Four Pines Brewing Pale Ale

It was a warm New Year’s Eve in Claremont Australia. Incidentally my wife and I are also having our 8th wedding anniversary today. We usually celebrate by going out for an anniversary lunch, followed by a quiet night at home. We spent most of the day driving home from down south, with a quick stop at the Miami bakery for garlic shrimp pie… a delightful cheat from my newly introduced gluten-free diet.

For dinner we decided to have take out. I walked in to a shitty Mexican place called Mad Mexx in Claremont Quarter. I had a really good meal at a Mad Mexx in Sydney Airport so I thought this would be similar. Unlike the Claremont restaurant, however, the Sydney Restaurant had actual Mexicans working there. For some reason Mexican food tastes better when it is made by Mexicans. I can’t really blame the restaurant owner here in Claremont. You would be hard-pressed to find a Mexican, or any non-caucasian anywhere in Perth… More on that later.

My carnitas had freezer burn.

When you go gluten-free, one thing is for sure, you will lose weight. Just from the shear fact that you can’t eat anything… you will lose weight. You can’t eat that cake at your friend’s birthday party. You can’t have those french fries (unless they have a dedicated fryer). You can’t have toast in the morning… or Shreddies with milk.

Luckily you can eat bacon… mmmmm. bacon.

Can you drink beer? Beer has gluten in it.. but … there is a reason I am still drinking it.

More on that later too.

With my shitty previously frozen take-out meal sitting barely touched in the top of the trash bin, I pulled out a Four Pines Brewing Pale Ale.

I picked these cold from the Sterling Pub Drive-Through bottle-o on Sterling Highway.

Four Pines Brewing is located in the lively and gorgeous suburb of Sydney called Manley, which boasts a tremendous restaurant culture, and a beautiful beach.

This beer really cheered me up. It has a well balanced taste of caramel and citrus. It provided a nice finish to the evening as my son and daughter slept.

5/5 G1

“Dec 31 2013

Four pines brewing pale ale
With shitty mexican carnitas tacos from mad mex in subi. From sterling bottle-o, brewed in manly. Caramel and citrus, well balanced.

The Isms

The “isms.”

A few days ago I was attacked. Verbally attacked, mind you. I didn’t do anything wrong, but I was blamed for something.

I wasn’t attacked personally, but I was attacked because I live in a city, and cheer for a certain team.

Sure, fans of my team have done things wrong, not all of them mind you, just a few. Fans of every team have done things wrong, just like members of every city have done things wrong.

If Charles Manson is from Los Angeles, do I think all people from Los Angeles are psychopaths? Of course not. Charles Manson also had white skin, so should I think all white people are also psychopaths? That doesn’t make much sense!


I was watching an episode of VICE about people in the Philippines who hand-make illegal weapons, and one of them was hiding his face with a Canucks T-shirt. Does that mean all Canucks fans make illegal weapons?

I didn’t do anything wrong. Why am I being attacked?

It is human nature to want to categorize things, and to categorize people. It makes us feel safer and in control. It gives us a believable story, and makes us feel like we can predict the future.

To derive judgement of a whole group from the actions of an individual, however, is still deplorable. It is the root of the most extreme types of hatred and ignorance.

If you get punched in the face by a Canucks fan, that is not an acceptable rationale to hate all Canucks fans. I mean, if you are in Vancouver, we are all Canucks fans. I don’t have any control over anybody but myself, after all.

Extending beyond the individual is a tactic used by those who wish to increase hatred, and find excuses to hate groups of people. The problem, and it is a big problem, is that people fall for it.

Why incite hatred?

I could use real-life examples, but I watched The Lone Ranger on the airplane yesterday, and it had a really good example, so I will keep it light.

In short, a guy wanted to build a railroad on Indian territory, needed an excuse to attack the Indians, so he had some white people pose as Indians and attack some homes. Everybody hates Indians now, let’s kill them all!


Some people, some teams, are fuelled by revenge… an emotion of the dark side. Anger, fear, hatred are the way of evil.

Thank you Master Yoda.

I am not one to generalize, but I am really proud of a lot of Canucks fans who really understand the politics of the game. They understand that the most dominant and talented team in 30 years got bullied out of a cup.

They are also in awe of the things that led to it being able to happen. A player’s father (Colin Campbell) is head of the league disciplinary committee, allowing two spines to be broken, with no penalties issued, let alone suspensions. He resigned.

This followed by the harshest-ever playoff suspension to a Vancouver player for a hit that was considered clean a few years ago: “we are turning over a new leaf with head injuries” they said. The leaf turned back over at the beginning of the next season, and sleeping beauty lifted his head up and was back on the ice by the end of the series.

A New England media that is deliberately biased, as though they are trying to sway the jury in a class-action law suit. Our self-deprecating media infested with Ontarians and Albertans didn’t stand a chance.

It’s hard to blame the players of the opposing team. They are mostly kids, jocks, just being swept in the wave of emotion. They are believing what they want to believe, and getting inspiration from wherever it is available.

On the other hand, they are individuals. They are on the ice, and they are responsible for their own actions. We were watching. If I judge one of them because of something they did or said… now that is rational, isn’t it?

Four Winds Brewing Saison Brett

Today is my last day at the office before Christmas vacation, and I decided it was time to uncork one of my bottles of Four Winds Brewing Saison Brett.

It was a lovely day, nine degrees, cloudy, Vancouver mildness at its best.

Add in a former Vancouverite claiming he was allegedly speed-bagged outside a night club, because he forgot everybody hates his guts here, and you have just the right amount of meaningless theatre to keep this town interesting.

Back to classy things, I picked up two bottles of Four Winds Saison Brett after reading an article in the Province, and deciding to track it down. I managed to find a couple of bottles at Scotty’s Liquor store in Squamish on my way back from Whistler. I also picked up a handful of other beauties that I hope to share with you soon.


I did not agitate or roll the bottle, instead allowing the sediment in the bottle-conditioned beer to sit on the bottom.

The cork came off relatively easily, with no pop. The first glass was a clear amber colour with excellent head, requiring some patience to pour. The aroma was delightfully complex and unusual.

Aged in Okanagan red wine barrels.

This beer is interesting because it was aged in wine barrels, and I’m no expert, but I think the barrels transferred some of the taste of red wine into the beer. It has a surprisingly refreshing fruity taste. Slightly citrus, moderately woody, and very flavourful.

It was described on the bottle as “straw and earth.” I am glad I didn’t taste any earth.

Is it good?

The second glass was a lot more foggy and just a little more dry and subtly bitter.

This is a tasteful piece of art, and the efforts here should be appreciated. Although i wouldn’t drink it every day, it is definitely something special.