Thursday, 18 June 2009

Canada and alcohol.

One of our favourite things to do in Canada, or any other country, is drink. We like going to the pub and finding local beers, and drinking them. Lately, I've been drinking less beer because I have had an upset tummy. My routine in a pub normally goes like this:

Me:Do you have any cider?
Me:Do you have...Pimm's?
Me:Do you have sangria?
Me:Ok, can I have rum and sprite please?

Drinking rum is really a last resort for me. Lately, I've found a few pubs with Pimm's or sangria, presumably because summer is here, but they are not common. Cider is around, but not everywhere, and it often costs a lot ($6.50 for a can of StrongboW!). I have found one pub so far that sold Magner's...that was a good day. Anyway, cider is definitely my drink of choice. I hate drinks which don't come in pint glasses.

Anyway, Canada has a good choice of local breweries, each with a few types of beer. There's something for everyone! Although, we do find that every brewery does the exact same type of beer; an IPA, a wheat beer, an Irish-style stout, an English-style ale....

Here are all the local breweries we've tried up until now:

Vancouver: Yaletown Brewery
Granville Island Brewing
Growers Dry Cider

Calgary: Big Rock Beer (our "local" in Waterton so we spent six months drinking Grasshopper (their lager) and Traditional (their ale).

Whitehorse: Yukon Brewing Company

Nelson: Nelson Brewing Company
Columbia Brewery (brews Kokanee, one of the most famous beers in Canada, it's not very good though)

Jasper: Jasper Brewing Company

Toronto: Steam Whistle Brewing
Mill Street Brewery
Nickel Brook Beers

Chicago: Goose Island (expensive because we were up the Hancock Tower)

Other than beer, Canada's main alcoholic drink is caesars, which I think I've discussed before. Vodka, clamato juice, lime, worcestershire sauce, tabasco, salt and pepper, garnished with olives and celery/asparagus (depending on where you are). It's revolting. Canadians also order beer with a side of clamato juice, and mix the clamato with their beer in order to spice up their beer.

Conclusion: Canadians are weird.

Canada also produces ice wine, which I mentioned a couple of posts ago. It is delicious and expensive.

I can't really find anything online that discusses Canadian drinking culture in a semi-academic manner, so any evidence I have is purely anecdotal. I think Canadians drink a lot, and drink drive more than British people do. Having worked in a pub in Canada, I am well aware of how many people drove home after a night at the pub. Maybe it's just Waterton though. The trouble is, Canada's so big that the pub is usually far from where you live. This is something I've noticed about villages here. At home, small villages almost always have a pub. Shadingfield does, and we have a tiny population. In Canada, villages don't have churches or pubs a lot of the time! What on earth are the people supposed to spend their time doing? What else is there but drinking and church?!

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