My Kind of Beer with Chris Goddard
THE FAMILY CAMPING TRIP
The month of August is going to be a big one for the old Goddard Family; we are taking our first camping trip. Tents. Sleeping bags. Smores. The whole she-bang. And we are not going it alone. Seemingly half of our neighbourhood will be there — 10 families all told — and while some are doing the meal planning, I’m taking my space this month to do the beer planning.
There are only a few things that will restrict your buying decisions for this trip and that’s format. Most campgrounds don’t like glass brought in and to be honest, you won’t want glass around your site either. We aren’t hiking in so carrying our garbage won’t be an issue but dropping a bottle around the campfire could be a distinct possibility and we don’t want to have stitches as a lasting memory of our first camping trip.
With that one minor rule in mind it’s time to get down to business — take note neighbours who are doing the beer buying!
SWIM BEER (not that I condone this) — This beer is very similar, if not identical to the fabled “shower beer”. It needs to be easily concealed for your stroll to the lake, a can (but everything is) and preferably light in the ABV category. This task is quite easily covered by any number of popular North American or European lagers and it’s the one time during the trip I’m not going to bust your chops for not opting for Craft beer. I’ve been waiting to try Rainier Lager (available at The Beer Store) for quite some time and this would seem like the perfect opportunity. I have never had it but I’m sure it will do the trick.
THE MIGHTY ANGLER — I’m hoping to cast a fishing rod while we are at the lake and I need to be prepared. There can be long periods of inactivity broken by moments of frenetic energy while on the lunker hunt. I’m probably going to be more of a dusk fisher than an early morning one so I can start to turn things up a notch in the flavour category. Wellington Brewery has come out with a new session ale called Kickin’ Back with loads of dry-hopped flavour and only 4.8% alcohol.
IT’S NOON SOMEWHERE — Sometimes there is a tear in the time/space continuum and though time seems to be passing it is moving relatively slow. And sometimes you just need to have a beer before noon. Amsterdam Brewing, one of Toronto’s oldest breweries, has come out with a new light beer called 3-Speed Lager (available at the LCBO) which does the trick in tasting like a great craft lager but packs slightly less punch when it comes to alcohol.
BUILDING THE FIRE — Day is done, gone the sun so it’s time to let the shades of your beer take on a darker shade of grey. When I’m around the bonfire I don’t want something smoky to drink since the actual smoke from the fire is going to enhance the experience I’m already having. What I want is something to complement it — like the Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale from Left Field Brewery. This beer has some lovely caramel and coffee notes that are balanced by some nice dried fruit sweetness. This beer is a campfire winner.