Volume 95, Issue 8

Thursday, September 13, 2001
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The great Canadian beer myth

The history of suds

Beer banter

Beer: a friend through joy and sorrow

Every beer has its special moment in time

Beer: a friend through joy and sorrow

We all remember our first beer.

For me, I was an impressionable young boy enjoying a priceless summer day at my grandmother's cottage. All the "grown-ups" were out on the yard playing lawn darts and whacking back the equivalent of three truck loads of beer [they're Austrian – beer drinking is a professional vocation in the old country].

I was going through that young phase where all children want to think, act and be treated like an adult. In my starry-eyed perception there seemed one quick way to early maturity – I wanted some of that sweet, amber brew.

My dad, wise in many ways, indulged my young fancy. I responded the way most of us did – by practically spitting it back in his face. Frankly, it tasted like a combination of sweaty children's hands and dead hamsters.

Sometimes, in the wee hours of the morning, when slumber is beyond my grasp – I think about building a time machine and going back in time to kick my young, stupid ass. Free beer you ignorant little whelp – what were you thinking?

Of course, beer has played a major part in all periods of my life – it has been a consistent companion and ally through much of my earthly existence.

Like any friend, sometimes beer can be kind. At the end of a hard day of work, beer is there to soothe the soul. For me and my often ineffective attempts at finding romance, it has offered the courage I've needed to approach the woman of my dreams. It has also offered all potential mates a handy liquid to splash in my face to counter my advances.

Like any friend, beer can sometimes be malicious and highly mischievous. It can make you tell that gigantic, insufferably arrogant sasquatch in the bathroom of The Ceeps exactly how you feel about him and his cement headed Neanderthal buddies. It can also inspire you to throw beer bottles at city buses only to be rudely interrupted by Mr. Police Officer. Oh, beer – you sure are a wily one.

Have a beer when you're sad – it is there to comfort. It does not judge or offer you a brief and indifferent embrace. Beer is your friend. Lean on him or her when you're not strong.

As long as you don't land in jail, beer can be a fine life-long companion. There are so many options in flavour and quality, so many domestic and imported beers to choose from and so many shenanigans out there just waiting to happen.

Mmmmmmmmm – beer.

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