It's been a busy week for beer. Masses of macro are being consumed as part of Euro 2012 - even in Warsaw where a 3.4% maximum strength order was decreed. An unfortunate product placement led to a more unfortunate reaction from one Canadian brewer. Worthy and attention getting beer fests are being held in Washington DC and Montreal right now. These are pretty good times - or are they...:
Sneaking into the Toronto this week was a tasty bottle of beer called Voodoo Doughnut Maple Bacon Ale, made by Rogue Ales, a brewery in Portland. This beer is never available here. But even if it were, every sip would still be a special occasion all on its own. It’s that spectacular. Maple Bacon Ale is something all of Ontario should view with awe – not only because of its apple-wood-smoked bacon and maple flavours but because of the gleaming triumph it represents for Portland’s economy. Craft breweries in Ontario don’t have this level of success, but only because they lack the opportunity of Rogue Ales.
The grass is always greener, isn't it. If the measure of a failure of a beer market is the lack of a doughnut maple bacon ale things must be pretty good. Aside from the fact that we owe it to ourselves to learn a bit more about a business before we use it as a standard to be admired, treating beer like some sort of all purpose thin sauce that can benefit from adding any flavour possible is something I have never admired all that much. It is a brewer's easy cheat. And in the year that we Ontarians have received, just as one example, as wonderful a beer as Muskoka's Spring Oddity with its nod-full of juniper, angst over lacking either Rogue or bacon in our glass is a bit tedious. A bit 2005 or 1998 even.
The Canadian Brewing Awards are being announced as I type this with masses of reaction via twitter from organizers, brewers and beer fans celebrating success. The state of the nation is strong and growing stronger. At some point, we should admit it.