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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Why the Fuss Over Imports: Part Two

Back on July 28th, I ran a post written by Walter Leipurts, who we'll now call 'Uncle Walt,' about his views on the import selection at our various LCBO's and Beer Stores titled "Why the Fuss Over Imports?" It generated some good comments and prompted Uncle Walt to write a follow-up post. Here it is from his rocking chair.

I didn’t make it to the Toronto Festival of Beer over the weekend because of some health issues, plus the fact that we had a wee bit of rain. OK, so I’m a big baby but being soaking wet in an inebriated crowd no longer appeals to me like it once did. The Festival must be a very important venue; Molson and Labatt were there, each with 3 or 4 disguises. After attending the last 7 in a row, it was a shame to miss this one.

It was great to receive the feedback on my last rant- yes, some of my facts were dubious at best, but I was speaking from my Maple Leaf-shaped heart, and not from my oversized pumpkin-like head. It was wonderful to see that my article was worth tearing apart along with my heart. Yes, I am overly sensitive.

It’s true- some imports are desirable and we don’t produce them here in Ontario. If you want a beer from Togo, brewed using Betel Nuts that turns your lips, gums and teeth Red and paralyses your limbs, then Togo Betelmania is the brew for you. (Available at select retail outlets.) I’m sure there are many other fine upstanding brews made from all manner of ingredients, but I still maintain we have great beers here made from pure ingredients and a guaranteed freshness, not some travel-weary Eurotrash.

If we ever are able to purchase beer in retail outlets, I’m sure Wal Mart will only carry TsingTao as everything else there is made in China. Not an anti-Chinese bias, but I’d like to see a bit more manufacturing done here in Canada. Call me crazy.

One thing the LCBO and Beer store are doing well is their adherence to recycling; they were doing this before it became fashionable. If beer sales were switched to retail, I doubt we would have the same commitment to being environmentally conscious, and most stores would probably carry only the biggest sellers, so we would not have the variety we now enjoy. At that point, I would like to see a chain of small stores selling only Micro products. And I suppose we would allow some Togo Betelmania to be sold in these outlets to satisfy those who like the imports. Naturally, Taps magazine would also be sold here.

So keep drinking those imports and bankrupt Canada. And feel deep shame when you look in the mirror. “Oh you hard hearts, you fickle men of Scarborough, knew you not Pompey?” (I'm not sure what Uncle Walt's getting at here with this last sentence. Make of it as you will - Troy)

Bye for now,

Uncle Walt
(picture not actually Walt, who I've never met, but was borrowed from this site)

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5_55 said...

I'm guessing that most of us would not argue against a chain selling only micro products. Alternatively, maybe something attached to grocery stores like those cute wine stores. That way we would have a convenience of grocery shopping and a nice selection too.

No one is arguing against good Canadian micros. But, I refuse to drink beer just because it's made in Canada. My goal is to drink the best beer available to me, and if it's Canadian, well that's a bonus. In a certain way, I refuse to subsidize a cheap brewmaster that would somehow expect me to buy their product just by pulling my patriotic strings. I didn't drink Molson Canadian even when they produced that very Canadian ad (hey, it had everything: beavers, hockey, maple trees and a lumberjack shirt ). I grew up in a country without market economy, and let me tell you, it ain't pretty. Those foreign brews force our beers to be much better than they would be otherwise. Just look at GM - imagine their cars without Toyota and Honda being around.

Now, I'm finishing my rant and going back to watching Olympics where very happy looking Canadian athletes are telling my how great it is just to be there and that they are having a great time. I'm glad.

Alan said...

Not only do I drink imports - I drink mainly beer I import. I am off to Maine today and expect to bring back 50 to 100 bottles of fine ales and lagers from around the world after hitting the excellent Tullys of Wells beer shop.

I support many great Canadian microbrewers but I can't yet say with a straight face that they are a replacement for the whole range of beers in the world or that they are the best of beers. That is simply misguided chauvanism - akin to, as Zoran says, suggesting Canadian athletes are the best. No, we are decades behind and complacency makes it hard to see how far behind we are.

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