Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Waiting Begins

What a great Thanksgiving weekend! We hosted the family for Turkey dinner on Sunday, which gave us all a chance to say farewell to my Mum as she heads out to Osoyoos in her newly re-floored motorhome.


A bunch of us got together on Saturday to play some D&D, drink some beers, and watch people eat horrific tasting jellybeans. The smell alone of the skunk spray ones were enough to make a person 3 feet away blanch, and the dog food ones were almost as bad. The final fight took us until after 1:00 to finish, but featured a lot of player characters getting knocked down and getting back up again, as well as some treachery by an NPC and some comeuppance for that, so definitely time well spent.


There were chores done and dishes washed, Fenya got some work done on her Macbeth presentation, we watched "X-Men: Days of Future Past"... oh, and my 2014 Beer Advent Calendar came in!


It was a complete fluke that I got in on the first iteration of what is now a beloved holiday tradition, given how fast they sold out. I just happened to be in Sherbrooke as they hit the shelves, got the green light for the missus, and walked out with 24 mysterious beers, none of which had been previously available in Canada. I've blogged about the contents as I've enjoyed them, and see no reason not to again, so be prepared for many beer-related posts through December.


The first such calendar featured all European beers, while the second set were all from North America; 2014 brings us to the 'Intercontinental Edition', featuring 24 beers from 17 countries on 5 continents. I believe 880 of them were produced, and most stores with pre-orders have sold out of their allotment (although I overheard someone being told that Little Guy Liquor in Sherwood Park might have some on the shelves).


Looking at the side of the box reveals a few interesting details about the contents, including the countries of origin and the amount of alcohol by volume.

  • Only 4 beers originate from the Southern Hemisphere (French Guiana just missed the cut there...).
  • Only 7 of them come from the New World. (None of them are from Canada!)
  • Only 5 beers clock in at or below the 5% ABV of a 'normal' beer.
  • More than half the beers are 7% ABV or higher. (!)


When I picked up my calendar, the gentleman at the til asked if I had been told about care instructions for the box; when I told him I had not, he recited a number of facts about it, many of which I knew: not to tip it, not to swing it, not to freeze it or leave it in direct sunlight or by the water heater, etc.

Then he looked me in the eye and intoned, "Severe repercussions for opening the box or any compartments early." Seeing my uncomprehending stare, he continued: "Puppies will die. Weather patterns will shift. Economic indicators may become unreliable. St. Peter will stop letting people in altogether..."

I nodded. "Cats and dogs living together, total chaos; I get it."

As intrigued as I am as to the mysterious contents of the box, I wouldn't dream of opening any of the compartments early; I mean, the beer is great and all, but the surprise is by far the best part of the Advent Calendar. The anticipation, the joy of discovery, all the packaging is meant to heighten this, and yet, there are those who, as we speak, are not only tearing into their calendars but tasting the beers and posting their reviews online! The perfidy of it!

I can't imagine there is an effective way to prevent this (although I hope that if they are discovered it prevents them from pre ordering next year's edition, at least from that store), but let's all agree to shun these individuals and their grievous works as best as we are able to, eh? In the meantime, I think I will find a towel or something to throw over my own beer calendar, or perhaps I will set a table lamp on it until the first of December.

It could be a long 47 days, but hey, who's counting?




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