Stout?

Or porter? Or any dark beer? I’m not too fussy this time of year. It’s been colder than usual the past week or two, and that has provoked conversations about if we’re skipping fall and jumping into winter? Fall or winter, it’s all the same to me – when viewed through beer goggles. We’re in the chronologically/meteorologically less known but quite important dark beer season. Difficult to pin it precisely on the calendar, and the subject of some debate, which is why most (erm, all?) calendars skip dark beer season. Porter season? Stout season? Stout, you say? Sounds a bit personal; I tend to move out a belt notch or two this time of year, and wear a larger sweater…

Stout, you say?

All the above is a long winded way of getting to the lack of a point this week. We were in Victoria last week, and ended up at Spinnakers, and ended up in the taproom and ended up drinking their dry Irish stout and ended up having another. They’ve a good range of beers, but their best, to my mind, is the stout, closely followed by the nut brown.

Why I otter…

If I was ever stranded on a desert island, and could never be rescued and was only allowed one beer to drink, I’d choose a porter or stout. I’d then sit in the shade wondering how it came to pass I was stranded on a desert island with only a porter or stout to drink for the rest of my life. Is that a punishment or a reward? Who would think of such a thing, much less write about it? These are the big questions, and like many big questions, answers aren’t always easy to come by. So I won’t.

A place to ponder

Anyway, you’re (I’m) going to be on the island for ever, and that means you (I) have to choose the right porter. Or stout. Yes, there is a source of drinking water, and the weather isn’t too bad. Those aren’t important concerns for now. No, no internet. (I’m still not sure if this is a punishment or a reward?) Shall we get back to the important stuff? Yes, let’s! What stout – or porter – would you choose, PlaidCamper?

Guinness – a good choice!

I’m glad you asked that. You’d want to get it right, because say you went for Guinness – a good choice, can’t go far wrong with a Guinness – but then after day 700, you suddenly had a hankering for a Murphy’s? There’s not too much between them, but I think it’d play on my mind. A sailor might get shipwrecked on your island, and it’d be awkward if they turn out to prefer Murphy’s…or they might have beer tastes that extend beyond the more mass market dark beers. They’re a sailor after all, adventurous – if not that successful – and a mere Guinness might not suffice.

Adventurous sailors

I’m not even on the island, and the social nicety complexities are challenging. Time out isn’t easy. Moving on. History time. My first non-Guinness dark beer was a pint of Theakston Old Peculier. Peculiar in the spelling but not too peculiar in the taste. We were hiking in the Lake District with friends and, as the light was fading, we stumbled down off the fells and into a fine flagstone floored pub that catered for thirsty walkers. A pint of Peculier? Well why not, and goodness it was a revelation! Aside from Guinness, my beersploration at that time was fairly limited – pints of lager, the occasional bitter, and youthful hangovers that reflected how, in my case at any rate, youth is sometime wasted on the young. Theakston Old Peculier is a great beer. But is it a “the only beer for the rest of your life” beer? Pains me to say it, but probably not.

Hiking in the Lake District

More recent history. The first brewery we visited when we arrived in Canada was Calgary’s Wild Rose Brewery. Based in an old Anderson shelter just down the road from our first Calgary home – no, I didn’t know it was there before we signed the lease, honest – we used to drop in after work on a Friday and enjoy the range of beers and good food. With the Calgary Farmers Market on the same site, Friday evenings were pretty well catered for. In winter, the Wild Rose produce a limited quantity of Cherry Porter. Now this is a seriously good beer. I don’t believe in Father Christmas, but he believed in me and would leave a bottle in my stocking. It was a large bottle, and kept me company throughout the festivities. Yum! But is it an all the time on a desert island drink? Probably not. Ouch! But on the plus side, perhaps the shipwrecked sailor I mentioned earlier managed to rescue their kit bag before the boat went down, and perhaps there’s a bottle of Wild Rose Cherry Porter tucked away – in a stocking – in there? That could happen, and it’s a bottle made for sharing.

Now in cans! (Photo from Wild Rose Brewery AB)

Goodness, is that the time? I could share beer stories all day and beyond, and that’s just for dark beers. Imagine how great it would be if we moved onto pale ales? I can see you’re excited about that, but let’s leave it for another time. I know, I know…

Any time to talk about pale ales? Not right now? This was tasty…

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

What’s that? You’re still here and you really do want to know the winning stuck on an island forever dark beer? Or porter? Or stout? See below!

We have a winner! Unless Fuller’s London Porter is available. And what about Young’s Double Chocolate Stout? Maybe it should be the Wild Rose Cherry Porter? And I do like the Old Peculier… Can we have a bigger island?

Mystic haze!

Mystic haze?! Really, OldPlaidCamper? What’s going on? Too much time in the company of hobbits? Or you’re finally coming clean about those Dungeons and Dragons days? Perception altering fungi? No, nothing like that. My thanks to Vancouver Island Brewing – without their beer name inspiration, I would never have gone so far as to call this post “mystic haze!” (I mean, does that sound like my way with words?) No, this was mostly the recent weather and my beer choice coinciding… That, and the fact I was stuck more than usual for a title. I bought and enjoyed the beer, and as our recent weeks have been full of mystic haze, here we are, at possibly my longest and most pointless intro paragraph to date. Are you still here? Stick around, try the haze, it’s far out…

Like, it’s hazy here…

Fall continues to be surprisingly warm and dry, and I, less surprisingly, continue to write a version of that sentiment each week. I bet we’re all hoping this keeps up?

Happy blues

Scout and I have tripped out (teehee) most days, stopping off at our favourite stopping off places, admiring the mist and sunshine on the water, with me eventually giving way to Scout’s pleading insistence I take her picture. All is groovy on days like these.

Groovy

We had our first weather advisory of the new season last weekend, with talk of wind gusts bringing down drought weakened larger branches and cutting power. Perhaps the forecasters were hoping for a bit of meteorological disruption to the long run of placid days, and got a bit carried away? A few more leaves blew off the trees overnight, but that was about it. The weather “event” missed us, which was not a bummer at all, man.

Golden and mellow, warm and cool.

Anyway, I think we’ll leave it here for this week. Scout is looking out the front door with a meaningful expression. I think it’s the one that says it’s golden and mellow out there, with a hint of mystic haze under the rising moon. Oh, so that’s where I got it from.

Nope, it was from the beer

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Fogtember

If Fogust is a thing (and it is out here) then why not Fogtember?

Fogtember? Where?!

We were out on the coastal trails, remarking how sunny and warm it was for the first day of September, and how the sun sparkled on the distant water.

Casting a warm spell

We decided to stop and soak up the warmth on the black rocks, sitting above hundreds of beached and bleached logs, and watching the boats bobbing up and down just offshore. What a pleasant afternoon!

These smell good…

I clambered down to take a closer look at the logs – I like the texture and faint aroma, but don’t tell anyone, they might think that’s odd… Anyway, when I rejoined Mrs. PC up on the rocks, it was still sunny, but the afternoon was about to take a cooler turn. No, nothing I’d said, but a fog bank had rolled in pretty swiftly.

Fogtember? Maybe…

We sat for a few minutes more, and the fog swallowed the far off boats, the sun, and then the trees further along from where we sat. Fogtember had appeared!

Yup, Fogtember!

Deciding it was distinctly chilly, we set off for home, with the regular warning blasts from the lighthouse for good company. The start of September, cooler evenings, with hints of rain later this long weekend? Hmm, whisper it, but I think summer, such as it was in this little corner, might be drawing to a close…

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful long weekend! (Oh, and I almost promise not to try and make Fogtober a thing!)

Best before end of summer

UBC

UBC? Would that be the University of British Columbia? Well, yes, but no, not in this case. UBC is a fine institution, a seat of learning where several of the post secondary students I work with are studying, but all that is far too highbrow for this particular post. That said, although it is summer, with less focus on education-related work than usual, important research has to continue. (If you’re still with me, thank you, but be warned, this post has absolutely no point – but there will be a pint…)

Somewhat hazy

The header photo already gives it away, but my learning in recent weeks has been more focused on the other UBC here in Ucluelet. Yes, the Ucluelet Brewing Company! Since throwing open (and then closing, due to pandemic) their sturdy wooden doors almost three years ago, I’ve really hankered after enjoying an unhurried pint on the outside patio overlooking the water – and my office across the bay! (I think doing so demonstrates my deep commitment to things I love – learning and beer – how professional is that?)

I’ve completed some worthwhile research here

We’ve enjoyed several evenings inside the converted church, but timing or weather hadn’t allowed us to get outside. A few weeks back, one Saturday afternoon, I happened to be out and about running some essential errands. I was heading down the hill about 2pm and glanced up at the brewery, thinking it was bound to be busy. An empty patio?! Goodness.

Essential! (Thank you, universe)

Bearing in mind I’d set out to complete some essential errands that could not be delayed, I did the right thing, which was why, a few minutes later, I was sat up on the balcony overlooking the water, a lovely pint of Harbour View Hazy Pale ale close to hand. Did someone say essential errands?

Almost summer, and can almost see my office from here (it’s out of shot, to the right, and no one’s in right now)

What a happy hour that was! Good things are worth the wait, but I hope it isn’t another almost three years before it is repeated… And those errands? Time for those later, if I can remember what they were…

As stated at the start, a post without a point, but it did have a pint. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Canada Day!

I was aiming to choose a recent photograph that attempted to capture the essence of Canada – our little corner – for Canada Day, and I think it’s quite a good choice!

Pretty hoppy with my choice, and as much as a beer can, this represents our little corner! Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day to all who choose to celebrate. It’s far from perfect here in the True North, but as a work in (slow) progress we’re paddling in the right direction, and that’s something to celebrate. Cheers!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Summer!

We’ve finally had a hint of summer, and it feels good! As with spring, June 21st was a total washout, but the couple of days since, and the next few ahead have been/will be of a more summery nature. Phew!

Summery

A very brief post this week, as end of academic year activities, celebrations, and wrap up tasks take up most of our time. We’re looking forward to a warm and sunny weekend, and will be sitting outside drinking a beer. Might be a pale ale – just saying… And as we sit there, we’ll be hoping for more of the same. Beer? Sunny weekends? Both!

And long walks?!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Yup, summery…

Sunshine at mile zero!

Our recent trip to the Sunshine Coast wasn’t overly blessed with sunshine, but when it did warm up, it was wonderful.

Sunny sparkle

We were staying just a few kilometres along the coast from Powell River, a mill town that is transitioning to an outdoor hub/cultural centre/pleasant place to while away a few days. We didn’t tackle it, but there is a trail, the Sunshine Coast Trail that runs through the high backcountry, from hut to hut, that presents a moderate challenge to keen hikers.

The end of the road

Instead of taking on the high trail, we drove to the end of the road, mile zero of highway 101, a coastal road that winds north to south 24 000 miles to Chile. We’ve made a good start, only 23 950 miles to go…

Mile zero is in Lund, a bustling little harbour at the end/start of the road. We drove there last week, setting off under cloudy and drizzly skies, but by the time we arrived after a short and pretty drive along a lakeside and through wooded hills, the sun was starting to break through.

Soon to be sunny in Lund

We parked in the lot overlooking the harbour, and what a wonderful spot Lund is located in! Our first priority was the ever important second cup of the day, and Nancy’s Bakery was just the place. We sat on the outside terrace in front of the harbour, and with the sun now fully beaming, and after a long cold spring season, we had to nudge ourselves we were in the PNW.

The tropical side of the PNW

Snow capped mountains in the far distance, boats bobbing on sparkling water, palm trees and lavender plants fringing the terrace, and a fine cup of coffee? Not too bad! Lund is a gateway for adventurous types heading into the wonderfully named Desolation Sound, but in those moments, it wasn’t too desolate. We didn’t rush to leave…

Pretty good day

As fine as all the above was, the absolute highlight was spotting a pod of orcas moving across the bay, spouting and speeding from left to right, dorsal fins high out of the water and just outside the harbour. Hello orcas! You made an already great day even better.

Orca territory

I’ll leave it there for this week – remembering the beaming sun and the magnificent orcas has me beaming as I write this. Right now, I can hear the fog horn from the lighthouse, and it doesn’t look as though we’re in for any sunshine anytime soon, so the memories of last week will have to warm us. Hopefully we’ll be saying hello sunshine as we head into summer…

Townsite saison – pairs well with sunshine

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Sunshine Coast

Sunshine Coast? Not always, but it has been sunny, the most sunshine we’ve seen in the past few months, and we’re very happy about that!

Sunnier than we’ve been used to!

A brief post, as we spend a few days in an internet free cabin a few miles outside Powell River on BC’s Sunshine Coast. Powell River is home to Townsite Brewing, and we spent a very pleasant hour in their lovely garden enjoying a jar of Suncoast Pale Ale.

Brewery garden and Suncoast Pale Ale

More to follow (from Townsite Brewing and our trip) when we return home next week. In the meantime, I hope you have a sunny weekend ahead. (I’ve seen the forecast for Ucluelet, and apparently it will be raining by the time we return – there’ll be time to catch up on blog reading. More rain and cold? Oh well…we’ve seen the sun!)

Sunshine Coast…

Warm glow

If we can’t bask in the warm glow of a sunny Spring day, then we’ll enjoy the warm glow colour and looks of a sodden cedar log!

Warm glow

The season continues to be damp and chilly, so when we head out, we do so kitted out for February or March rather than May. Cold and rain aside, everything looks fresh and green, and it is a delight to be out there.

Tangled fringe

To keep warm, we’re walking at a brisk pace, and stops to sit and admire the location are brief but enjoyable enough. With summer just a few short weeks away, we’re hopeful there’ll soon be days when we can sit on a (dry) log, basking in a proper warm glow.

Damp underfoot (underpaw?) – can’t stop for too long…

Until then, it’s appreciate the scents, sights and sounds of the dripping rainforest fringe, and don’t think too hard about why we have winter beers in the fridge…

A failed attempt at a tan and black. Almost a waste of a good stout…

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Last weekend. Mid May? Or early March?

PS Of course, the day before posting, what happens? Why, there’s an improvement and blue skies reappeared:

Blue skies! The morning after a big storm