A few years back, in 2000 to be exact, I was laid off from a tedious, mind-numbing job. This moment of uncertainty and apparent bad luck changed the course of my life for the good in ways I never would have anticipated.
Since I had returned from living in Europe earlier that year, I had been bouncing from one job to another trying to reclaim my place in the Vancouver job market. Although jobs were easy to come by, nothing was grabbing my interest and every day I went to work added to the heavy weight of boredom that pressed down firmly on my shoulders.
What does this have to do with beer you might ask? Well, when I realized that in a few days I would have a lot of spare time and a large final paycheque in my hands, I called my good friend, James Walton, Owner and Chief Bottler Washer of Vancouver's Storm Brewing, to see if he was available to go sink a few pints to celebrate my newly acquired status of a man of leisure. I had been introduced to James a few years earlier at one of Commercial Drive's watering holes, where I had grown quite fond of his unique and interesting brews. We soon became friends and I often helped out pouring beer at festivals and became a regular customer, ordering kegs for special occasions to share with friends.
James, the kind-hearted and generous person that he is, not only took me up on my offer to sample a few pints, but offered me a job working at his brewery, which luckily for me was located about a kilometre from my front door. This job offer, along with the keys to the brewery, opened up a whole new world for me; the world full of interesting, eclectic and often eccentric folks who belong the the craft beer community in Vancouver BC and beyond.
Oh yeah, I forgot to mention this job also allowed me unlimited access, through my newly found life as a beer delivery person, to the best craft beer produced in British Columbia and the Pacific NorthWest!
In short, Storm Brewing was my introduction to local craft beer and forever changed the course of my beer-drinking habits. No longer would I allow the pedestrian tastes of mass-produced, Canadian beers to offend my refined taste buds. And this new-found passion for craft beer and the people who produce and make it available for those daring enough to stray from the flock of mainstream beer drinkers has allowed me to become one of the community of those others refer to as the "Beer Geeks".
This blog is dedicated to these people and here I will offer my slant on the world of craft beers. I hope you enjoy my rantings as much as I will enjoy the "research" that will produce my Eastside Beer Banter.