Whitecaps Eve, With Omissions

It is like a grey cloud over the city today, despite the 6-degree winter sun. The Whitecaps home opener occurs tomorrow. Emerging on this day, will be a team so-far covered in that grey veil. Who are these people? The pre-season weeks, thrown a crumb by some random calendar alert… “Whitecaps vs LA starting Now.” Not televised. Not live-streamed. Only the irregular tweets.

Our Waston-Stefan-free back end still feels like it is built from a house of invisible cards. Our level-headed manager, whose positivity seemed ridiculous at the end of the season, is rightfully gone, all his chances at Vancouver glory exhausted.

Now, like a single beat from a drum, our hearts pump. It pumps again and again, faster and faster, and our new dream begins.

Emerging from this smoky shroud, first the silhouettes, then the chiseled, lean, multi-shaded faces of the always mighty, world-champion Whitecaps. It is a beat that grows stronger in the fans, and players alike. Our energy permeating one another.

Each silent prayer in the stands, each cross signed, each moment of open hands to the sky, we all connect, and become powerful. This magic, whether you call it vibes, or God, or love-potion number nine, is real. It is all real. In sport, only believers win.

Despite the omissions, some things stay the same. We are the same, and we always believe. We have to believe, because if we do not, there is no hope. We may as well believe.

Omission Pale Ale.

G3, 4/5

New Grist at the Whistler Beer Festival


Today I went to the Whistler Beer Festival. I biked up around noon, and was looking forward to trying the three… yes, three Gluten-Free beers that were available, and taking home a free souvenir mug. Of course I have already tried the Glutenberg and New Grist, so I was not expecting much in terms of surprises.

When I rode up on my bike and saw the crappy plastic souvenir mug, and heard the obnoxious accordion music, I just said “fuck it… I have better things to do.” I went for a rip on some of the trails on my bike and had my own beer festival at home.

Such is my new attitude when choosing health over awesome beer!

New Grist

Somewhere in Wisconsin this beer with the funny name is made, and somehow, is the most accessible easy-drinking Gluten-free beer in the world.

It is not organic, which is too bad. But up until a few weeks ago, this has been in my fridge every day for the past month… Next to the Bards and Schniter Brau.

It has a straw colour, and a lively but short-lived head, with a mild yeast aroma.

It is mild tasting with a slight citrus flavour, and no real aftertaste. It easily replaces a hefeweizen on a beautiful summer day like today.


The New Purpose

August 9, 2014.

No, sensitivity is not a cute name for a beer. The reason I started writing about beer a number of years ago was that I could not stand beer with additives or preservatives. I would research to find those beers with no chemical additives because these chemicals would make me sick. Really sick.

Personally, I couldn’t see any excuse for any brewer to add artificial preservatives, just like I do not understand how they could use GMO grains, and why they would not at least try to use organic ingredients.

Now I have a much greater understanding of how I have multiple chemical sensitivities that make me less able to consume certain chemical additives. About a year ago I started noticing eczema on my hands when they came in contact with certain chemicals. It also got worse if they came in contact with white flour. Eventually, after a diet eliminating gluten, the eczema almost disappeared.

In addition to this, my body shape changed, and despite not losing any weight, my waist size reduced from 34 to 31 inches. As it turns out, there was a high degree of inflammation occurring in my body, especially my abdomen, because I was sensitive to gluten-containing foods.

Strangely, the eczema would re-appear if my skin came in contact with certain substances like some kinds of soap, and household cleaners. The worst was actually white vinegar. Although white vinegar technially contains no gluten, it is made from gluten-containing grains, and even the trace of gluten (less than 10 ppm) causes an instant rash and breaking of my skin.

That’s pretty great, isn’t it.

So I switched to rice vinegar. I use soap that is made using no gluten-containing ingredients.

Then, last, I gave up beer. Never again!

I even switched to wine for a while. As it turns out, the sulphites in wine give me a headache, if I have more than one glass. That’s no fun!

Now, thankfully, there are a handful of brews made from gluten-free ingredients.

Initially I was embarked on a journey to find preservative-free organic beer. This is a significant fork in the road. My journey is now to find organic, non-gmo lagers, ales, etc, made from alternative grains…

Wish Me Luck