|This is the standard uniform for a Brinks guard.|
The difference between this guy and Hot Brinks
Guard is she makes this look good. Damn good!
Usually Brinks guards tend to be dour, humourless dudes and frankly, you don't know the meaning of "forced conversation" until you're trapped into making small talk with one. But this one particular morning would be different. Hot Brinks Guard was back. Now while it's difficult to describe Hot Brinks Guard with mere words, I am going to try my best nonetheless in my stumbling, awestruck manner. Hot Brinks Guard is a staggeringly pretty brunette with a warm, beautiful smile, a deceptively quick wit and friendly manner who combines that girl-next-door wholesomeness with the stark reality that she's packing a loaded sidearm. And yes, ladies, I recognize that "hot" should only be used to describe the weather, rather than a human being, but let's face it, Stunning Woman Who Turns Donny Into A Stammering Pile Of Goo Brinks Guard doesn't have the same lyrical ring to it.
|Watch as this baby re-enacts my stunned|
expression when Hot Brinks Guard came
back. This photo also illustrates that I
would willingly drink a Corona but only
if Hot Brinks Guard handed it to me...
The second she was gone, I texted former coworker Gordo at his new store. Gordo knows my infatuation with Hot Brinks Guard all too well. In fact, since the Brinks drop is an aspect of our job that has to be done absolutely to the letter, he once told me, "Dude, you seriously have to calm down when you see her. When it comes to Brinks, you have to pay full attention to what you're supposed to be doing."
All I know is a very dull and dreary morning instantly turned to sunshine and frikkin' rainbows. Hot Brinks Guard was back. It turns out that sometimes, life is very fair and will provide you with a breath-taking view on occasion.
Okay, reluctantly dragging my arse away from matters of the heart to the far more level-headed world of beer (a different kind of love), the clocks at Donny's Bar and Grill are all finally in alignment after some were adjusted for Daylight Saving Time while others were forgotten. Lemme put it this way - my phone, laptop and alarm clock all do that hour-back thing automatically. Except for my wristwatch, any clock in this place I had to manually adjust, well, that's a 10 to 14 day process. If I notice... or think of it... or bother. The fact is I'm so lazy that if I was kidnapped, I'd look around and simply shrug, "Well, I guess I live here now."
There are a handful of people out there who have a pretty good sense of my tastes in craft beer. Certainly Beer Bros Stevil St Evil and Glenn have a solid handle on it. Co-workers Jay-Dawg and Marie are in that not-so-select club, as well. As Jay-Dawg has noted, "If it's way too hoppy for me, you'll love it." But pretty much at the top of the list are Rib Eye Jack's Ale House's beer technician Kylie and general manager Steve.
But back to the beers. Rib Eye Steve graciously offered to grab me some on his way into work so I was like, perfect, thanks! And knowing that Naughty Neighbour APA was one of Jay-Dawg's favourites, I told him about it, as well. "Supposed to be really good. Steve at Rib Eye Jack's says so," I told him. That's all Jay-Dawg needed to hear. Knowing my respect for both Kylie's and Steve's opinions, he stopped into the brewery on the way home and texted me a picture of the Nickel Brook beer booty in his back seat. The text simply said, "... so 44 bucks later." Okay, with their shift to the new Hamilton facility they share with Collective Arts Brewing, this has been a period of adjustment for Nickel Brook.
The bigger tanks at the new facility originally proved to be tricky for the brewers, used to the tried-and-true brewing methods of the smaller tanks in the Drury Lane facility in Burlington. Don't get me wrong - the beers at the new place were still pretty good but not quite there. That said, I continued to buy my growlers of Headstock here and there, carefully monitoring as they got closer to their Burlington glory. The fact is they're my hometown brew crew (shop locally, people) and having hung with Brewer Patrick one night as he patiently walked me through the brewing process, I saw first-hand that it's a finicky bit of business. Not much room for error. Smaller tanks, smaller room for error, right? Bigger tanks, same Math applicable. But Brewmaster Ryan is reputed to be something of a perfectionist and he and his loyal squadron of brewers are getting damn close. And they are hitting it out of the park with the new Collective Arts beers, particularly the Ransack the Universe IPA, which is "you'd step over your momma for one" good. (No disrespect meant to your Momma. Except she's fat.)
So what is double dry-hopped beer? Well, I am not a brewer but I will try to get this right. Single dry hopping means adding hops to the fermented beer a few days before bottling or kegging. Double dry-hopping means adding hops on two separate occasions such as a week before and then again a few days before.
|Ah, yes, Amsterdam Brewing's Fracture Imperial IPA|
is now in the liquor store and completely worth the few
extra shekels you will shell out for it. Dynamite beer!
Was he right? Well, lemme put it this way. One day, he will be wrong... but this was not that day.
Tropical fruits on the nose, more on the tongue with huge lingering bitterness. And I mean, it really lingered. Might still be there. But as soon as I tried one, I instantly drove to the brewery for another dozen because, well, limited time. That gave me a chance to talk to Retail Robbie, who told me Nickel Brook owner John wanted special batches of Headstock and Naughty Neighbour (their two anchor beers) to ship to the United States. Americans, you are in for a treat. Trust your Canucknucklehead brother.
Naughty Neighbour was more of the same. Same citrus and pine on the nose, except it was like someone whacked you in the face with a pine tree. Jay-Dawg was beside himself over the taste.
|Well, actually, selling beer IS my day job|
but I like sentiment behind this bar sign!
Okay, turns out Steve and Kylie aren't the only ones at Rib Eye Jack's Ale House paying attention to beer. Rib Eye Regular Steve, a genial bearded chap, was recently telling me that Amsterdam Brewing (Toronto) was releasing their fantastic Fracture Imperial IPA in the liquor store any minute. (Frankly, I know too many Steve's. Two more and I'm gonna start numbering them because I'm running out of nicknames.) "It's a little pricier," he told me, "but hey, it's Fracture."
Moving from hoppy goodness to malty lagers, my store started carrying Rainier Lager earlier in the Summer. I knew I had heard of it before but being as it's a Pacific North American beer, I couldn't figure out why. When I Google Imaged the beer, it turned out that it made the occasional guest appearance in the TV show, Frasier (along with his father Martin's beloved Ballantine.)
Okay, I am a mile (or 1.6 kilometres) behind in my beer reviews so I'll be back very soon to play a little catch-up. In the meanwhile, I just read that everyone on Earth has a perfect doppelganger - someone that looks exactly like them. If you'll excuse me, I have to go find mine and steal his liver. By any means necessary. But guys and dolls, that's it, that's all and I am outta here! Until next time, I remain...