Sunday, July 02, 2006

AWEB#4 Labatts Blue

I realize that I am a little tardy with this post and Canada Day was yesterday July/1 but I was too busy celebrating the birthday of this fine country to be blogging!

Anyway, onto the story. In 1980 I was living in London, England, and my employers made the mistake of sending me to Chicago fo a week to attend a big computer geeking convention. It was during this week that I got talking to a bunch of canadians and by the end of the week there was a lucrative job offer on the table.

Boy was the wife suprised when I flew home and told her the good news "Pack your stuff, we are moving to Canada!".

We were met at the airport in Calgary by my new employer who had arranged an appartment hotel for us until we could find a more permenant home. Having spent 9 hours cooped up in an airplane with a cranky pregnant wife, and an even crankier 18 month old son what I needed was a beer.

I told the wife I was going for a walk, and off I went in search of libations. I hunted high and low for anything that said Pub, Inn, Bar, etc. I was having a bit of a panic attack, I could find nothing that had my favorite words on it. I was beginning to think that I had moved to a dry country!

Then I saw a sign, this sounded promising.

It was a bar! I slipped onto one of the bar stools looked around. The bartender came over and asked me what I would like to dink, beer I told him. "which brand?". Well I had absoloutly no clue what they sold, so I said, "it doesn't matter, whatever you think is good". I am sure that he thought I had two heads and came from mars.

He brought me a Labbats Blue.

For several weeks Labatts Blue was the only beer I tried, primaraly because it was the only band I knew (or at least remember).

1 comment:

raincoaster said...

You poor guy. Confronted with that ratpiss I'm surprised you didn't repack your bags and head back for Blighty on the next plane. I guess in 1980 there wasn't much alternative, even here in enlightened BC. Now it seems every street corner has a brew pub on it offering Oyster Beer or Orca beer or Island Lager and for the most part it is great stuff. Bre pubbing got off to an early start in BC because of some guy who came here from Germany or Czechoslovakia (sp?)and started the local restaurants making their own brew, which was sure needed since all we had was that Blue or Canadian or Lucky or Old Style ratpiss which all came out of the same piss-factory tap and just had different labels. I forget the details of this guy but I'm sure you could find it in a minute on Google. Anyway, he managed to get around the big Labatts Molson and Carling monopolies and get a licence to make beer for on-premises consumption in the 1970s--if memory serves the first one was in Squamish BC, anyway it spread from there and soon he was consulting on brew pubs all over the world, I even read British pubs were using BC beer because the brewer's art had fallen so low there. I don't know how Calgary is doing these days, probably great since the wealth there creates such an appetite for lifestyle enhancement, here's to you.