Brews & Books: R&B Stolen Bike Lager

R&B Brewing, “an East Van original”, puts out some seriously delightful brews. Case in point: Stolen Bike Lager, a “European Style Lager” that includes “snappy hoppy notes”. At 24 IBU and 5.0% ABV, its’s not overly hoppy and the bite is perfectly refreshing. It’s grown on me quite a bit; a great summer beer that’ll take you through the fall for sure.

This lovey brew picked up a Canadian Brewing Award in 2012 when it was still called “Bohemian Lager” (as did my main man, Phillips Blue Buck!) and the Easy Van ethos is evident in every sip. (I know that’s a weirdly ephemeral description but you’ll understand when ya drink it.)

Available in 20- and 50-litre kegs (honestly, a brilliant lager for a larger function) or find it at your favourite local restaurant. (Right now it’s available at Burgoo as its seasonal lager. Grab it at for 20 ounces for $7, totally a steal.)

Pair it with the book review I’m dropping tomorrow.

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Vancouver’s mayor office says no to pickup artist Roosh V

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Roosh V: making my skin crawl since 2012.

Vancouver’s mayor has condemned a notorious neomasculine website for a meetup scheduled in Vancouver this Saturday (February 6).

In a tweet sent out today from the mayor’s office, Mayor Gregor Robertson is quoted as saying the values espoused by the website Return of Kings and its publisher Roosh V have no place in the city.

“Vancouver is known throughout the world for our steadfast commitment to inclusion, equality, and freedom from discrimination and hatred,” read the statement. “We strive for all residents to feel safe regardless of their gender, sexuality, faith, or ethnicity – and the violent and hateful positions spread by this organization are about as far apart from Vancouver’s values as I can imagine.”

Mayor Robertson joins the mayors of Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary, and Edmonton in his condemnation.

Designated “International ROK Meetup Day”, the website (“a blog for heterosexual, masculine men”) is encouraging its readers to gather in dozens of cities across the globe and…well, I don’t know what they’re planning on doing. Maybe beat on a woman-shaped pinata? Do a thousand burpees while complaining about “fucking bitches”? Swap fake stories about how alpha they are? All I know is that attendees are encouraged to shoot video of any “crazy feminists” who show up, then send Roosh the video later so he can harass and humiliate said feminists.

Born Daryush Valizadeh, Roosh V is widely known in feminist circles for his unbridled misogyny, his guides for how to pick up women, and his belief that rape would be eliminated if only we legalized rape on private property. (Not even a joke. Sample passage: “Without daddy government to protect her, a girl would absolutely not enter a private room with a man she doesn’t know or trust unless she is absolutely sure she is ready to sleep with him.”)

This is hardly the first time that 36-year-old Valizadeh has come under fire. Last year, over 200,000 people signed an online petition asking Amazon to stop selling his books, which include titles such as “Bang Denmark” and “Bang Estonia”. There are also calls to ban Valizadeh from being allowed to enter the U.K. and Australia.

The Vancouver meetup is scheduled to begin on the south side of the Vancouver Art Gallery on February 6 at 8 p.m. True to form, you must employ a clandestine catchphrase to let your fellow misogynists know who you are. (Again, I am not making this up. If anyone asks you, “Do you know where I can find a pet shop?”, answer “Yes, it’s right here.”) From there, this charming group of potential rapists will probably end up roaming the Granville strip in a pathetic attempt to convince “fucking bitches” to touch their presumably diseased penises. So, avoid the Roxy extra hard that night.

Also, the Return of Kings website is entirely run on Flash so you know they are the absolute worst kind of people.

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#TBT: The Accidental Hipster

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The other day, I was reading a list of the most hipster things that Vice staffers had ever done and was struck by a mention from one of the writers that, while in his 20s, he “regularly wore a pair of jeans [he] found in an alley”.

This was confusing to me as picking clothing up off the side of the road is something that I have done and still do as part of my daily life. (Honestly, I’m a little surprised that at this moment I’m not wearing something I found in a gutter.)

Then a terrifying thought struck me: was I a hipster too?

After combing through my hazy memories of the last decade, I’ve come up with a list of things I have done that would put me firmly in the hipster camp. The only difference is I did most of these things primarily because I lived in poverty, not out of some adherence to a subculture with a distaste for sincerity.

Housing

  • been homeless
  • carried around my entire life in a backpack
  • lived in a shared house with a rotating cast of roommates from all over the world; at its peak, we had nine adults, one baby, and three dogs
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The Farmhouse. Technically it was a hippie house, not a hipster one.

  • lived in a party house with five dudes all under the age of 27
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The true East Van Special: No heat, no locks, six people, one bathroom.

  • found strangers in my house on more occasions than I can count
  • would routinely come home to find teenagers snorting drugs in my living room

Food

  • grown my own food
  • gone Dumpster diving (better to do it while wearing silly face paint)
  • been an extra in a music video (free food!)
  • gone to parties and drunk other people’s liquor without asking (I am an asshole)
  • drunk an embarrassing amount of PBR (see above)
  • developed a drinking problem (cheaper than therapy and anti-depressants)
  • eaten kale (it’s fucking delicious)
  • been vegan (done right, it’s also fucking delicious!)
  • subsisted on nothing but free black coffee from work for three days straight (don’t do this, it is terrible; people need to eat food)

Grooming

  • made my own clothing
  • bought clothing at a thrift store
  • bought clothing at a thrift store other than Value Village or the Salvation Army
  • worn clothing I found on the side of the road
  • worn clothing I found draped over a sign in a public park
  • gone to more than one theme party
  • dressed like this for theme party (the theme was SPACE PROM)

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  • worn leggings as pants (because I had no pants)
  • owned a plaid shirt
  • worn a toque
    • …that I made by hand
      • …okay, I am wearing one right now
  • kept the facial piercing I got when I was 18 in my face until my early 30s (this was less about poverty and more about insanity)
  • had bangs (I had a coupon for a free haircut and, well, this is what happened)
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This is the last time I will ever have bangs. I hold onto this picture just in case I am ever tempted to do it again.

Transportation

  • never had a driver’s license
  • ride the bus daily
  • owned more than one bicycle
  • never paid for a bicycle
  • rode a fixed wheel bicycle during Critical Mass (this may be the single biggest strike against me)
  • refused to purchase a Compass Card for the bus in Vancouver because that’s, like, buying into the system, man

Other

  • owned a flip phone
flipphone

What a devastatingly handsome piece of technology.

However, I did write a song about how much I fucking hate hipsters so that means everything is forgiven, yes?

(Side note: The guitar I’m playing in the above clip belonged to one of my five dude roommates. I broke mine the year before by falling on it while drunk and  while also naked so I count that incident as a check in the rock star column, not the hipster one. I’m still too poor to get my guitar fixed. Hence the $5 ukulele.)

Seriously, though: don’t let me fool you. I’m still just a handmade toque-wearing, beer-swilling pseudo-hipster at heart.

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Drunk Miranda, a storied Vancouver institution.

At least I got over the facial piercing.

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Brews & Books: Spinnakers Ryder Hesjdal’s Tour de Victoria Kölsch Style Ale

IMG_4738A few weeks ago, a six-pack of Ryder Hesjdal’s Tour de Victoria Kölsch Style Ale appeared as if by magic in my fridge. Then it kept showing up, which meant my house was either a) infested with beer fairies or b) the local liquorporium was running one heck of a sale.

To my extreme disappointment, it was not the former.

A crisp and light 4.8 percent kolsch, the word that kept coming to me while drinking this was inoffensive. I don’t intend this as a negative; I mean it more in an egalitarian way—this is a beer that it’ll appeal to every palate. Hell, even your non-beer drinking friends wouldn’t be able to turn their noses up at this one.

(Who are we kidding? They’ll always find something to complain about. Don’t waste good beer on them.)

Currently a six-pack will set you back a paltry $9 + tax at the West Coast Liquor Store at 6295 Fraser Street. Or take a trip across the pond to Spinnakers Brewpub in Victoria, where you can get this by the growler-full.

Side note: while I’m not usually that interested in the avalanche of pumpkin beers that appear every fall, I am intrigued by the sounds of Spinnakers’ Spice Latte Pumpkin Ale, if only for its use of island-grown kabocha squash.

As always: so many beers to try, so little time.

Pair this one with something light and adventuresome, like one of the Bourne trilogy novels, which is a pretty damned good series as far as international action-spy-mystery-intrigue books go—although regrettably not nearly as smutty as anything by Lawrence Sanders.

Spinnakers Brewpub
308 Catherine Street, Victoria
@Spinnakers

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Brews & Books: Longwood Brewery’s Steam Punk Dunkleweizen

I grew up in a tiny town on Vancouver Island—literally dozens of people!—in which the beer of choice was Lucky Lager*; as such, I did not become acquainted with the concept of craft brewing until I moved to Nanaimo, an almost normal-sized city.

Longwood Brew Pub was the first place I ever tried craft beer so I was extra excited to find bottles of their brews on Vancouver shelves—and this one’s a dunkel, no less!

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Like the true professional I am, I wrote my notes about this beer on some dirty paper towel.

Handwriting only a doctor could love (or understand).

Handwriting only a doctor could love (or understand).

Here’s the gist of what those notes said:

“Medium sweet, good but intense with a hint of cinnamon hearts in the aftertaste. A hearty red ale, spicy aroma, warm malt with a note of toffee/butter. Definitely recommend. If I was an 1880s steampunk, this would be my brew of choice.”

For those who care, this primo dunkel is five percent and a mere 19 IBUs.

My notes said to pair this with teriyaki wings and Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?—my reasoning at the time was that cyborgs are obviously cinammon-flavoured, which is such a perfectly Miranda Drunk Thought™.

However, upon further sober rumination, I feel it would pair better with earlier science fiction, like H.G. Wells’ lesser-known 1901 story The First Men in the Moon, an adventurous tale with some of the most absurd science I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading.

A four-pack of this deliciousness retails for $11.79 and a 650-millilitre bottle will set you back $4.99. It’s not currently available at B.C. Liquor Stores as far as I can tell so check in with your nearest private beer store.

Longwood Brewery
101A-2046 Boxwood Road, Nanaimo, B.C.
@LongwoodBrewery

*drinking Lucky Lager is the first of three things I will never do in my life. One of these days, I might expand upon the other two.

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No Fun City

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No batteries, no medical waste, no drums? There go my Saturday night plans. THANKS DUMPSTER.

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Brews & Books: More cheers for Vancouver (and area) beers

Lest you think I don’t take beer very seriously, here is a serious-ish post I wrote for the Georgia Straight (aka how I pay for all this beer) about some Vancouver favourites of mine. Okay, okay, two are from Surrey, but let’s not quibble.

Read it here: More cheers for Vancouver (and area) beers

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Gotta love a brewery on a bike route!

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Tasting flights at Strange Fellows Brewing.

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