taste of banana on the tongue (it disappeared quickly) with more citrus and wheat on the back end. I wasn't wowed but I did enjoy it.
|Poor Hago. As I was leaving, he gifted me with a few|
beers, including his favourite, 5 Paddles Brewing's
Skull Pucker Sour IPA, shown here from their
Twitter feed. Only my second sour IPA, this was,
like the last one, more sour than IPA. Way more!
The last beer discussed today was one that caused poor Hago a lot of pain to pass along. Gifting me with a 5 Paddles In Your Face IPA, a 5 Paddles Skull Pucker Sour IPA and a Stack Brewing 4X4 Belgian Quad, it was the Skull Pucker that hurt him badly. Why? Being a sour fiend, it's one of his all-time favourites. And he was giving me his last one. I have already favourably reviewed the In Your Face IPA here last August and have yet to enjoy the Stack 4X4 so let's look at that Skull Pucker... just so Hago knows how much I enjoyed... his last one!!! (Yes, I'm a bastard-coated arseface.)
The only Sour IPA I've had before was Sawdust City Brewing and Stone City Ales' collaborative An Ale of Two Cities Sour IPA, gifted to me last Summer by co-worker Jay-Dawg. This was similar, which is as sour as hell. After trying so many milder sour styles, such as Goses and Berliner Weisses, it's nice to get one that seriously makes you pucker. This 5% beer did exactly that. Oh man, so sour!!! Some pineapple and orange on the nose, that all disappeared on the tongue. It was like biting into a lemon. And you know what? I'm seriously coming around to enjoying this style because of beers like this one. A great offering! Your sacrifice did not go in vain, Hago. Well, for you, maybe... but certainly not for me. (*Cue evil laughter*)
|If all these styles of beers with their varying colours and|
hues can get along, why can't we? Oh well. Drink beer.
Have fun. Enjoy life. And seriously, screw everything else.
Anyway, a great day of fun in Barrie and as you can see, some outstanding beers, as well as great food. I thank the folks at the three breweries for their patience. Because I bet the hardest part of being a server is waiting for that exact moment when the customer's mouth is full of food before asking them how everything is. So anyways, that's the mystery of the Lagunitas glass solved, the story of some great beers and it's time to go. But because I had David for two solid weeks at the beginning of April, I'm miles behind with these columns. I will catch up with a flurry of blog activity in May. But that's it, that's all and I am outta here. Unless next time, I remain...