New Year’s Resolution #6: Drink Less (That Is, Drink Less Bad Beer)

“You can’t be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline – it helps if you have some kind of a football team, or some nuclear weapons, but at the very least you need a beer.” – Frank Zappa

Mnt. Begbie Brewery, Revelstoke, British Columbia

With over 30 microbreweries  in British Columbia alone, Canada’s total number of microbreweries per capita exceeds that of the United States.

While I have, admittedly, explored and judged many a country through its local alcohol – Australia’s expensive and plain lagers ; Ireland’s dry and sweet ciders; Croatia’s tart and smooth pilsners – America has long dominated my list of brew-tasting destinations.  Like our population, the country’s beers are ever-changing, infusing new flavors and ideas into the way we drink.

Because the methods, titles and ingredients of microbreweries find inspiration from surrounding land and history, we imbibe something unique and regional with every pint.

Something like Spearbeer, a specialty at my hometown brewery (Crow Peak Brewing Company, Spearfish, South Dakota), which is made using needles from the neighboring Black Hills pine forests.

Or someplace like Mt. Begbie Brewery in Revelstoke, British Columbia.  Named for a peak in the surrounding Columbia Range, which draws winter sports fans to town, the brewery’s website describes the original Begbie as Matthew ‘Hanging Judge’ Begbie,  “a colourful character from Revelstoke’s early history, who probably would have benefitted from a sip of Mt. Begbie’s soothing ales before rendering his judgments.”

Mnt. Begbie Brewery, Revelstoke, British Columbia

Jeff, brew master and guide, explains the necessity of using German Koschbier yeast to create the popular High Country Kolsch.

Mnt. Begbie Brewery, Revelstoke, British Columbia

Mnt. Begbie’s current brews include the Tall Timber Ale, Atilla the Honey Ale and Bob’s your Dunkle Dunkleweisen.

Mnt. Begbie Brewey, Revelstoke, British Columbia

Mnt. Begbie’s 100% natural drafts are brewed in small, 1700 liter (449 gallon) batches.

Mnt. Begbie Brewery, Revelstoke, British Columbia

Revelstoke’s beer-making history began in the 1890’s, with two previous microbreweries established prior to Mnt. Begbie’s creation in 1996.

And so, though I understand and respect that developing a beer palate might not be #6 on every individual’s resolution list, for me it will remain an aspect of travel through which I gain a small but more solid insight.  This year, I’m not going to drink less.  I’m just going to drink less bad beer.

Mnt. Begbie Brewery, Revelstoke, British Columbia

Fans of the local brew.

New Year’s Resolution #6: Worried about breaking this?  In lightheartedness, I hope that no one ever has a problem remaining sober – or choosing to fill your gullet with the greatest beer you can find.  Visit www.mt-begbie.com to try your own taste of small town Canada.

Advertisements

2 responses to “New Year’s Resolution #6: Drink Less (That Is, Drink Less Bad Beer)

Leave your words with me!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s