Follow beer writer, Troy Burtch, as he explores the wonderful world of craft beer and the pubs that serve it. Great Canadian Beer is a place to come to catch up on beer news, read tasting notes, check out event listings, and for pub previews and reviews.


Friday, April 4, 2008

Session #14 - Beer People

April 4th, the first Friday of the month, time for Session #14 on Beer People chosen by Stonch over at Stonch's Beer Blog.
Choose someone you know personally. That person might be a brewer, a publican, someone who sups at your local, or maybe just a friend who is passionate about beer. Let's read some pen portraits of your companions on the path to fermented enlightenment.
I'm digging this month's topic, and I had a hard time pondering who to choose, there are just so many. Really, anyone I have a beer with constitutes a beer person in my book.

Stonch mentions that the phrase "beer is a social lubricant" is a little too euphemistic for him, but it works for me. I have met many, many hospitable people in the pubs and beer bars I venture into, locals, regulars, publicans, average people like me and other beer lovers who have all touched me in some way (no pun intended), and it's all thanks to beer!

But if I had to choose my one beer person, it would be my lovely fiancé. She has been very patient, understanding, quite willing to learn and at times enthusiastic about my pursuit of finding a great pub or a terrific craft beer. She accompanies me on many out of town travels to small country pubs, breweries and beer runs and always helps me put a pen to paper to tell a better story. She acts as my second nose, as she has a terrific sense of smell and usually picks up stuff that I never even detected. She was a beer lover years ago, sadly she discovered she was living with Celiac disease and is now regulated to drinking cider or wine. She puts up with a lot, but has never interfered in my hobby. She is also great when it comes to meeting people in the industry as she has a bubbly nature that draws people closer.

Okay, I'll have to name some more because my fiancé can't always be with me. Drinking a beer in a pub during the late afternoon provides a person with the opportunity to meet some interesting individuals. It's more relaxed, easier to saddle up next to someone and start discussing the news or the beer your drinking. You can go into a pub by yourself and leave with new friends. Some of the best beer conversations I've ever had have been with complete strangers. I have gotten to know many publicans that I enjoy drinking a pint with. Ralph at Volo, Ron at the Granite, Bill and Donna from the Henry House and George from C'est What are all great people to share beer stories with over some well crafted beers.

The boys back home (both Orillia and Halifax) are my beer people as well, although I don't get to drink with them that often anymore. They may drink the mainstream lagers and I stick to the craft stuff, but we have a great time watching hockey, having a couple after a fastball game, in the fish huts and some of the best have come after doing an afternoon of yard work. These guys are beer people, not in the sense I consider myself to be, but beer people nonetheless who I love drinking with. Sitting around someone's house on a Friday night having some beer over dinner is fantastic and creates lasting memories.

The industry people. I could name off a long list of people I love sharing some pints with. The fella's at Cameron's are a fun, energetic group pushing good beer, John Bowden from Great Lakes, George Eagleson from F&M Brewery is a blast, beer writer Greg Clow has helped teach me some tricks to this game along with sharing some fabulous beers, Cass Enright, the founder of Bar Towel, Canada's Pub Guy Bill Perrie, Beerology's Mirella Amato, Bill White, Stephen Beaumont and many others. It's great to talk shop with these guys/girls and everyone has different views into the industry, which makes for interesting conversations.

And last but not lest, myself. I think every beer drinker enjoys having a drink by themselves, in the comfort of their favourite chair with a good book and a unique beer. But, for me, it's out to the pub where the beer tastes better because of the people. Speaking of pubs........see you there.


Anonymous said...

I raise my glass to your fiance. Cheers!

Troy Burtch said...

She would appreciate that!

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