Beer & Smoking in Tulameen
Beer Blog! Oh, Beer Blog? Wherefore art thou Beer Blog?
Twas twenty days since last you published. What gives, ‘Beer Guy? Wherefore art thou words? And why?
Okay, enough with the Shakespearean Shittlespeak, let’s get down to the bottom of the bottle, shall we?
Here is much ado about nothing:
When last we left off, I’d described arriving at the family cabin in a remote town in British Columbia with a dog who’d suffered fairly badly at the hands (teeth) of another canine. I also provided photos of the said dog and had been told by more than a few readers that the pictures were a little too…visceral.
Life ain’t always peach puree and IPA y’all. Sometimes life is downright rotten. Like a gaping, black hole under your furry chin that hurts like hell. Then, when it starts to heal, it itches like hell. And because you’re a bloody dog, you can’t remember why that is or why you have this bloody cone around your head or why your best friends, your caretakers, the absolute Loves of your life are so mad at you for tearing out your stitches in an attempt to scratch that fucking itch!
So another trip to the Vet was made, this time in Princeton. The care SeatoSkyBeerDog received was top notch and, thankfully, not as intrusive or expensive (they only had to sedate this time, not anesthetize) as our first go round. This was day three of our little holiday. How many beers do you think had to be consumed to displace the galaxy of negativity we’d found ourselves in?
Answer: a lot.
The timeline of this tale skips a bit, as I’m gonna finish off the dog and get to the doggone beers. S2SBD is fine. The stitches have come out, the scarring is minimal, and his overall anxiety level has dropped from a Spinal Tap 11 down to an annoying but manageable 7. As I mentioned in the last post, he’s a Soft-coated, Wheaten Terrier: high energy and high anxiety walk hand in hand with this breed.
Silly dog aside, the first part of our holiday was beautiful. Then the smoke came to town.
For those of you not from British Columbia or perhaps, if you’re reading this in the far flung future and not familiar with the goings on of 2017, BC has been plagued by an unprecedented amount of forest fires. Many of them were man-made (we are a truly despicable & thoughtless species at times) and many of them were Thor-made (that god-damned god let loose a lot of lightning this summer) and for many British Colombians this has been a truly horrible experience. I don’t think we’ve had any human fatalities but there have been far too many animals, livestock, buildings and homes lost. Some people displaced by evacuation orders, return only to find ash where once was worldly worth.
In the context of the previous sentences, a little smoke in my eyes and lungs ain’t bad and I am aware of my good fortune. But at the same time, it’s not nothing. The bastard by-product of all that burning forest is a massive build up of ashy particulate. And because the biosphere can only absorb so much soot at a time the excess has to wait, like a smoking cloak left on a charred chair in the waiting room that is every valley everywhere. The smoky cloak found it’s way to Tulameen on our third day. We stayed inside for a bit but had to eventually venture forth: you cannot keep two adults, two In-laws, two kids and a cone-dog cooped-up in the cramped confines of a cabin…you just can’t. And so we, along with everyone else similarly suffering, made the best of things. We played and swam and walked and worried, would the fires get closer? How bad is it now and how much worse could it get? It wasn’t that bad. I’ve got asthma, so perhaps it was a little worse for me than some, but I’ve often found comfort in cold beer during troubling times. I drank a lot of beer. Here are some pictures:
Our first drinks of the trip: Twin Sails Two Straws for MBW and A-Frame’s Sproat Lake Pale for me.
Backcountry’s Widowmaker is a magnificent beer for rockin’ on a rock…
…but if you wanna get wet you’d better get Hearthstone’s Subaquatic Domicile ‘cuz these fellas can breath underwater!
Coast Mountain Brewing’s West Coast Pale was perfect for walking on the bed where a river once roamed.
Persephone Brewing’s beauty of a Black Lager on a burnt-out back-drop.
Evidence of Man’s consumption and callous handling of beer and what the deer think.
One of the highlights of Summer in this tiny town is when its population bloats for Tulameen Days, every August long weekend.
It starts with a pancake breakfast, then a parade “marches” thru town.
Some of the “floats” were quirkily awesome…
…while others had a home-spun humour that’s hard to beat.
The best part of the parade, at least for the children, was the fact that the floats threw candy into the crowd. We brought all of the seat but our kids only needed the edge!
That’s about it for this post. Let’s finish off with two points of attention. The first is for the beer geeks. Specifically beer history geeks. In Princeton while waiting to see how much my bloody dog was gonna cost me for the second set of stitches, I came across this plaque, on the side of Billy’s Family Restaurant:
Well that’s kinda cool! Here is a picture of all that is left of that brewery from yesteryear:
The last thing I’d like to do is reiterate how hard BC has been hit by wildfire this year. The people who’ve been on the front lines fighting this many-headed monster are to be commended and thanked and loved and lauded: they’re efforts have been extreme in the dictionary definition of the word, not the hyperbolic, market-speak that new flavours of pop and chips adopt. It’s been hard on a lot of British Columbians and damn-near devastating for others. I know when the flames first started fanning, MBW and I were wondering what, if anything, we could do to help. Then a friend started up a fund on Instagram, an initiative, really. The friend is Tim, owner of the @bccraftbreweries Instagram page. And a link in the bio of said page takes you to the BC Craft Cares Initiative, whereby people can click and donate directly to the Red Cross. Tim’s also reached out to the Craft Beer community and gathered some truly amazing draw prizes and every 5 dollars donated puts you in a nightly draw to win cool shit. I realize it’s a little bit late in the month to take full advantage of this particular initiative but it’s never too late to be charitable. No pressure, just something to think about.
Okay loyal readers, you’ve been patient with me during this latest lapse and I appreciate it. I’ll try and post a little more prodigiously, henceforth, so we can tear a crafty cap off together and partake of the glorious liquid as it darkens your screen and (hopefully) satiates your senses.