|If you are NOT looking forward to this movie when it|
comes out on Friday, March 25th in North America,
then you quite likely are a ginger and have no soul...
As a member of both, I belong to countless Facebook groups on both sides. And lemme tell you, when someone posts a picture on a Beer Geek page with either a newly-found beer score or anything to do with beer making, there are countless questions about said beer/beer making. The questions are always upbeat and productive and the positive affirmations abound like wild yeast growing.
However, you take your life in your hands posting anything on a comic book page. In fact, I never have with good reason. For instance, if you post your theory that Superman could beat Batman simply by picking him up and throwing him into the sun, a three-week contentious and nasty argument will begin. Your heritage will be questioned. Who your mother does or doesn't sleep with will become an animated sidebar. And you will be dismissed as perhaps the stupidest person to ever walk the globe with abundant vitriol. Comic geek pages are not for the faint of heart. That said, they are a viciously entertaining read.
|Wait? She's Supergirl, as well as Kara Danvers?|
How can you tell? She's wearing glasses, which are
the perfect disguise. There is no cracking that code
Now Beer Bro Stevil St Evil and I definitely fall into the category of being both. Beer Bro Glenn does as well except the only hero he really pays attention to is Marvel's Daredevil, a blind lawyer who dons a bright red uniform and fights crime. I mean, have you seen this guy's costume? Well, he hasn't. Just sayin'... It takes a pretty rotten criminal to not beat a blind guy. Think a poor man's Batman but, you know, minus the whole seeing stuff. That said, they both got started crime-fighting the same way. Well-adjusted, normal children who turned to crime-fighting when they took a bullet to the parents.
But as well as movies, Stevil and I faithfully watch every TV show starring super-heroes and then talk at length about them because we are 14 years old. Now to be frank, Stevil has always been a Make-Mine-Marvel kind of comic geek. I think he likened the 78-year-old DC Comics (home of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman) to the same level of disdain with which he holds mainstream beer. So your Dad's beer and your Dad's comics. He much preferred the younger, hipper and more realistic approach that Marvel Comics (Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America) brought to the medium many years later.
|How does Batman keep his identity a|
secret? He simply has Superman dress
up as him so Bruce Wayne and Batman
can then stand side-by-side. Of course, at
times, Superman isn't smart enough to
take off his own costume underneath...
And the one thing the TV show did early on which I very much appreciated was defusing the whole wearing glasses as a disguise thing that both Supergirl and Superman employ. I mean, glasses? Really? That whole lame-ass disguise scenario has been the bane of many comic readers for decades now, causing us to question how stupid Lois Lane truly is. For instance, imagine Clark Kent looking at Lois' dog and asking her whose dog it is. Lois: "Clark, don't be dumb - that's Buster. He's been my dog for seven years!" Clark puts glasses on Buster. Suddenly Lois gasps, "Oh my god, whose dog is that?" Or perhaps a more modern take on it. Lois: "I just saw Batman. Holy crap has he gained weight." Clark: "Maybe we should call him... *takes off glasses a la CSI Miami* ... Fatman." Lois: "What the hell? You're Superman!"
Anyway, as I said, Supergirl dealt with that quickly as her boss, Cat, suspected her assistant Kara was also Supergirl. In the comics, her alter-ego dons a brown wig and calls herself Linda whereas on the TV show, she just puts her hair into a ponytail and wears glasses.
|"You see, boss, I am totally NOT Supergirl!! And this|
Supergirl you see here is definitely NOT a Martian
shape-shifter taking my place to convince you at all!"
But to my thinking, the reason no one has clued in that Clark Kent is Superman is simply this: If you had Superman's powers, why bother being anything but Superman?
|This was my second sip of Nickel Brook's Raspberry|
Berliner Weisse. I didn't think to take a picture of the
first sip because I was too busy making this exact face.
But finally taking off my Comic Geek cap and putting on my Beer Geek hat, much like Stevil's softening on DC Comics, there has been another significant shift in his and my beer tastes. While our first love will always be IPAs (and the bigger, the better), we both seem to be developing a new appreciation of sour beers. Now to be frank, this was a slow process. The first time either of us tried them, we turned up our noses and from opposite ends of the Earth, our tasting notes were unanimous: "Blech!" But our two favourite breweries seem to be swaying us on this style.
|Robbie at Nickel Brook thought the Peach|
Uber Berliner Weisse could have used a bit
more on the fruit end. I thought it was solid
as it was: a nice blend of fruit and tartness.
But Stevil recounted how the other day, one of the bar's friendly waitresses suggested he try the new experimental Garage Project Cucumber Sour beer. She persuaded him easily by: A) being attractive, B) not pepper-spraying him and C) saying words that didn't start with "How dare you..." He reviewed it to me as he was drinking it (mid-afternoon for him, previous evening for me) and he was a happy camper. "Fack, it's great! But then I have always loved the taste of cucumbers."
|I liked the Mango Uber Berliner Weisse but|
thought perhaps it weighed a bit too heavily
on the fruit essence. Also, it's disconcerting
to drink a beer that looks like orange juice.
Meanwhile here in the Northern Hemisphere, I have left it to my favourite brewery, Nickel Brook, to sway me on the style. At this time last year, I spent several hours in the brewery as the ever-patient Brewer Patrick walked me through the entire brewing process. Among the lessons I learned? Buying beer is easier than brewing it. Towards the end, I asked him which craft beer style would be the major challenger to the IPA Throne. He believed it would be sours. Among others in the brewery's Sour Fan Club are my good buddy, Tony and my growler guy, Robbie. Both guys claim they were sour beer fans from the start. I'll be honest - that's hard for me to believe. I definitely consider this style an acquired taste. But then, they work there and are constantly trying new things so there's that.
|While I have avoided the Uber Berliner Weisse,|
right, I am somewhat developing a taste for the
Raspberry Uber. I've purchased a few one-litre
howlers of it when I drive in to get my two-litres
(64 ounce) growlers filled with Headstock IPA.
So now there's four sours I've tried from Nickel Brook - their regular Uber Berliner Weisse, their Raspberry Uber, their Peach Uber and their Mango Uber. It's mixed across the board. Didn't like the regular (just too sour), was conflicted on the Mango Uber (too heavy on the fruit end), liked the Peach Uber (nice balance on sour and fruit) and am now genuinely fond of the Raspberry Uber (as tart as it is sour.) One advantage to the sours that Robbie pointed out was that they were good session beers, ranging in ABV from 3.8% to 4.2%. "If I'm going to a friend's, I like taking these because you can still drive." So I'm softening on the style but like Stevil, not 100% sold. More testing is required and yes, I do this for all of you. You're welcome. Besides, as well as Berliner Weisses, both Lambics and Goses are sour styles I haven't tried. I like to be thorough. I'm like a Beer Scientist that way. Well, a Mad Beer Scientist.
Two trusted beer sources at Rib Eye Jack's Ale House, being beer technician Kylie and GM Steve, are both sour fans. While Kylie took to them quickly, Steve was slower out of the gate, telling me, "The first time I tried a Lambic, I just looked at the glass and thought, 'Is this intentional?'" His appreciation has since grown. Further testing is needed for me.
Not to end this on a downer but I got some bad news during the week. My college roommate's wife messaged me to say my former roomie, Gary, had passed away from heart disease. Now Gary and I were as thick as thieves in college and afterwards. Eventually, he moved to North Bay and while I did do a few road trips up there, we eventually lost touch. We reconnected two years ago when I found his wife on Facebook and had chatted a few times since. He was settled in Ottawa with wife, Pat, and two grown kids. Of course, I promised him I'd get up there for a visit and a right royal college-level beer bender. Well, that didn't happen. But while Gary has been taken away, the memories of Gary cannot be taken from me. And did he and I have some fun.
We met during a First Year Journalism field trip to Ottawa. While taking a dreadfully dull tour through Parliament Hill, he looked at me and said, "We should take our own tour."
|Gary was a huge fan of The Who so here's a picture of lead|
singer Roger Daltrey, circa 1975, wearing the jersey of our
beloved Toronto Maple Leafs. I am assuming this picture
was taken during one of their countless Farewell Tours.