|Yes, we applaud Prince Edward Island's Kensington Police|
Department for doing their part in getting drunk drivers
off the road. But have they crossed the line with this new
punishment? Arresting the driver is one thing but, man...
So basically, at its narrowest, you could walk from one side to the other without breaking too much of a sweat. Unless you're me... in which case, you would collapse in a heap about 250 steps in. Frankly, I'm more into upper body core strength, specifically my right arm, the one that holds the beer. I could be wrong but I don't ever remember dropping one in my life. That, my friends, is core strength.
But back to PEI and even more specifically, its tiny town of Kensington, which gained national and then international attention last week for something posted on social media. I thought it was very funny, rather than controversial, but I'll let you be the judge.
Noting that Christmas season was upon us, meaning seasonal parties and social events that usually involve alcohol, Kensington Police Constable Robb Hartlin posted that his department would be out in full force, "looking for those dumb enough to feel they can drink and drive." He further warned that, "When we catch you - and we will catch you - on top of a hefty fine, a criminal charge and a year's driving suspension, we will also provide you with the bonus gift of playing the office's copy of Nickelback in the cruiser on the way to jail."
Now obviously, the last bit was tongue-in-cheek. Perhaps a means to capture attention towards what is a problem (drunk driving) that certainly increases with this particular season. And the thing is, it did get attention. A lot of social media attention. World-wide, even. In fact, far more attention than Hartlin's comfort zone allowed him. And he began to feel bad because in the end, he very much likes the band and their music. He made that much perfectly clear in the original media release. He flat-out said big fan, love them. But, well, mocking Nickelback is kinda universal - everyone does it. So Hartlin was having some fun with the anti-Nickelback folks out there as they seem to be... well, pretty much everyone.
|♫ Never made it as a wise man. Couldn't cut it as a|
poor man stealing. Ran out of occupational ideas
after that. None of them were too appealing... ♫ See?
Nickelback songs are so formulatic, I can write one!
Now personally, I actually believe the band is a little more successful because of it. Still, Hartlin felt guilty. He invoked the name of a band he quite likes to use humour against a serious problem. He felt that perhaps he had made light of the consequences of drunk driving after his "threat" got the attention it did. So he did what any good Canadian would do.
He apologized. He said, "I'm sorry" to both the band and anyone who thought his light-hearted approach trivialized a serious issue. And believe me, it was sincere. He followed it up by saying, "How would I tell my son he was wrong for picking on a kid in the playground when I was doing the same thing? But I was not doing it on a local playground. No, I was doing it on a global scale to a global audience."
Personally, I thought it was as funny as hell and my dark secret is that I am a Nickelback fan. I think their songs are undeniably catchy, certainly not complicated but still a lot of fun. And they're ridiculously easy to sing-along to when they come on the car radio. In fact, I remember telling my step-son Ryan that I was going to a Nickelback concert several years back.
|My Beer Bro Stevil St Evil had a little fun with the David|
Warner "controversy" by taking Annika and Neil's photo
and superimposing it onto a still image from Nickelback's
"Photograph" video. The whole thing was a great ride...
And while I feel bad for Constable Hartlin's failed joke - which I still find funny - there was a far bigger Nickelback war waged in New Zealand back in February. You see, my buddy, Neil, the country's 2014 Beer Writer of the Year, happened to be attending a championship cricket match between New Zealand and arch-rivals Australia.
|Australian cricketer David Warner eyes a|
beer writer in the stands and vows that the
next pitch will be coming right at his head...
One small problem. Warner didn't get it. He apparently was one of the dozen or so people on the planet who's never heard of the band. So the athlete actually asked Neil on Twitter to explain it to him. (Is there anything worse than having to explain a joke? Oh, right... Nickelback.) So Neil simply tweeted back that it was "a reference to being successful, yet controversial to many." The pair took some mild jabs at each other, back and forth on Twitter, before Warner finally tweeted, "Good comeback, bro. You want me to get you more followers. You look like you might need some. Haha." Being a professional athlete, Warner has 1.1 million followers whereas Miller has 3,660. But it was game, set and match to Miller, who tweeted back: "Apart from batting, the only advice I'd take from you is how to grow a mo (moustache) that looks like a 70s porn star playing a traffic cop."
And since both countries are Down Under and neither are Canada, the debate ended without apologies as both men simply carried on with their lives. While short-lived, it was fun to watch while it lasted.
Okay, that ends the Nickelback portion of this (I suspect for the only time ever) so I guess it must be Beer O'Clock around these parts. *Looks at clock - not even 9 am * Well, time to talk about beer. I'll drink some later.
A couple of Sundays back, I got a nice visit here at Donny's Bar and Grill from Mrs Polkaroo, the lovely wife of my Beer Writing Buddy Drunk Polkaroo. She had a bag filled with four beauties from Polk and I had some to send back his way. Polk calls it #beersaint whereas I simply call it #PrisonerExchange because let's face it, those soldiers are gonna die. But while two are still in my fridge (one a bourbon barrel-aged one from Cameron's), two soldiers were struck down on the field of battle (my patio table) so let's look at them.
First of all, I was excited to get a Muddy York Brewing R-100 IPA for three reasons. Number one, it's an IPA. Two, my first Muddy York beer. And three, look at that label! It would be a perfect Led Zeppelin album cover!
|While Polkaroo gifted me with a Redline Brewing Kollision|
Hoppy Lager, this picture belongs to Paul The Beer Guy,
who loves to employ the funky Batman angle into his pics!
Stoner #2: Oh, definitely When The Hobbits Arise. You?
Stoner #1: Oh, totally Vikings in Valhalla, man.
(Note: All Led Zeppelin songs boil down to only five different things - hobbits, trolls, Vikings, sex or shrubbery.)
But that R-100 IPA? Oh baby, it was nice! The 7%, 70 IBUs (international bitterness units) brew had some dynamite citrus and pine on the nose while on the tongue, it was all grapefruit and a wee touch of pineapple. Some light malt on the back-end gave this beautiful balance. As first beers from a brewery go, I couldn't have asked for a better starter! There will be more Muddy York in my future. And probably mud due to seasonal conditions.
Okay, next up, Redline Brewing's Kollision Hoppy Lager, a beer I had sampled at the recent Rib Eye Jack's Beer Fest but never enjoyed in its entirety, meaning simply a whole one.
|Black and gold... black and gold!!! While those colours|
are synonymous with Hamilton's football team, they
were also what I brought home from Hamilton's
Collective Arts Brewing when I grabbed some cans of
their Black IPA and brand new Imperial IPA. Nice!
Speaking of #PrisonerExchange, when my son, David and his Mom moved to Sarnia last year, we decided the fairest thing to do when transferring him back and forth was to meet in London. And as we travel home to Burlington along Highway 403, I usually take the opportunity to pop into Hamilton to visit either the Dundurn LCBO or Collective Arts Brewing on the waterfront. This time around, the choice was a no-brainer as Collective Arts had recently released their Imperial IPA, as well as re-released their Collective Project Black IPA, now a year later, simply called Black IPA. But that Imperial IPA has been anticipated by many of us for quite some time now.
|David loves visiting Collective Arts Brewing in|
Hamilton simply because they have a working
pinball machine in their retail section. "Yeah, it's
pretty cool having that," said the girl at the counter
I've reviewed the Black IPA in the past (with much praise) but before I get to the Imperial, I want to point out one thing about the Black IPA. Whereas most really good Black IPAs give you a whiff of something familiar, like grapefruit or citrus, they also give you a whiff of coffee or chocolate like a porter. Not this one. If you close your eyes and smell it, it's exactly like a gold IPA. It's not until it's on your tongue that you get some of the porter-stout tastes expected of this style. That makes it fairly unique to me.
But that Imperial IPA? Holy crap-on-a-cross, that's a sexy beer! At 8.5% and roughly 90 IBUs, it punches you in the face with its mango and peach aroma which is followed by a dynamite pine thickness and tropical fruits on the tongue. As expected, there is a much-needed malt backbone on the finish because beers this big and hoppy need the aid of their friends, the malts. Sales of this beer - if any remain - were limited to four per customer per visit. So hopefully, you didn't miss it because man, that is one tasty-ass beer. I have one left, which I will enjoy after this but I may scoot back to see if any are left. If not, there's always more Black IPA and their incomparable Ransack The Universe IPA. I can't really lose either way which is almost always the situation when it comes to me and beer. Hashtag #DonnyCantLose...
There were some recent Hop City Brewing beers that landed in my Beer Store, including the new Polly Want A Pilsner and old favourites Big Mouth Pale Ale and HopBot IPA. The Pilsner is still in my fridge but I'd had both the others quite some time ago. Like three years or so. So I decided it was time to revisit the HopBot. The brewers use five premier west coast hops in this one - Citra, Cascade, Williamette, Mosaic and Simcoe. At 7.1% and roughly 70-75 IBUs, with that hop combo, it should make for a pretty punchy beer, yes? Well, actually, yes and no. Don't get me wrong because I did enjoy it. But while it has the prerequisite fruity aroma, in this case, melon, I found there was an unusual caramel back-end on the tongue. Not normally a flavour you'd associate with an IPA. However, it does make for an interesting break so give it a whirl.
|I have always heaped praise on Nickel Brook Brewing's|
Bolshevik Bastard Imperial Stout, which was, in fact,
the first stout I ever tried. Well, after Guinness, which
actually makes it the first really GOOD stout I ever had.
As the year winds down, I have quite literally dozens of "Best Of" awards coming from 2016 but in the spirit of that, I recently came across a one-sentence review of my long-time favourite Nickel Brook Bolshevik Bastard Imperial Stout that I have to share with you. Beer Buddy Hago Vanayan recently tried it and this was his one-sentence summation of the beer. "Pours like chocolate Communist blood of a Russian vampire..." I fell down laughing after reading that review. Outstanding!
And since we're talking about Hago and Polkaroo, both regularly release video reviews of beers and some of them are pretty damn funny. Drunk Polkaroo recently enlisted his brother, Mike, a long-time rye drinker who shuns beer, to be part of his reviews and the result was spectacular in its hilarious fail to draw a booze drinker over. As well, Hago often includes his teenage daughters in his reviews... in a non-drinking capacity, of course. In one, they engage in a Paddle Battle that soon turns into an Oar War. Wait until the end to hear one of his girls mimic his reviewing style. Here's Polkaroo's video at: Beers That Nearly Killed Mikey! and you can follow that with Hago's at: Teenage Paddle Battle!!! Both videos are hilarious so check them out. But guys and dolls, that's it, that's all and I am outta here! Until next time, I remain...