Welcome to Second Ferment! Wine pairs well with life ... and food, travel, people, work and play. Grab a glass and join me as I explore the wine scene in Ottawa, Canada, and beyond. Love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment. Cheers! - Bethany

Sunday, August 17, 2008

It's Beer O'Clock

"All I ask is three beers apiece for each of my co-workers. I think a man workin' outdoors feels more like a man if he can have a bottle of suds.
That's only my opinion."
- Shawshank Redemption

Hubby and I spent Friday chasing 30 toddlers and preschoolers around this giant indoor playground called Cosmic Adventures. This was my "volunteer day" - offering to be a parent chaperon for Doodle's daycare group on their first field trip. We had both schlepped bags of popcorn to our colleagues to raise money for this excursion; now we were getting right into the thick of it, from counting heads on the school bus to making sure they ate their lunch, to escorting groups of three at a time to the washroom. It was an adventure all right, and left us beyond exhausted, with aching joints, pounding heads and an even more profound respect for the daycare staff.

All I could think about was a beer and a nap when I got home. Still, there was laundry to be done, groceries to be bought, dinner to be made, floors to be swept. Only when the Doodle was finally put to bed, could we proudly declare it was "beer o'clock": time for a well-earned brew.

There's a huge difference between beer and wine when it comes to rewarding oneself after hard work. When you're sweaty, tired, dropping from exhaustion and your muscles are screaming for mercy, nothing hits the spot quite like a beer. A glass of wine is nice, but it's more about celebrating or socializing - the sophistication of it all, the smooth texture, the nuances. Beer is straightforward, clean-cut, satisfying. A beer at the end of a hard day's work (or play) says, "good for you, kick back and enjoy this." So we did. And by gawd, didn't it go down nice?

Some of my favourite beers:

Steam Whistle Pilsner - best right from the bottle. Very little bitterness or aftertaste, refreshing. I enjoy having it over at The Works Burger with my Three Ring Binder.

Sleeman Light or Honey Brown - the light is good on Weight Watchers points; the honey-brown is a bit richer and great with nachos.

Corona - You can't beat this famous import for parties on the deck, poolside or just hanging out. Absolutely must have the wedge of lime - anything less is sacrilege.

White beers - These are best on tap, but are still awesome from the bottle anytime you're looking to revive a dried-out palate. I've had Quebec's Boreale Blanche and Blanche de Chambly, both brimming with that orange-peel zest and mealy texture. Hoegaarden is OK, but I find the coriander a little too overwhelming. Discovered Erdinger Weissbrau recently, from Germany, a fantastic, classy white with lots of citrus and herb notes.

1 comment:

  1. I'll recommend Mill St. Brewery's "Belgian Wit" beer. It's my favourite this summer. A great white beer, with less of a coriander edge than the Hoegaarden. Plus, it's brewed in Ontario so there is a price advantage.

    Our Quebec beer selection is poor to none at this end of the province. I'd love to try Boreale Blanche and Blanche de Chambly.


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