June is, among other things, Pride month. It’s a time when LGBT people can come together to celebrate how far they’ve come and how much still needs to be done.
As a queer person I look forward to Pride every year. I love having an annual chance to celebrate this part of my heritage, to take stock of how I can help make things better for my LGBT siblings, and (let’s face it) to party!
Here are some ways to celebrate Pride this year – in drink form of course. If you need me I’ll be in Toronto’s gay village, enjoying the festivities.
When I was in university I didn’t know much about beer. I drank it when I went out to the pub but that was about it. I usually ordered something cheap like Labatt 50 (hello student budget) or sometimes splurged on Creemore (before it was bought by Molson) or Sleeman (before it was bought by Sapporo).
It wasn’t until I started doing beer tours that I really got to know what beer is all about.
In my early beer-drinking days my consumption habits were much different. It was the early 2000’s and most of my drinking happened at my favourite local pub in the town where I was going to university. Its draft list was modest and straight-forward, exactly what you’d expect at the time – Molson Canadian and Labatt Blue, Rickard’s Red and a couple other things. In an effort to find something I liked I most often gravitated toward Labatt 50, for better or for worse.
And then something wonderful happened. Sometime around 2008 I tried a new beer. It was from Ontario (gotta love local!) and was a new type I’d never had before, a Kolsch. It was delicious! And it was a craft beer.
It’s well established at this point that I have a deep, abiding love of wine. I’ve taken courses, shared what I’ve learned, and take every opportunity to learn and taste and grow as a wino. But, contrary to that love, I don’t tend to order wine when I go out. Instead that honour goes to my other liquid love – beer.
Palate Practice turns three years old this week! My little blog-baby has been out in the world for so long now, sharing all sorts of stories and hijinx and generally existing successfully. Blogs seem to age quicker than humans, it’s only been three years of my life that Palate Practice has existed but I feel like it’s already reached its adolescence in a way.
It’s that time of year again. Days are getting shorter and chillier, nights are getting darker, and Seasonal Affective Disorder is settling into our bones like Irish damp. Fortunately our ancestors were prepared for this time of year and made festivals of light, love and sharing – Christmas and advent among them. Which means it’s also time for something I get excited for every year – my annual beer advent calendar!
Tomorrow is St. Patrick’s Day and while for some that might mean getting wasted on dubious green beer, for me it’s an opportunity to pay homage to one of the many cultures that make up my heritage. I mean, I’ll still wear green, but I won’t wear one of those head bands with the little clovers on springs. Moderation, people.
Here are some beverages on my weekend sample menu. If you’re feeling particularly celebratory or, like me, have some Irish blood in there somewhere, I encourage you to give these a go.