Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Blondes, Fat Tugs, girl pants and a pot-bellied pig in a park

“But it’s a blonde,” I protest to the heavily-tatted and extremely adorable off-duty waitress at Buster Rhino’s.

“But it’s nine per cent and it’s really good,” she replied. “Try it.”

So I did. After all, it was a holiday Monday and I had just one bomber in the fridge at home.  A trip down to the local was definitely in order. “I’ll have the Princess Wears Girl Pants please,” I said to the waitress actually working, who was, in fact, a blonde. “The brunette here recommends it.”

I had heard about this Sawdust City Brewery offering before, most recently when it made the final ten for Most Creative Name at the recent U.S. Open Beer Championships. That’s an honour its Sawdust City stable mate, Long Dark Voyage to Uranus Imperial Stout, enjoyed the previous year, so it’s clear the Sawdust boys have a talent for imaginative names for their beers.

There is plenty of creativity inside the keg as well. My hesitation is trying it sprung from the ‘blonde ale’ descriptive written on the chalkboard but it sure didn’t taste like any blonde I’ve ever had. It poured a hazy yellow and tasted of dark fruits, a little citrus and some spice, with something I couldn’t nail down. Cream soda? Maybe.

Then, on the aftertaste, BAM! The boozy backbone (it’s actually 8.5 per cent) kicks in.

To add to the confusion, Rate Beer calls it an Imperial IPA, while the commercial description bills it as a Belgian IPA. Which probably explains why the beer scored an 88, yet just 45 for style.

In any case, I scored it higher. A really adventurous beer.

I followed that up with another Sawdust City beer, their delicious signature Lone Pine IPA, before heading home to crack open my last bottle, a special B.C beer I’ve been saving since I lucked into it at my parent's house in Toronto the day before: the legendary Fat Tug, from Driftwood Brewery in Victoria. A 99 on Rate Beer and 100 in my heart.

I was shocked to see it, sitting there all comfortable-like on my folk’s bed. The happy kind of shock, not the stick-your-finger-in-the-wall-socket or Spider-Man meets Electro for the first time kind of shock. My brother had bought me some B.C beer on a recent business trip out west (Bodacious Beer Blogand Fat Tug was the clear winner of the bunch, in my mind.

Did brother Brian go back to B.C? I didn’t think so. “You’ve been holding out on me,” I complained. “Who says they were all for you?” was his response. Huh.  “You guys couldn’t handle all those hops anyway,” said I, the ever ungrateful brother. Indeed, the beer went home with me.

It was just rewards for my efforts that day.  My mom loves her garden but at 81 and with chronic arthritis she doesn’t get out to tend to it much and I spent the day clear-cutting two and-a-half of the half dozen or so jungles found on the property.

Lions and Tigers and Bear Oh My kinda jungle? Not quite, but you could have hidden a mating pair of each species in this bush, which I attacked by wielding a gas-powered trimmer like it was a battlefield broadsword.

Hard work but satisfying toil too. I think I earned that Fat Tug, as well as that confused yet adventurous blonde, The Princess Wears Girl Pants.

On this holiday Monday, they made quite the adorable couple.


It’s not every day I see a pig in a park, never mind a 200-pound pot-bellied porker I spotted on Oshawa’s south side.

The park is actually a strip of grass sandwiched between a townhouse complex and a GM parking lot and the pig looked like a regular barnyard fellow, albeit one with cartoonishly high shoulders. So I leaned over the fence and struck up a conversation with the pig’s owner.
“That’s a pig,” I say, as a way of pointing out how quickly I had grasped the situation. “She’s a Pot-Bellied pig,” the women replied, adding (after she saw my cartoonishly raised eyebrows) “they told me she would weigh 60 to 80 pounds. She’s, like, 200.”
What are you looking at? You never seen a pig i n a park?

“And you live there?” I say, nodding to the townhouses behind me.  “Yes,” she replied, “but the sad part is she can’t climb stairs so she’s stuck on the main floor. So we come here a lot.”

For the record, the pig looked quite content munching on the grass, a supplement to her usual diet of fruits and vegetables and pig chow.

Not cartoonishly content (her shoulders notwithstanding), but happy as a pig in a park. At least. 

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