As I scrolled through my social media feeds this morning while making pancakes for the family, I stumbled on someone’s list of “favourite things.” The kind of thing that is always circulating where people list their favourite foods, places they’ve been, teacher, Backstreet Boy, a bunch of random and fairly meaningless stuff. Amongst these “favourite things” was their favourite holiday — Valentine’s Day. I don’t personally think of Valentine’s Day as a “holiday” myself (because it isn’t) but it did make me stop and think. As an old married guy with kids I don’t get many opportunities to take my significant other out on “date nights.” We are usually doing things together as a family or experiencing cool things together with the kids and the rare night that my love and I get out together we are almost always heading to an industry event — which doesn’t really count as a date when I spend most of it talking about beer with a bunch of folks.
This made me think that Valentine’s Day might actually be the most important date in my annual calendar. The one day of the year — outside of our anniversary … sometime in the summer-ish — that I can just focus on her and be damned with the kids. Years from now when the kids move out, deciding to make Valentine’s Day a holiday in our household might be the one thing that keeps our relationship tied together. “If only he had taken me out on St. Valentine’s Day,” she may say wistfully to lesser husband number 2.
The good thing is, it’s not too late. And there is plenty of room for beer to be involved.
Valentine’s Day on a Budget — Perhaps you don’t have the scratch to head out for fine dining or you just prefer to spend the cash on the finest steaks money can buy
at your local butcher and prefer to grill them up yourself. Whatever the reason, you can still ante up some cash for a special bottle of beer. For the price of an appetizer, Nickel Brook’s Café Del Bastardo could be just that share bottle you are looking for. The latest release from their Bastard family of bourbon barrel-aged imperial stouts features some bright coffee notes from beans provided by the Tamp Coffee Company. Coming in at 14.5% ABV you should probably share this one.
Something Special — Nothing beats heading out to experience something special together. The fine folks at Rorschach Brewing have put together a special couples painting night at their brewery with Blank Canvases Toronto. Their beer list is amazing, their food is great and you’ll end up with a gift to give each other at the end of the night. The other bonus — it happens on February 13th so you will beat the Valentine’s rush and it will give you a chance to do the Valentine’s Day on a Budget above on the 14th!
Don’t forget: nothings says, “I Love You,” better than beer! Except for actually using the words, “I Love You.”
LAKE WILCOX LAKEHOUSE
Available at The Beer Store
The Wilcox LakeHouse Craft Lager is sparkling like sun on an open water, refreshing and crisp as a dip in the lake. A slight sweetness with a biscuit flavour and gentle notes of floral on the nose. An easy drinking craft lager.
style: craft lager
LAKE WILCOX MAD QUACKER
Available at The Beer Store and LCBO #461624 • $3.05 (437ml)
The Wilcox Mad Quacker Amber Lager is a Vienna Style that uses 7 malts and 2 hops to create its sultry amber colour. The flavour has a notable degree of toasted and slightly roasted
malt character. The hop bitterness is low to medium. Easily paired with your favourite meal.
style: vienna amber lager
CLIFFORD PINBALL WIZARD
LCBO #507947 • $3.15 (473mL)
Our award winning American-Style pale ale has dominant aromas of citrus, pine, and tropical fruits, paired with a smooth bitterness, and balanced with a slightly bready malt body. It’s unfiltered and loaded with delicious hop flavours to ensure repeated drinkability. For those who love hops, this APA aims to please!
style: american pale ale
DIXON’S GIN FUSION
LCBO #491159 • $2.95 (473 mL can)
Our first Gin cooler is a refreshing blend of our VirGIN with ginger, cucumber, lime, and mint. On the palette it’s light and not too sweet, making it the perfect drink for a hot summer day.
style: gin cooler