Well, that title should up the search-term traffic to my site. KayJai issued a challenge the other day for me to explain the complexities of the Canadian beer and hockey industries, but I think I’ll take a slapshot or two at the Americans while I’m at it. I explained that, with my extensive knowledge of these subjects, and a dollar, you can get any size drink at a McDonalds this summer.
At the height of my drinking, the amount I imbibed wouldn’t equal the *hair of the dog* some of my compatriots sucked back to kill a hangover. I had a friend stay the night after a teenage party, and he wouldn’t even throw back the covers till someone put a bottle in his hand.
There are basically three major brewers in Canadia, of which KayJai is our president. They are Labatt, Molson, and Carling/O’Keefe, which is actually owned by the Canadian/American, Molson/Coors conglomerate. There used to be four but, if you’ll put your beer down and look carefully, you’ll notice that two of them merged. There are some great, and not so great, smaller, area brewers. Then we get down to the even-smaller micro-, and craft-breweries.
Our federal government, certainly not aided and abetted, or influenced by huge campaign contributions from the beer behemoths, had a rule that beer brands could not be sold unless they were brewed in the Province of sale. There are some very nice beers brewed by companies in Atlantic Canada, or B.C., but we in Ontario have to rely on kind relatives who come for a visit.
To explain the nuances of taste and quality among the various lagers and ales produced by the almost-monopolies, I would like to refer to the great Benny Hill, who said, “Not a hape o’ the difference!” I know there are die-hard, or in some cases, die-easy, beer drinkers who claim to know the difference. These are the same, silly, opinionated fools who think that Ford is better than Chevy; or is it vice-versa….I can never keep it straight.
With all their products, it’s difficult enough to tell lagers from ales. Anyone who claims he can tell one make from another, thinks too highly of his sense of taste. It’s no wonder that the wine snobs look down on lowly beer drinkers. I went to a family gathering at a brother-in-law’s house, and he had put out some more-expensive Christmas Bock beer, along with the regular slop. When I went back for a second, an hour later, they had disappeared. His excuse was that, after two or three, you can’t taste the difference, so he was saving the good stuff.
Canadian beer is mostly bland crap, but at least it’s 5% alcohol bland crap, suitable for guzzling and getting a buzz on with. I watched a comedian who claimed he was cutting down on his alcohol consumption. He went from liquor to Canadian beer, to water, to American beer. 3% alcohol in regular American beer??! What’s in the Lites? Baby cough medicine has more of a bite than that! Do all American beer-drinkers have huge bladders?
Personally, I drink local craft beer, or imported, Waterloo County Dark, Sleeman Honey Brown, Newcastle Brown Ale, Rickards Red, or Dark, the Rickards White is so empty, it’s worse than American. I drink them because I value the body, not the buzz.
I could have written the preceding in a snowbank, with my fly unzipped. Having flamed the beer industry, let’s move on to defame hockey. WWE on skates! Soap opera for jocks! Bread and circuses for the masses. Remember what happened to Rome, when they started playing that game?
Bah! You young guys don’t know what real hockey is. I haven’t seen a good game since there were only six teams in the league. There’s only so much real talent, and it’s diluted way too thin. I went to a fight, and a hockey game broke out. Once upon a time hockey players could play hockey. They knew how to skate, pass and shoot, then came the enforcers. These guys can barely move their sticks, because they’ve got a blackjack in one hand, and brass knuckles on the other.
Years ago, when this movement was just starting, Boston hired a young goon and told him to keep an eye on Detroit’s Gordie Howe. He spotted a chance to take Gordie into the corner, and acted on it. He came out with a broken arm, and a five-minute penalty. “Best way to avoid punch, is not be there.” Gordie danced around him and made him look like a fool.
The fervor and loyalty that many fans have for their *local* team, just astounds me. My bunch of arrogant, overpaid, bunny-screwing, bar-fighting, drug-using egotists, who don’t actually live here, can beat your bunch of arrogant, overpaid, bunny-screwing, drug-using immigrants! And hockey in the South??! What a great idea! Florida Panthers….Atlanta Thrashers….when they play, there has to be a translator on the TV screen, like for the deaf. If mint isn’t involved, they don’t know what ice is for.
I’ve heard some of these zealots bitch about Toronto Maple Leafs fans. They don’t care whether Toronto wins or not, they still go to, or watch, the game. Actually,* Leafs fans* is a misnomer. They’re hockey fans, or just entertainment fans. They pay to see a game, and they see one every time. Sometimes the Leafs win, sometimes they lose. When you go to a movie to be entertained, you don’t care whether Batman beats up the Joker, or the Joker thumps Batman. You probably want both to happen, and are happy when it does but, either way, you know there’s always tomorrow and tomorrow. There will always be, The Rise of Maple Leafs, and, Son of Maple Leafs, and, Bridge on the Maple Leafs, so, drag out that cold case of Labatt’s Blue, and we’ll watch the game, eh?!