It was of my other co-worker Ethan Snow, wearing a cardboard creation called The Anti-Beer-Juice-A-Tron, Mark One - a protective outfit he created in about one minute after getting "juiced" at the can bin in the empties area. For the uninitiated, getting can juiced simply means getting splashed by the left-over, stale, often moldy or bug-infested beer left in cans by customers. Normally, it's not a huge concern and frankly, just part of the job that we all accept. If anything, it gives us all a very real appreciation of the workers who have to deal with these full bins of empty cans at the recycling plant once they leave our Beer Stores. We have it remarkably easy next to them.
But it seems Ethan got can-juiced pretty good and quickly created this protective outfit to keep the juice off him. I remember doing something similar once with green garbage bags after getting soaked with can juice one day. I mean, I got drenched and stunk pretty bad for the remainder of the day. I sat on a garbage bag on the drive home.
So I posted the picture of what I called The E-Bot 2000 on Facebook and lemme tell you, other Beer Store employees and former employees loved it. Especially young Steffers, now a full-time teacher and mother of two.
But while Beer Store employees, past and present, applauded Ethan's ingenuity, one of my old high school buddies was clearly having a bad day. In full "You kids get off my lawn!!" old man with his pants halfway up his chest mode, he suggested that there were plenty of kids looking for part-time jobs out there if Ethan was tired of his. I simply shrugged his grumpy crap off as Ethan genuinely loves his job and is one of those rare frenetic kids who quite frankly can't stop moving. He's a pleasure to work with. The Flash but in dull gray. When Ethan comes in for a five-hour shift, it's like you get 10 hours of work out of him. But lemme tell you, my buddy's old man routine spooked Ethan.
|Elora Brewing Company, my coworker Ethan|
thinks this is the coolest label ever, especially from
a graphic design standpoint. Who am I to argue?
Worried he was going to somehow get into trouble because of my post, I reassured him, pointing out that even our Fearless Leader and President Ted had worked at Beer Stores in his youth and as such, likely remembers being can juiced. It just comes with the territory. And I had no problem defending Ethan against Grumpy's likely-booze-driven meanderings. Fortunately, something else came along to take Ethan's mind off Mr Get Off My Lawn Guy.
"Have you ever had Elora Brewing's Lady Friend IPA?" he asked me on Saturday. You know, when he slows down enough not to be a gray blur moving around me. Yeah, I told him, I had it at the 2016 Burlington Winter Beer Festival and it was quite good. "It won the silver at the Ontario Brewing Awards in the British Style IPA category," I said. (I don't even know why I walked into the kitchen just now but I remember this stuff?) Ethan marveled, "Isn't that like the best label ever?" Well, you have to understand this. Ethan took two years of arts at Toronto's Ontario College of Arts and Design University and is now in his fourth year in Oakville's Sheridan College Interior Design program. He takes art and design pretty seriously. I take beer pretty seriously. We have some common ground. Also, get out of my yard, Art Boy! I have no milkshakes for you!! (I know what frightens him now. A lack of milkshakes.)
|Our Steam Whistle driver, Vince, has the coolest Bull|
Terrier ever. His name is Paul From Shipping and
unlike me, he can balance a beer on his head. Just epic
So, from an art perspective, I asked him to explain why this was a great label. "Okay," he said very earnestly, "the characters' arms and shape lead towards the name at the top of the label. This draws the viewers' eyes towards it. The reduced level of detail, such as no facial features, by using large blocks of colour makes it more pleasing to the eye. The colours are basic, using primary colours and limited tertiary colours. These colours are not in your face but are still bold enough to demand you attention. The blue background and orange centre point compliment each other as well, pulling the composition together. The text is simple and clean, making it easy to read. Similar to the standard Arial or Helvetica - the most common fonts styles in the commercial world - but slightly elongated."
And then he actually pulled up colour wheels, which display complimentary colours, on his phone to show me. Me? The Colourblind Guy? Really? Are you effing kidding me? But that's Ethan. When he's enthusiastic, he jumps in with both feet pretty much to the point where he forgets his surroundings or who he's talking to. However, I will be asking Elora Brewing if their artist had any of this in mind. Probably did. And also, if Ethan can play on their lawn.
I got a surprise visit at my Beer Store last week from my far-less-grumpy and much-funnier-than-me high school buddy and college roomie, Dennis. He and his wife, Kim, had just returned from a week at a beautiful cottage in the Gravenhurst area. When up there, I strongly urged him to visit Sawdust City Brewing, which has been cranking out some outstanding craft beers for the past couple of years.
Now I have never met Kim but with an invite to a huge backyard party at their place next weekend, it would appear I'm about to. Dennis told me I could bring a "plus-one". I explained my date dilemma. If I bring Miss May, she's great with the ladies, very friendly. But Miss September, well, she makes the guys happy to be alive... but women hate her. Not looking to cause any marital strife. Playboy Playmates are a tricky lot. But on the realistic side of the fence - the rare place where I actually talk about things within the realm of reality - I asked him about their Sawdust City finds.
|Dennis and Kim kept trying them all "but Kim just kept|
coming back to their (Gateway) Kolsch." Well, then, how
very handy that my Beer Store actually carries that beer!
"As you suggested, we tried them all. But we, especially Kim, kept going back to the (Gateway) Kolsch. She just loved it." Well, alrighty then, our store happens to stock those and since Dennis was there, he wandered home to Kim with an eight-pack. (Yes, an eight pack. Dennis refuses to adhere to the Metric System.) See you next weekend, man... with Miss February. She's completely non-threatening and very much shy. Except for the taking her clothes off in a national magazine thing. And Kolsch? We sell a dozen, all exceptional and different ones. Be ready, Kim. In my best Game of Thrones' King Edward voice... "Kolsch is coming." (Ethan just got a shiver.)
But there was one more thing. Dennis told me that Kim prefers bottles over cans. "Is there any difference?" he asked me. Yup, there totally is. And it's purely psychological.
Okay, I'm back soon with all sorts of cool beer reviews as I'm miles behind but frankly, I just wanted to see if I could crank out two blogs in one day. Hah, turns out I can. Not good ones but still... And to write about Ethan because he's my friend and actually one of the cooler guys I know. Maybe he needed a moral boost. After explaining colour charts to a colourblind guy, he seems like he needs something. That's for sure. But remember this. Life basically starts with everyone cheering when you go poop. It kinda goes downhill from that point on, Ethan. Just saying. Okay, guys and dolls, that's it, that all and I am outta here! Until the next time, I remain...