Some days writing about beer from the eastern end of Lake Ontario (Canadian side) seems like a really dumb thing to do. There is very little craft beer culture in my area, this has got to be the biggest community east of the Mississippi without a brewery within an hour's drive and, frankly, it is just hard to get my hands on the beers I need to get my mind thinking about beer. So, I place special orders, I travel and trade with other travelers and I also hit brewers and importers up for samples.
Usually this works out fine. Once in a while a shipment fails from something like bad capping but can be rescued. Once in a while a bottle breaks even with the best efforts of the fine folk who do the packing. So far, I have to say BrewDog does most creative job with a clever combination of cardboard separators and bubble wrap though the bottles that arrive in their own custom-shaped packing foam seem particularly privileged.
But there are days things don't work out so well and it has nothing to do with the packing. Today, half a package from Alley Kat of Edmonton arrived frozen. Oddly, just half of them. We've had a bit of a surprise cold snap and this box must have been left too close to the unloading door. From the outside I thought that there might have been a broken bottle but, once I worked through the layers of sealing I found they were all intact if, err, some were a little too solid. But the mead, the mild and the pale ale made it so I will have a chance to try the range even with the evil frosty hand of fate's best effort.
Soon it will be spring. Soon the samples will not freeze. So, if you have any to share, let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.