Friday, April 22, 2011

Another Damn Earth Day

Save the Earth. It's the only planet with beer.
Today is Earth day, a time when you're supposed to show your sensitivity to Mother Gaia by possibly not taking the Hummer to KFC until tomorrow. It's a time to think globally by acting locally, cut down on your greenhouse gas emissions and use organic Viagra instead of powdered Sumatran orang-utan scrotum.

I did my part. First, I left the car at home when I went grocery shopping. Secondly, I bought a nice organic Berkshire roast from a local farm, rather than lamb flown all the way from New Zealand. Thirdly, I passed a cow and, remembering that 14% of all greenhouse gas emissions come from methane-producing bovines, I punched it in its stupid, Earth-hating face.

Okay PETA-types, calm down, I didn't hurt Daisy one bit. But I did lock gazes with her and give her a really dirty look, which was bloody hard, what with cows not having stereoscopic vision. Gave me a headache.

Then, judging that I'd accomplished a suitable level of self-righteous do-goodery, I went and had a beer.

Unlike my other passion, the horseless motor-carriage, it is possible to enjoy a beer on Earth Day and feel completely guiltless for doing so. Unless you're a neurosurgeon or something. Beer, or at least good beer, is always made from all-natural products, and unless you're quaffing something with Papaya blended into it, almost all the ingredients can be sourced locally.

Organic beer? Well, that's nice, if you can get it, but USDA Organic certification is a bit of a con if you ask me. I'd rather have BC-grown carrots out of somebody's farm than Organic-certified produce flown up from California. First Local, then Organic, and then if you can't get any of that, the stuff that glows in the dark and tastes of bisphenol A.
I can think of no better paragon of locally-sourced, Earth Friendly brewing practices than Driftwood Brewing's Cuvee D'Hiver, which I enjoyed at Tres Fantastico. The restaurant/bistro/cafe was a short 10-minute bike-ride, the brewery's local (3 km away), and all the barley that went into the beer was grown and malted locally on the Saanich Peninsula.

Tres Fantastico is a great little place: you can read my Yelp review here. The beers were served at cellar temp, which opened up the fruity, grassy nature of the brew. Pairing was a very reasonable and delicious local charcuterie plate, but what really made the D'Hiver work this time was the gorgeous sunny day.

Last time I had the D'Hiver, it was a battleship-grey day with curtains of freezing rain sweeping across a sullen landscape of brown and browner. The effervescent, light and summery nature of the Saison seemed somehow out-of-place, like a a Viking in a sun-dress. Today though, Mother Nature smiled on my efforts to stop repeatedly pillaging her by rewarding me (and all #yyj peeps) with a sun-drenched hint of summer to come. Suddenly, the Viking was some flouncy Scandinavian princess, and the pigtails started making much more sense. What the hell am I talking about again? Oh right, beer.

Driftwood Brewing's Cuvee D'Hiver
Recommended if:
-Sexy Viking
-It's a summery day out
-You like a milder saison

Not Recommended if:
-Shave your legs, Snorri
-You want Deckhand-sized intensity
-It's raining. But then, it's Victoria after all. Just wait 5 minutes.

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