Pale Ale : Okanagan Spring Brewery : Pale Ale
Brockton IPA : Granville Island Brewery : IPA
Stanley Park Pilsner : Hell’s Gate Brewing Company : Pilsner
Sleeman Silver Creek Lager : Sleeman Brewing And Malting : Lager
A short set of wooden stairs creaks down to Lowry’s abandoned river view, now stained across the flat waters by large white tanks. The Dollar mill upstream too is gone. But the world lays more spoiled still up the hill behind me, with suburban intrusions that run the forest line up to skirt only the top of the ridges. Still this is first nation land, and today they picnic today in the parks here. Something the olde drunkard would have smiled at.
The sun sets here. The day started earlier on an island.
If the first drink is the start of the day, then my friend Richard and I started nicely, with a sampling of artisan saki under the wide bridge that skies over Vancouver’s artist district known as Granville Island. The young man proudly pours his father’s efforts, explaining the subtle (and not subtle) differences between all three, each with its merits. Each with a nice shiny label on the bottle.
Granville Island is something of the Greenwich Village of this city. Or more like Hoboken when it used to support artists and their studios. The man at the tri-cornered national gallery explained that 2/3 of the government funding to art world has evaporate over the last couple of years. Hell, that’s still 1/3 more than in the southern 48 non-Canadian states spends. The small show impresses with its vitality and breadth. And while there is a Broadway show quality to the whole Grandville grandstand — here the artists are on stage, come see! you must ! — the dedication and exploration of the individuals lucky enough to reside and work under the bridge is inspiring.
And so we gather the ladies and my son, fresh from their swim in one of the world’s only heated saltwater pools, and return with them to the community for more visual fun and a share of tourist shopping.
And for beer. And for oysters.
The Okanagan Spring Brewery’s Pale Ale is pleasant sunlight, matched with oysters docked on the half-shell. Yeah, it’s missing sufficient hops and, yes, it shadows a little too much honey as though that would make body. But the oysters are mighty tasty.
Then there’s the Brockton IPA, a native to the island. But there’s not much reason to make an IPA if you don’t put your heart into it. This is not an artistic effort, as it waters out on the back and the end is bitter harsh.
Ah, but the oysters, Malcolm. The oysters.
Rating Pale Ale : 55%
Rating Brockton IPA : 54%
Rating Stanley Park Pilsner : 45%
Rating Sleeman Silver Creek Lager : 40%
Editor’s Note: the title is a quote from the writer Malcom Lowry…need I say more?