So, a few weeks ago, Jeff asked of this beer was foundational. I was over in the states this afternoon and picked up a 12 pack for something ridiculous like sixteen bucks.* I was offered Molson Canadian at 19 bucks for 30 cans** at the same grocery store so SNPA is in no sense swill.
When did I first have one? The only evidence I have is that in May 2004, not long after I started making my cross border trips, I considered this beer new to me. I have no idea why I compared it to Shipyard Export other than to remember that this blog represents my evolution as a drinker... and to recall that I may have actually had that Shipyard handy to make the comparison. Whatever it means, I am actually pleased with that post from seven years ago as a sort of baseline of my experience with US beer.
But back to Jeff's point: foundational. I quibbled and cross his point with another I had in my head that day. I don't like the idea of retrospective award giving. Too many pressures and factors and interests. But is this beer a good beer and one that offers not only gateways but mainstays? Certainly is. I have actually seen it listed for $7.99 in a fine Canadian beer locale and (even with the national Canadian kick at the knees that seem obligatory when buying imported things) was not so much offended at the mark up but stunned by the honesty and audacity... because this is, in fact, a very good beer even if ubiquitous. Sure, hop heads may ask where did the burn go. I might as well ask where my hearing went, given how I spent my time 30 years ago listening to puck rock screaming on the headphones when it was new. It is balanced, sweet and sharp, herbal and bread crusty and entirely worthy. You could match it with a lot of foods, events, moments or lawn chairs. It's perfectly good. And good value.
I am happy to have a lime green case of this next to the one of Orval in the stash. It's not foundational but it could be. It's there now and you might want to have one.
* and the Canadian dollar is at 1.05 US and the nice lady at the border didn't tag me for excise duty and other taxes and fees.
** which would cost you about sixty bucks 26 miles further north if you bought five six packs for 12 bucks each over here.