Here in Montreal the long cold winter may, just may, have loosened its dreadful grip on the city. While not as snow-laden as others in the north-east had to endure, our winter was particularly cold. Some would have you believe that cold is the way to go, as it does not require shoveling and causes less travel inconvenience. But I would hasten to point out that snow, unlike extreme cold, does not hurt.
The sun’s warmth is starting to win its battle with the cold air and can be felt on one’s skin. Birds chirp and with daylight savings the days are wonderfully long. There can be no doubt, it’s barbecue time, it’s hockey playoff time, but mostly it’s cold beer time.
I like beer. I really like beer. In fact family members and doctors would have you believe I like it too much, but then what do they know. These are the same people who would have you believe drinking beer causes one to put on weight. Huh! I can understand how drinking milkshakes could add to one’s midriff, but something that is the same consistency as water, and which will be jettisoned (they say you don’t buy beer, you just rent it) in the men’s room? C’mon, I’m not falling for that. It is also rumored that beer can cause both hardening of the arteries and erectile dysfunction. If that isn’t the cruelest irony I don’t know what is.
In addition to being a beer lover, perhaps paradoxically, I am also a beer heathen, a hop heretic, a lager lightweight. No fancy microbrewery maple bacon ale with a hint of pine needle and dash of pumpkin seed nectar shit for me. Give me ice cold light beer; buckets of it if you please. A frosty freezer-housed glass and some cold beer light enough to allow me to consume vast quantities yet still feel and show virtually no signs of inebriation and I’m a happy lad. Those super high alcohol content beers, many from the Netherlands, are popular at my corner store, but are not my cup of tea.
I do appreciate the wonder of a pint or two of Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day. And I do have a soft spot for chilled Younger’s Tartan Ale with a good Indian meal. A Hoegaarden or two as a palette cleanser goes well. I am a big fan of Newcastle Brown Ale. But for the main event bring on the Coors Light, blue mountains and all. Someone once asked me if the mountains depicted on the Coors Light cans really do turn blue when they reach a certain temperature. I had to admit I’d never had one in my fridge for that long. Do I hear a Rolling Rock, the official beer of Easter morning, calling my name?
I can picture beer connoisseurs looking down their noses – all the way along their crystal schooners of Sparrow’s Spit Pale Ale – at this revelation, but I don’t care. By all means sit back and discuss the merits of a Pilsner over a lager. Swish it around your mouth and pontificate on how it dances over your tongue and taste buds. It’s beer for Christ’s sake, get it down your neck and get in the next round.
It gets better: my local big box supermarket knocks five bucks off the price of a thirty can crate of Coors Light on Montreal Canadiens game days. With the team starting what I hope will be a long playoff run, during which they play every second day, I stand to save a small fortune. Talk about a win win situation.