It’s not just NOT every day that you enjoy a pale ale from Prince Edward Island while firing up the BBQ in the Cariboo. It’s the kind of thing no one has ever done before. I mean, I haven’t exactly called the PEI Brewing Company and asked, but I’m feeling it’s a virtual guarantee that I’m the first person to ever drink this here. It might seem an inconsequential thing to you, but to me there is something pioneering about it. In the fun sense of pioneering, since likely nothing that was really pioneer-era would have been any fun. And drinking Vic Park pale ale is way more fun than clearing fields by hand or skinning goats.
Now about that beer – I’m a pale ale kind of guy. I judge a brewery by it’s pale ale. And my first introduction to this Atlantic-Canadian offering was well received. There was something familiar about it – a citra-hops kind of familiarity, but it definitely differed from our West-Coast pale ales of British Columbia.
But more important than the malts that make it is the context in which it was enjoyed. A friend had stashed this in her luggage and flew this across Canada to me, where I in turn drove it 414 km to our little piece of paradise. I then added it to the beer fridge knowing I could grab it when it felt like the right moment. And that moment came at about 4:15pm on a milder day when the temperature had waned to about 23 degrees. I was charged with getting the bbq ready and feeding the kids. But before they were to come back from the lake I had the opportunity to sit and ponder with this pint in hand. And sitting in the Cariboo, surrounded by historic buildings and everything old and beautiful, is a good kind of place to drink a great craft beer. Some beer is great for conversation. This particular pint was good for pondering. I’m not saying that if you were to have this beer (if you could even get your hands on it) that you’d need to drink it alone. But for me, in this place, it was the right thing to do. And do it first. And to enjoy the monumental sense of “one small sip for man, one giant…”. Because no one in the history of the world has done this before.