Saturday, May 22, 2010

LCBO Summer Beer Release

A couple beers came out that you should be buying. First, the Creemore Kellerbier, released last year, has returned. Kellerbier is the German version of cask ale. It's unfiltered lager served directly from the cask. Creemore's effort is admirable, a "highly" hopped version of their regular lager. I like a bit more of a bready malt profile in my Kellers, but this is a good beer. Available in brownish cans from the LCBO.

Also, for all you wheat beer lovers, you may have seen a green labelled Schneider on the LCBO shelves. The Schneider Weisen Edel-Weisse, is an excellent hefeweizen that you need to try. Probably my favourite product I've tried from them.

I should have passed this along earlier, but it completely slipped my mind. The LCBO put the Summer Release out there, and some of the goodies have been hitting the shelves. The list from Bartowel (follow link for working links and reviews on BA and RB):

164046 / Schneider Hopfen Weisse / $3.25 / 500ml
1617130 / Gaffel Kolsch / $3.25 / 500ml
676304 / Hacker-Pschorr Munich Gold Edelhell / $2.75 / 500ml
105874 / Great Lakes Green Tea Ale / $4.95 / 650ml
168393 / Ölvisholt Brugghús Skjalfti / $3.95 / 500ml
14514 / Pump House Blueberry Ale / $12.95 / 6 x 341ml
165746 / Dieu du Ciel Rosée d’Hibiscus / $3.10 / 341ml
TBC / Trafalgar Cherry Ale / $4.50 / 630ml
696955 / Christoffel Bier / $2.95 / 330ml
171546 / Hitachino Nest Real Ginger Brew / $3.95 / 330ml
171439 / Samuel Smiths Organic Raspberry Ale / $5.50 / 550ml
73718 / Edelweiss Weissbier Snowfresh / $1.95 / 330ml
76497 / Sam Adams Summer Ale / $13.65 / 6 x 355ml

Some of these have already started hitting the shelves. Of note is the Gaffel Kolsch. If you've tried Beau's from Ottawa, you'll want to give this a shot. I haven't had any myself, but I hear it's a bit of a standard for the Kolsch style.

Otherwise there are a few goodies on here that beer geeks are interested in. First amongst them is the Hopfen Weisse. This beer is a collaboration between famous hefeweizen brewery Schneider, and famous American craft brewery Brooklyn. The idea was for a hoppy hefe, made in each country, but substituting local hops for that part of the recipe. It's a beer geek darling, and I'm pretty excited for it. This is the German version.

Otherwise, the Skjalfti, Rosee, Christoffel, Hitachino, and Samuel Smiths, are all interesting entries that I plan on buying.

Great Lakes' Green Tea Ale wasn't a favourite last year, but the brewers say it's been tinkered with, so give it a try if you're of the mind. You're always taking a risk with Trafalgar, so I'm staying away from their Cherry Ale, but if you've had better luck with their beers, more power to you. If you like Blueberry, try the Blueberry Ale. I'm not a big blueberry fan, so can't say that I've indulged. The Sam Adams Summer Ale is a nice light summer beer, but nothing fantastic. I would definitely give the Edelweisse Snowfresh a shot. It's a sweetened weissbeer that's perfect by the pool.

Happy hunting!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

In Defence of Politics

"It's just politics" has become the standard response to any and all government scandals or screw-ups from the CPC, Conservative media, and their fluffers on the internet. They say/write it with a sense of finality, fingers planted firmly in ears to show they're not willing to hear any more about Jaffer, prorogation, Afghan detainees, or, most recently, Speaker Milliken. Just politics, not worth discussion.

Prime example today from Persichilli in The Star today. Headline says it all:

Speaker's rulining not historic, just politics

Isn't that a fascinating point of view? That being political and being historic are mutually exclusive? Screw the referenda on Quebec sovereignty, screw Meech Lake, screw women's suffrage, heck, screw Confederation. Politics can't be historic. To be historic, according to Persichilli, you need to be carrying a gun and defending democracy in Afghanistan.

The fact that a politician tries to make political hay out of an issue should never be sneered at. Politicians should not be chastised for playing politics. Opposition politics are a feature of our political system. Because something might benefit the Liberal Party, or the Conservative Party doesn't void whatever real concerns are lying underneath. To the contrary, we expect a healthy opposition to play politics constantly, especially in a minority situation, in order to hold the government to account.

The idea that Conservatives are now using this tired old defence to wish away something as important as the Speaker's ruling on Parliamentary privilege is a shame. The fact that a good many, possibly most, Canadians accept Persichilli's view is just disturbing.