In the beer-drinking world, many of us sophisticated types long ago evolved from the 24-packs of thin, flavourless piss to craft beers of all persuasions. Though sometimes things get a little carried away with the addition of fruits, chocolate and hot peppers. And don’t get me started on IPAs.
The latest trend is the beer-tasting room, where you can stand, or sit at little tables, and savour small glasses (say, five or eight ounces) of beer, usually produced by an attached brewery. Perhaps the only food offered is from independent food trucks at the curb. Want some beer to take home? You’ll probably have to buy a refillable growler.
Vancouver, for instance, features two new tasting rooms. Brassneck Brewery (2148 Main Street) opened this fall with some eight beers to sample, while 33 Acres Brewing (15 West 8 Avenue) has two on tap. I recently visited the latter, which is a nice, bright place to sip a glass of 33 Acres of Life while chatting with friends. It felt more like a modern coffee shop (minus the laptops) than a prototypical pub. It’s all part of a craft beer renaissance in Vancouver, aided by the updating of antiquated liquor laws that allows the licencing of city tasting lounges.
Whether tasting rooms are your cup of beer is a matter of preference. Methinks that in big cities, it’s a trend that’s just getting started.
Road Food For Thought: What ever happened to those beer bottle openers in motel bathrooms? Don’t they know all these craft beers don’t have screw tops?
Why do most bottles of Canadian craft beers contain only 331 or 341 millilitres (11 or a little more ounces) of golden liquid, compared with 12 ounces for their American counterparts? The funny thing is, put the same Canadian beer in a can and you suddenly get 12 ounces (355 ml), often for less money. Go figure.
Obviously, American beer has always been cheaper than Canadian suds. But the production and marketing of specialty brews down south has raised the price of some 22-ounce bottles to between $4 and $9 apiece. Guess they’re taking their cue from the specialty coffeehouses.