Greetings from 53.5° north latitude, where we are suffering with streets and sidewalks covered in ice after a freezing rain earlier this week.
This past week was busy with work, reading, and getting ready for the holiday season. The quick summary is two interesting articles to comment on, two books finished, two new beers, and five new words.
The first article was out of the National Post. Tristan Hopper wrote the article "Why this day, just 90 years ago, is Canada's real independence day", in reference to the Statute of Westminster which came into force December 11, 1931. The quick summary is that before 1931, the United Kingdom could overturn any law that was "repugnant" to English law. After the Statute of Westminster was enacted, Canada remained a constitutional monarchy with a Governor General, but we can pass our own laws and decide when we are at war, decisions we could not make independently before then. It is fascinating to know that even as tied to other countries we are in 2021, we had zero independence for the first sixty-four years of our existence as a nation.
The second article was from Slate, and it reframed Johnny Cash as an ally against racism and race-fueled violence. The article suggests that Cash's 1962 album, "Blood, Sweat and Tears" was not just a collection of stories about working men, but rather "a concept album about race in America, about the violent enforcement of racial hierarchies in America". If you read the album notes on Tidal for "Blood, Sweat and Tears", the author is solidly in the traditional camp, calling it an album "about the fables of the American working man". The Slate article busts that view apart, highlighting how Cash recorded songs about slavery, violence, and murder against black men.
I do not have a lot of experience with Johnny Cash's music, but I certainly have heard many of his songs. This article gave me a reason to really listen to his music, and to listen to it with a new perspective. If you are interested in understanding more about the messages in Cash's music, read the Slate article and listen to the album here.
It does not appear likely that I will hit 52 books this year, but if I finish a few books that I am part way through, I should be able to get into the mid-40s.
Book #40 for 2021 was "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak. This was an amazing book and is probably going to be my favorite book for 2021. I found it to be very emotional, especially near the end. The synopsis is that it is a story about a young girl living in World War II Germany, and all the struggles and issues that entails. I am really glad I read this book and will likely read it again in the future.
Book #41 for 2021 will most likely be the shortest book I read this year. "Fortunately, the Milk" by Neil Gaiman was a fantastical tale of the exploits of a father explaining why he was late returning home with some milk. Picking this book up made it clear it was going to be a quick read, but with the numerous illustrations by Skottie Young, it was even shorter than expected. The entertaining story reminded me of a fast-paced Willy Wonka story, but this is definitely a once-and-done book unless you have young children that are just graduating into chapter books.
Two new beers this week. First was the Wanderlust IPA from Breakside Brewery out of Portland. (3.75 / 5). Second was the Do Something Lager from Sea Change here in Edmonton. (3.5 / 5). This brings my total number of unique check-ins on Untappd to 838.
Five new words this week. The first two came from the seventh Harry Potter book that had a sentence that said "a baize in a budgerigar".
Greetings from 53.5° north latitude. It was another quiet week with little to report on. One new beer, one book finished, and one new word. There has been some time in the saddle as well, even though it has been quite cold in the last few days.
My goal of 52 books in 2021 is not going to happen. I am going to work on finishing books that I have started in December so I should get over 40 books this year, but I will be a long way from 52.
Book #39 for 2021 was "The Sittaford Mystery" by Agatha Christie. This is a stand-alone mystery from Christie, meaning that the protagonists are not Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, etc. However, I really liked Inspector Narracort and Emily Trefius and would like to have seen more from either of them in other books.
Even though I did like those two characters, the book was not great. I enjoyed the setup but I found it took too long to get to the character analysis and the various plot lines did not satisfactorily come together. In addition, Trefius did not show up until over one-third into the story. It was good enough to read through, but just barely.
Just one new beer this week. The Münchner Weisse from the Hofbräuhaus München Brewery in Munich. (3.5 / 5) The number of unique check-ins in Untappd is now up to 836,
Just one new word, this one coming from a book of spells for 5e.
This will be the shortest update on record in over two and a half years making these updates. Very little writing, no new books, only one new drink, no segments completed on the cross-Canada virtual tour, and only one new word.
On the bright side, there are less than three weeks until vacation and hopefully that time will be filled with writing, beer, and reading. Until then, or at least for now, here is the update for this week.
I have been listening to a lot of music lately, but most of it was not new, or even new to me. Tidal has been great, and we re-subscribed to SiriusXM for the vehicle. I have to admit that I did not think too highly of SiriusXM when we first bought the new car in the spring, but I have really grown to like it. I picked up the subscription as an early Christmas gift for my spouse but use it all the time as well.
One notable album on SiriusXM this week has been the new release between Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Their new album "Raise the Roof" is really good with Plant's and Krause's vocals contemplating each other very well. I am not a huge Led Zeppelin fan, but I have always like Plant's solo work, and have been a fan of Krauss since "Forget About It" in 1999. Raise the Roof is laid back with moments of real intensity, and my favorite parts are with Krauss as the lead singer with Plant providing haunting background vocals. "Trouble with my Lover" is a great example of this.
There was one new beer this week, another from Edmonton's Trial & Ale, this being their "A Saison Apparent" (4.0 / 5). My number of unique check-ins on Untappd is now up to 835.
This was my favorite from Trial & Ale so far. Nice fruit flavor with funk from the Brettanomyces without being too ripe. Really good stuff, and I feel my enthusiasm for this brewery is definitely warranted.
New word, singular, to be exact. This one sounded evil and foreboding, but was actually quite domestic, literally and figuratively.
Greetings from 53.5° north latitude after taking a week off from posting. Life has been mostly consumed by work in the past fortnight, leaving little time for anything else. I do not have much to talk about but thought I would post a brief update just to not completely lose momentum from my forced habit of regular writing.
All that is on the agenda is a quick virtual tour update, a handful of new beers, and a few words. Even so, time to get to it.
Cross-Canada Virtual Tour:
The cycling is picking back up, albeit very slowly. Most of the progress I am making on the cross-Canada virtual tour is via walking, which is good but awfully boring. I was able to close off the Ignace-Upsala segment, so I am now homing in on the final segment of this leg towards Thunder Bay.
Upsala was named after Uppsala in Sweden. Note the difference in spelling. Upsala, Ontario was an important fur trade settlement, and was eventually connected via road with the TransCanada connection from the twin cities of Fort William and Port Arthur, which coincidentally, are now a single city named Thunder Bay. The Wikipedia page does not provide any more information, so it appears that Upsala is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it location on the highway.
Here is the updated progress chart.
Seven new beers to report, bringing the total unique check-ins on Untappd to 834. Karlovačko Lager (2.0 / 5), Cabin Luminosity (3.0), Collective Arts IPA No. 17 (3.5), Collective Arts Mai Tai Sour (3.25), Delirium Red (3.75), Delirium Nocturnum (4.0), and Dandy in the Underworld (3.75)
The winner this week was the Delirium Nocturnum, which was a treat to drink. On the opposite end of the scale was the Karlovačko which was so disappointing after the really good lagers I have had lately. Plus, I learned that orgeat (pronounced \"or-zat\"), which is highlighted on the Collective Arts Mai Tai Sour can, is a non-alcoholic almond-flavored syrup that is commonly used in tiki and classic cocktails, most notably in the Mai Tai.
Three new words this week. Can you pick which one came out of COVID research?
Welcome to November where it is definitely not November-esque weather yet. It was a pretty quiet week, with only one item of note and a lone beer to comment on.
The item of note was an interview with Yuval Noah Harari on 60 Minutes. Harari is known for his books "Sapiens", "Homo Deus", and "21 Lessons for the 21st Century". I have read Sapiens and Homo Deus and am a fan of Harari as a result. The interview certainly delves into territory consistent with those books, with statements such as "Within a century or two, Earth will be dominated by entities that are more different from us than we are different from chimpanzees", and how today's technology will allow us to "a new species of human".'
While interesting and thought-provoking, the main takeaway for me was Harari's comments on the importance of data. Harari commented that "data is worth much more than money". Interviewer Anderson Cooper's soundbite was that "data is the key". Harari raised concerns about how biometric data, data about what is going on inside our bodies. Inside of the surveillance we allow upon ourselves now - surveillance of what we read, watch, eat, date - Harari warns that we are moving to surveillance of our body and our health. To his credit, Harari does acknowledge the power of the data we have about our bodies. He says that our times are not just dystopian, but also utopian.
The interview is worth watching, whether you are a fan of Harari and have not yet discovered him.
As an aside, Cooper's "data is the key" soundbite instantly reminded me of Ben Kingsley in "Sneakers".
"There's a war out there, old friend. A world war. And it's not about who's got the most bullets. It's about who controls the information. What we see and hear, how we work, what we think... it's all about the information!" - Ben Kingsley as Cosmos, in "Sneakers"
I am going to rewatch that movie for the first time in well over a decade. It will be interesting to see how well it holds up.
Just one new beer this week, bringing the unique check-ins on Untappd to 827. This was the Deschutes Royal Fresh Imperial IPA. 3.75
Greetings. Hallowe'en is upon us, and once again three-quarters of our family carved a pumpkin. The last quarter, yours truly, may do so tonight, but that will not happen if past years are any indication. Instead, here are the other three pumpkins for 2021.
Just one book finished this week, and it was a reread of a book from 2017. Book #38 for 2021 was "The Fire Chronicle" by John Stephens is the second book in the Young Adult series, "The Books of Beginning".
As with the first book that I read with my younger daughter earlier this year, this is an excellent book and is worthy of your time. Young readers in your family will connect with the memorable characters and the multiple story lines. Be warned however that the story is not always happy and that sensitive readers might have difficulty with certain parts of the book.
Cross-Canada Virtual Tour:
I am going to change things up a bit with the cycling updates. Given the spate of back injuries and inability to cycle regularly, I have reverted to walking. The cross-Canada virtual tour continues, but it includes walking now, hence the change in title for this section.
In the tour, I have now passed Ignace, Ontario. According to the town's Wikipedia entry, it was named after Ignace Mentour, a key Indigenous guide in the region during the railway survey work. This is notable given how few of the locations on the virtual tour to date have been named after Indigenous people.
Here is the updated progress chart. Next stop, Upsula.
I am also going to change things up a bit with the coffee and beer reviews. Going forward, I will combine them into one section, and the write-up for the beers will be shorter. I was finding it hard to do a review for the beers in Untappd and then copy that text here for this site. Hopefully this will lower the burden and remove the redundancy.
One new coffee to report this week. The Columbian is a local roaster, and their beans are served at Krew Coffee in Lendrum. I have grown to really like this coffee but my coffee experience is still too limited to have the vocabulary to describe it.
Six new beers in the past fortnight, bringing the total number of unique check-ins on Untappd to 826. From left to right in the image below: Coronado Orange Shandy 3.75; Nickel Brook Wicked Awesome IPA 3.5, Kozel Premium Lager 3.5, Railyard Pumpkin Spice Latte Nitro Stout 3.5, Annex Ale Profane Communion Black Saison 3.0, Brooklyn Lager 4.0. The winner this fortnight is definitely the Brooklyn Lager.
Greetings once again from 53.5° north latitude. It was a quiet week with the focus on work items and little time for extracurricular activities. There were no books finished, or even read this week, so no Reading Pile or New Words updates to provide. Physical ailments limited exercise to walking so there is no Cycling Update to give. The new coffee and beer updates can wait until next week.
That leaves two items of note, one work and one personal.
The work item is a video that we recorded this week with AHS CEO Verna Yiu around cybersecurity. October is Cyber Security Awareness Month, and we continued our increased focus on security messaging in October again this year for at least the fifth year in a row. For the message, I was joined by Victoria Lane, our Chief Privacy Officer for our discussion about why "Cybersecurity is Everyone’s Responsibility".
The personal item is that Campaign 3 for Critical Role launched this week. If you are not familiar with Critical Role, it is a stream of "nerdy ass voice actors sitting around and playing Dungeons and Dragons", that wording taken directly from the show. If that seems weird to you, think of it as a long-running television show built around a fantasy setting and a game mechanic. So yes, one could say it a bunch of people rolling dice, but it really is unscripted improvisational acting with story elements driven by choices from the actors more so than by the dice rolls.
I started watching Critical Role Campaign 2 about 30 weeks after it started and never did catch up. In fact, I still have not finished Campaign 2 which completed this summer. The story is great, and the actor-players are amazing, but I never watched all the episodes due to the extent of the backlog that I had to work through. I always find it very daunting to catch up on any shows that have a season or two already released. The calculation of how much time I will have to spend to catch up usually turns me off, regardless of the show. With each episode of Critical Role averaging well over three hours, being 30 episodes behind means at least 80 hours of viewing time while watching at 1.25x normal speed.
Anyway, why is that important you ask. Well, for Campaign 3, I am going to try and stay current with the show instead of having to catch up later. I am not certain I will be able to do so, even if the story is great. Time will tell.
If this interests you at all, there is a good primer of Critical Role here, the Twitch stream is here, and the video-on-demand stream is posted on YouTube on Mondays. Finally, if I keep up with it and find interesting items to talk about, I will post them on the Gaming section of this site. Do note though that I consider Critical Role to be NSFW and not something you watch with your younger children.
Greetings from 53.5° north latitude where the days are getting colder and darker.
Speaking of getting darker, tomorrow is the province-wide municipal election, and this year there is a plebiscite on eliminating the time change we deal with every fall and winter. The plebiscite asks whether Albertans would like to eliminate the time change and stay with Daylight Savings Time.
However, that is not the correct way to approach this issue. The first question should ask whether we support eliminating the time change, and if so, the second question should ask if we support Daylight Savings or Daylight Standard. There is ample discussion and evidence that a northern jurisdiction like Alberta should go to Daylight Standard. In one story, Michael Antle, a psychology professor from the University of Calgary says "We've been presented with two bad choices. A bad one and a worse one." Dr. Antle advocates eliminating the time change but says that the move to permanent Daylight Savings is bad for Albertans.
If you are looking for more information on whether Daylight Savings is good or bad for Alberta, look at this chart from Elections Alberta. It seems clear to me that a move to permanent Daylight Savings is the wrong choice for Alberta.
Another CTV News story poses comments about how the plebiscite on the time change is a lure by the UCP to attract voters to the polls so that more people will vote for the binding referendum on equalization. Seems plausible and even likely, which is very unfortunate.
Finally, CBC has a handy page explaining all the different sections on the ballot this year. This page is from CBC Calgary, so it includes their local plebiscite on fluoridation.
I hope this does not come across as self-serving, but I do have one item to share. I completed the Indigenous Canada course from the University of Alberta that is available on Coursera. It is a twelve-week course, with a couple of hours of effort required each week. I found it extremely informative and eye-opening. The course covers topics starting with Indigenous world views and moving to first contact on Turtle Island (take the course if you do not know what that is), the fur trade, the promise and sad reality of the treaties across Canada, government assimilation programs, residential schools, and contemporary activism. I highly encourage everyone to take it so that we can all have better informed conversations about colonization and how to move forward with reconciliation.
I polished off two quick books this week, bringing my total for the year up to 37.
Book #36 for 2021 was "The Secret Adversary" by Agatha Christie. This is the first book in the Tommy and Tuppence series from Christie, and it was quite different from Christie's Hercule Poirot books. One quote I read after finishing the book is that it is a light-hearted romp. The edition I read contained an introduction that explained how the publisher was concerned about releasing this as Christie's second book, as it was so different than "The Mysterious Affair at Styles". After reading this book, I completely understand the points made. It was not a bad story, but it did not have the draw of a more intense novel and is quite a departure from the Poirot novels I have read.
The introduction goes on to say that the five Tommy and Tuppence books would not have been strong enough to stand on their own if not for the strength of Christie's more famous characters, Poirot and Miss Marple.
It is doubtful that any of the five books would still be available today if it weren't for the career of the famous Belgian of the little grey cells or the elderly inhabitant of St. Mary Mead.
A sad reminder that even the monumental achievement of getting published is no guarantee of immortality one generation removed from publication.
Moving on, Book #37 for 2021 was the fourth book in the Murderbot series, "Exit Strategy". It was only a few weeks ago that I read the previous book in the series, and I typically would wait longer between books in a series. However, the hold from the library came in quickly so I dove in this week. Once again, Murderbot is an incredibly enjoyable character and the struggles with its humanity and place in society makes the books worth reading. And on top of that, Murderbot blows up a lot of stuff which is fun to read.
Only one new beer this week as a result of finding a couple 2017 and 2018 Olde Deuteronomy Barley Wines from Alley Kat at Sherbrooke Liquor.
Beer #820 was the Innsmouth Mango Passionfruit Sour from Zero Issue out of Calgary. This is my fifth beer from Zero Issue, but the four previous beers were between April and August of 2018. I quite liked the first four offerings, but this one was sour without any complementing flavor. Maybe I am just tired of sours. Regardless, I will seek out more beers from Zero Issue as there is no reason I have not tried something from them for over three years. (3.0 / 5)
Greetings from Thanksgiving weekend from 53.5° north latitude. There was quite a bit of interesting news this week, some local but mainly news of global interest and impact.
The big news of the week was the Facebook outage. Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp were offline globally for six hours, completing removing millions of people from what they think of as the Internet. I was in an Uber on Monday afternoon and the radio station the driver was listening to was talking about the "forced social media vacation". I have a Facebook account that I never log into, had an Instagram account that I deleted, and have never used WhatsApp. There is no impact to me if Facebook applications are unavailable, however, that is clearly not the case for billions of people across the world, prompting calls for more competition in social media. There were concerns that Facebook was hacked, but a Facebook blog post blamed a botch update to a BGP router.
Beyond the outage, 60 Minutes broadcast an interview with a Facebook insider (whistleblower) the day before the outage.
The thrust of Frances Haugen's comments and her subsequent testimony to the US Congress is that the angrier and more divisive the content is that Facebook publishes and promotes, the more money Facebook makes. This is not new information, but this is the first time that the allegations are from an insider, and that are backed up by internal documentation and data and not allegations or assumptions from an outsider.
In addition, more information is surfacing about how harmful Facebook's Instagram is for teen girls in particular. The NY Times went so far this weekend to call it a "cesspool".
The combination of the whistleblower, the outage, and the revelations of how toxic the apps are made several media outlets, including CBC's Day 6 program, to call this a "very bad week for Facebook". But how bad, and for how long is the real question. If the impact to stock price is any indication, this is nothing to worry about. As shown below, the stock dropped from $330.05 to $329.22 in the past week.
In the last month, the stock has dropped for $378, so more of an appreciable decrease, but not much different than what the stock market has experienced in general.
Prediction: nothing changes, at least until 2024 and then only if the European Union or a US Democratic Senate and Congress force regulation onto Facebook.
One segment was finished in the cross-Canada virtual tour this week. I have now pushed past Dryden, Ontario. Much like many settlements in Canada, Dryden is named by a white male even though it was traditionally an Anishanaabe locations called Paawidigong ("the place of rapids" in Ojibwe). Dryden has population of 7700, and is served by the Dryden Regional Airport which has the IATA airport code of YHD. Oh yeah, and they have a big moose.
Here is the updated progress chart. With good weather and health, I can make it past Ignace this upcoming week.
The quest for a perfect cup of coffee continues. In the few weeks since I last posted about coffee, I have cleaned the screen and replaced the gasket on my espresso machine and have fixed how fine my coffee grinder will grind the beans. The difference has been very noticeable, with the espresso taking much longer to come out and the crema to be much more pronounced. This is making me rethink all the coffee I have made at home for the past several months.
The latest coffee is the Umbria Bizzarri blend. This Italian blend has been very enjoyable, but again that needs to be tempered against how many improvements I have made to my setup. Here are some action shots of the bag, richly colored beans, and the end result.
Four new beers this week, with three that were quite good.
Beer #816 was the Omnipollo MAZ Oat Pale Ale 5.6% Strong Ale. Omnipollo is a bit of a mystery. The can says it is brewed in Canada, but the company identifies as from Sweden. I assume Omnipollo has licensed their beer to someone in Canada to brew on their behalf. Whoever did produce this did a good job. This was super hazy, with low but lacy foam, and a drying taste like a grapefruit soda that has almost gone flat. There was no discernible aroma which I found weird, but overall this was good stuff. (3.5 / 5)
Beer #817 was an Edmonton beer, the Town Square Flower Child Elderflower Gose. I quite liked the tang added by the sea salt. It had a nice gose sour aroma but was not very sour tasting. The color was beautiful. Town Square has some good beers and is definitely worth seeking out when looking for something to try (3.75 / 5)
Next up was the miss for the week. Beer #818 was the High River Cruisin' West Coast IPA. This is my second beer from High River and so far I have not liked either. This did not seem like a West Coast IPA as it had more of a strong, boozy taste than you would expect from an IPA. (2.5 / 5)
Last up for Beer #819 was the Blackberry Black Berliner from Omen Brewing. A Berliner is typically a cloudy sour, but the massive amount of blackberry put into this made it a dark-purple-almost-black beer. This also had a nice creaminess from the lactobacillus that was included in the brewing. So a fruity, dark, sour, creamy beer. Great combination. (3.75 / 5)
Just one new word this week, coming from research around my younger daughter's pet frog.
(Edited 17Oct2021: added missing picture of new beers)
I had a tidy little update completed last weekend but forgot to post it. That means this update is for the past two weeks.
Before getting into the regular sections, the big news from last week's unposted entry was the federal election. In some ways, one might think it was no news at all, since there was little change in the seat tally: the Liberals gained two seats but still have a minority; the NDP and Bloc each gained a seat; the Conservatives lost two seats but still hold sway in Western Canada.
However, it might not be that simple for a few reasons. First, there were ridings that the Conservatives would have won if the People's Party had not split the conservative votes. That would not have won them enough seats to win a minority, but it would have shifted the balance. Second, all parties said they do not want another election so no one will want to be seen as the leader or party that forced Canadians into another expensive, unwanted election. This might mean that Trudeau and the Liberals do not need a majority to act like a majority government.
Here is the non-Mercator map of how the seats distributed after the mail-in ballots were counted.
There were interesting developments locally as well. Two more ridings fell from the Conservatives in Edmonton. Randy Boissonnault was the beneficiary of right-of-center vote splitting in Edmonton Central, and first-time candidate Blake Desjarlais won big in Edmonton Griesbach to become Alberta's only Indigenous MP. Boissonnault is sure to get a cabinet post out of his win, and Desjarlais and NDP colleague Heather McPherson from Edmonton Strathcona will work to build momentum for their party in this term.
Beyond the election, I was able to finish two more books. But before I get to that, have you ever had multiple books on hold at the library, all with different estimated wait times, only to have them ALL come in at the same time? Once again, I ended up this past week with well over 1500 pages of holds with no possible way to finish them all before they are due. Alas, so many books, so little time.
Book #35 for 2021 was "Sandworm: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin's Most Dangerous Hackers" by Andy Greenburg. This is a journalistic exposé of what the Russian state-sponsored hackers dubbed Sandworm by American cyber researchers have done from Estonia to Ukraine to America. It is utterly terrifying and should be required reading for any policy-maker, corporate leader, or Internet user. In other words, everyone.
Changing gears quite a bit, the next book went back to fiction and a series I quite enjoy. Book #36 for 2021 was "Guards! Guards!", the eighth book in the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett. The previous seven books were all enjoyable, but this was my favorite by far. Pratchett's humor and word play was in full form for the whole novel, and the story produced many real-world laugh-out-loud moments. The Discworld novels can be read in any order so if you have only one Discworld novel in your future, choose this one.
Between mechanical failures and personal injury, I just cannot seem to keep any momentum on my virtual cross-Canada tour. However, even with that, I did manage to complete the Falcon Lake to Kenora segment of the Winnipeg to Thunder Bay leg, and with that, have officially passed into the province of Ontario.
Kenora is not necessarily a town that would be a well-known city seeing it has a population of only about 15,000. However, someone of my age in Canada will surely remember the 1985 PCB spill on the Trans-Canada Highway near Kenora. A bit of ignominy that I am sure Kenora does not deserve, so I was happy to learn some fun facts about the city from the Wikipedia page. First of all, it was first call Rat Portage. Second, it (Rat Portage) is mentioned in Algernon Blackwood's 1910 story "The Wendigo", which is a story that has been on my to-read list for a while. Third, in the vein of so many Canadian towns and cities, it has an oversize sculpture, theirs being a forty-foot version of a muskellunge called "Husky the Muskie". And finally, the Kenora Airport has the IATA code of YQK.
Next stop, Dryden.
Five new beers in the past fortnight, bringing my lifetime total check-ins to 815, four of which were from Edmonton. There is a lot going on in Edmonton's breweries, and some of it is good.
Beer #811 was from Alley Kat's Back Alley Brews limited run series. There have been some really good Back Alley Brews, but unfortunately, the "At's Wits End" witbier was not one of them. It had a light banana taste. Maybe? Couldn't quite make it out due to the unappealing funk that pervaded the beer. (2.5 / 5)
Beer #812 was the "Dissent within the Caucus" sour from Trial & Ale. Trial & Ale is the brewery I mentioned in July that exclusively uses wild yeasts. The yeast in Dissent is called Pediococcus (see what they did there?) which is developed through very long fermentation cycles in oak barrels. The sourness at first drink was super intense, but it was easy to adjust to and enjoy. This process also lends to the dryness of the drink which helped with the desire to keep sampling from the glass. Another interesting beer from Trial & Ale, and another interesting lesson in wild fermentation. (3.5 / 5)
Beer #813 was another learning experience about yeasts. The Odd Company "Mandarina Sour" was made with kveik, which I learned is a family of ancient Norwegian farmer's yeast that is useful for brewing fast-maturing and tropical fruit-accented beers. This particular beer was solid, with nice juicy flavors but was otherwise unremarkable. (3.25 / 5)
Beer #814 was the last of the Edmonton beers, and it was back to Alley Kat for this one. This one was their "Ekuanot Dragon", the latest in their long-running series of Double IPAs. A 7.5% ABV highly aromatic and piney beer, tagged by the brewer as "best enjoyed in summer heat" seems a bit off to me. It makes me wonder if Alley Kat marketed it that way since they released it in June just prior to summer. Regardless, this was decent but not as memorable as some others in the Dragon series. (3.25 / 5)
Last up was my second of the beers I picked up from Almanac out of San Francisco. LOUD was a winner (4.0 / 5), LOVE was quite good (3.75 / 5), and so I went into their "Sabrosa DIPA" with high expectations. Maybe I am just tired of juicy beers, but this one felt underwhelming as I drank it. I am dulled by the amount of pineapple flavors in beers this past year, so I could not get the promised coconut and cantaloupe. Still, it was a beautiful beer, and the aroma was more intoxicating that the drink, so that was something. (3.5 / 5)
Lots of new words this week, but then I realized that most of them were made up, purposeful misspellings by Terry Pratchett in his Discworld novel.