Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Oh Canada...How I Love Thee!

Kris and I are still in Toronto, eh, and having a good time. It's been a pretty good trip, thus far. My preliminary thoughts:
  • The stereotype of Canadians being friendly is well deserved. It's been very refreshing to see how they treat one another and visitors. I mean, it goes beyond friendly hotel or restaurant staff to helpful and friendly strangers on the street who provide unsolicited help because they noticed a confused look or saw a map in our hands. And we've seen similar actions between locals. Maybe passive-aggressive isn't a good way to go through life.
  • Canadian craft beer is still heavily focused on lagers and, by and large, craft brewers have not pushed as far along the flavor spectrum as American craft brewers have. That means its been a bit hard to adjust our palates from what we're used to. We have enjoyed a number of good beers, including lagers. But we've also had quite a few unremarkable beers.
  • Not helping the Canadian craft beer scene are very strict laws surrounding how beer is sold. You'll find a ton of foreign imports in a province and craft beers made in that province, but you will not find many craft beers from other provinces. For some asinine reason, federal and provincial governments have very tight restrictions on beer movement between provinces. I suspect it has something to do with the mafia-like Molson-Labatts oligopoly that exists. Molson-Labatts run the only non-governmental beer stores and have significant influence over the beer industry in Canada. It's a shame...really. I guess that, after seeing the stifling of Canadian craft beer, I should tone done my rhetoric regarding beer laws in MN and the U.S.
  • I was absolutely delighted to find a bag of ketchup flavored potato chips yesterday. They taste just like plain tater chips that have been dipped in ketchup. For you ketchupophiles out there, you know the unique and wonderful taste of ketchupy chips. Well, move to Canada and you can enjoy ketchup flavored chips for breakfast, just like I did this morning. Pure joy.
Yay Canada. Cheers!

1 comment:

  1. I must say my observations of Vancouver Canada were pretty much the same. Over all good people, and some tasty brew, particularly from the bigger guys like Yaletown and Dix (owned by the Mark James Group), but as you say most of the beers are pretty basic, light and nothing really new to those of us spoiled by great American Craft Beer. Though I still want to get my hands on some Storm Brewing one of these days. Glad to hear you guys are having a good time