Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Hunting Expedition

Growing up in Canada, everyone had at least a 6-pack of beer in their fridge. It was basically de rigeur, up there with common etiquette, e.g. offering someone a coffee or tea as soon as they entered your house. And you generally socialize over drinks, be it beer, wine, or my favourite as a twenty-something, Canadian whisky.

Yet when I moved to the US, my alcohol consumption came to a slamming halt. The shift was partially due to my moving to the right of the frummie spectrum, but even more so due to the appalling quality of the beverages available. I am no fan of bourbon, vodka is okay but not fabulous according to my taste buds, and well, imported whisky was just plain expensive. As for beer, it was bad enough that all I could find was Miller, Budweiser, or Corona, but it was unfathomable to me that the said beer came in a can, not a bottle. I mean, a can? That's just tacky.

So I've kept my imbibing to some dry wine every once in a while. But the last few weeks I've really been hankering for a beer. Really. The groceries around me though have only offered the usual suspects, with Heineken thrown in for good measure. I decided today to turn things up a notch, and followed the advice of numerous friends to look in the convenience stores around the neighbourhood.

After ambling along for over an hour, I finally found a great spot on Avenue P. Not only did the shop offer mainly imported beer, but the guy also sold a gazillion types of cigarettes, cigars, etc. , aka it was a true beer joint. I even found a new Molson beer. After learning that I could break up a 6-pack if need be, I took my bottle up to the counter. The guy looked at me and said "Only one"? I told him I didn't know if I'd like it. That's when he almost cracked a smile and nodded. He could relate to my sampling. Obviously a beer drinker himself. :)

Since I now had my beer, I figured I needed some type of salty snack. So I bought some type of cheesy crunchie, and home I came. My loot is sitting in the fridge, awaiting the proper moment. All in all, one of the best hours I've spent as of late. There's nothing like discovering more about what's in your neck of the woods, you know?


  1. You're so hanging out with the wrong people. Come over with Barb for shabbat and you'll see how Russians do it. I have at least 3 kinds of beer, different ones every time, and none of them of the Bud, Corona or Miller variety.

    An awesome store, great prices, great variety of beers, is near ShopRite. It's on McDonald and Webster I think.

    Another is Associated on J, they have a somewhat changing selection of beer.

    My favorites:
    Blue Moon, even Barb loved this one, Red Stripe, any of the Hefeweizens, most of Sam Adams, check crc for which flavors are kosher. An interesting beer is Mississippi Mud, you can get at that place by ShopRite. Tsing Tao and another Chinese beer that I saw only in China Town. Kirin and Asahi, Kirin is pretty hard to find, you can get it in one of the Japanese stores in Manhattan. Fosters, Maccabee is surprisingly decent, Baltica 5, the new Baltica 9 recipe. Any German gold beer.

    For vodka, ever tried Ketel One?

    For whiskey, I absolutely love Glenrothes.

  2. Moshe, I would love to hang out with Barb. Being a Yekki though, I'm waiting to get invited. ;)

    I like Red Stripe too. I'm not to fond of the Asian beers or Sam Adams for the most part, but *am* partial to red and gold beers. My faves back in Canada were Rickert's Red and Boreale Rousse. Fabulous. As for vodka, Grey Goose was okay, until it became treif. ARGH. And the only imported whiskey I like is the really expensive stuff- which is quite surprising considering how I used to swirl down half a bottle of Canadian Club at a time, i.e., my taste buds weren't for the expensive stuff.

    Thanks so much for the tip about the two shops. I'm going to check them out this coming week, bli neder. Such information is a G-dsend!

  3. If I'd know you're a fellow alcoholic...
    How about next week? Barb has my address and I'm on her fb.

    Have you tried Asahi or Kirin? I'm not a big fan of Sapporo myself.

    Grey Goose is treif? You still believe that urban legend? Here's a real source.

    Which whiskeys you like?

    Rite Aid on J used to be one of the best beer stores. Alas, it's gone.

  4. Urban myth? B'H'! ;) Although now that I'm hooked up in the beer department, and it's summertime, I'm looking forward to much sampling of Canada's favourite beverage.

    As for whiskeys, gosh it's been so long. Blair Athol? Johnny Walker Blue? But I'm sure my taste buds have changed with age; when I was in my '20s, I hated chocolate, and now I love the stuff.

  5. Don't think ever had Blair Althol. Had all of JW. To me, Blue was pretty much same thing as Gold. I wouldn't drink Re, but Black is pretty decent.