You’d think that someone who writes a blog that is (at least ostensibly) dedicated to beer, music and food would have to problem coming up with something to write for this month’s instalment of The Session. The topic of Beer & Music as chosen by brewer and blogger Tomme Arthur (Pizza Port & The Lost Abbey) should be a perfect fit for the Beer and Beats parts of Beer, Beats & Bites.
Strangely, though, I’ve been having a really tough time coming up with something to fill today’s post. I mean, I’ve been a music fan for even longer than I’ve been a beer fan, and I spent many years writing about music, hosting a radio show, DJing at various events and parties, and accumulating a fairly large and wide ranging music collection. But despite the countless evenings I spent in loud clubs listening to pounding tunes while pounding back a few, I just haven’t been able to come up with a specific event or aspect from my own life that has enough of a beer/music connection going on to be interesting enough for a blog post. (Which, considering how uninteresting most blog posts are, is pretty pathetic.)
The best I’ve been able to come up with is the time about 15 years ago when a friend and I were at some show or other at The Rivoli, a club on Queen Street West here in Toronto where I spent a lot of time in my wayward youth. Back then, while I drank slightly better than average beer (usually local micro-lagers like Red Baron, Formosa Springs or Upper Canada), I wasn’t really up to snuff on more esoteric brews. Ontario’s craft beer scene was still in it’s infancy, and interesting imports were few and far between, so it wasn’t like I had much of an opportunity to try new things.
This night, however, after downing a few of whatever I was normally drinking at that time, I noticed a beer I’d never seen before on the top row of the beer fridge behind the bar, alongside the usual imports. The bottle was oddly shaped, like the old stubbies that Canadian beer used to come in, but with a weird ripple on the neck. The plain white label with slightly Teutonic red lettering stood out next to the garishly coloured, over-designed labels that most of the macros had at the time. And the name – Duvel – just seemed, well, a bit scary. Which was mighty appealing to a couple of black-leather-jacket-wearing, spiky-brushcut-sporting, industrial-music-listening guys as ourselves.
Plus, when we asked to have a look at a bottle, we saw it was 8.5%! Fuckin’ right!!
(Did I mention that I was young when this happened?)
So, we ordered a couple, inwardly gasped a little when we found out that they were 7 bucks each (that’s, like, almost two regular beers!), and then wandered back into the crowd, glad to have found a different, unique and slightly evil-looking beer to match what we thought to be our different, unique and slightly evil-looking appearance.
(Except that we were in a room with about 100 other people who looked pretty much the same as we did, but again – young!)
Of course, not knowing any better, we drank them straight out of the bottle, taking no care to avoid the yeast, and frankly, not even noticing much about the flavour aside from it being a bit stronger than our usual stuff. But it was one of many steps towards my current beer obsession. One that I might not have taken if I wasn’t out catching some live music.
Yeah, OK, it’s a tenuous link at best. Like I said, I had a tough time with this one. Hopefully, next month will find me a little more inspired. Until then, why don’t you go and read the rest of this month’s entries which should be compiled and catalogued soon at Tomme’s blog, Brewer’s Log.