There are many great reasons to drink Ontario craft beer these days!
With no shortage of new and exciting beer being produced by the province’s ever-growing number of small breweries, there truly is a style of beer for virtually all tastes. Working your way through the many varieties available–from a dark, chocolaty coffee stout to a tart and fruity barrel-aged sour beer–can be a fun adventure and a way to experience new things.
And it feels good to support local companies. Buying beer from your local craft brewer means you are supporting a small business that is creating jobs in your backyard. Often, buying craft beer means getting an opportunity to meet the very people who made your beer and learn all about the businesses and the people you are supporting with your purchase. Buying Ontario craft beer isn’t just fun, it can also be rewarding!
Of course craft beer, like all beer, contains alcohol; and so consuming these exciting and interesting beers that you’ve purchased directly from your local craft brewery is also an excellent way to try to quiet, even momentarily, your constant and unrelenting thoughts about the fact that we are all ultimately totally alone and that life is essentially meaningless.
Here are five great beers to get you started on your Ontario craft beer journey (And hopefully distract you briefly from the constant suffering that is human existence!)
The beer: This 6.8% ABV IPA is arguably one of the best examples of this style made in Ontario. It delivers aromas and flavours of tropical fruits, mango and citrus.
The pain: This beer is well-suited to treating the painful revelation that, in the grand scheme of things, nothing you have ever done has mattered and none of your accomplishments are likely to leave any lasting impression on the world once you leave it. A cool glass of this on a patio on a warm summer night might help distract you from the realization that you are but a speck in the vast abyss of the universe and that literally nothing actually matters.
The beer: This rich and potent imperial stout has plenty of roasted malt flavour, but also a whole heap of bitterness backing up all that malt. It’s a beast befitting its name.
The pain: With its abyss-like darkness and no-nonesense flavours, I recommend this beer to quell your unceasing thoughts about contemporary society’s endless quest to replace human intimacy with the fleeting pleasure of materialism. Yes it’s ironic that I’m suggesting buying something to help you forget the shallow pursuit of purchasing things for novelty and social status, but this beer is 9.5% so it will at least help you embark on pleasant dreams of an actual apocalypse as you drift off to sleep in the expensive sheets you’ve put on your over-priced mattress on your mass-produced pseudo-Nordic bedroom furniture suite.
Party Animal Belgian imperial India pale ale from Beyond The Pale Brewery
The beer: A 9.0% hybrid Belgian Tripel / west coast style Imperial IPA, Party Animal delivers tropical hop aromas and a malty backbone with a little Belgian yeast spice.
The pain: Drink this one when you’re alone after the party has ended and there is no one else around for you to entertain to distract yourself from your worst fear: yourself. Pour into a stemmed glass and try not to text someone–anyone–to come hang out so you don’t have to think about the fact that your humour and outgoing personality are really just a defense mechanism for your deep self-loathing.
Totally tart farmhouse ale with raspberry and hibiscus by Half Hours on Earth Brewer
The beer: A tart farmhouse ale with just a touch of hibiscus aroma, don’t let the inclusion of red fruit fool you: this beer tends more toward sour than sweet.
The pain: This one would make a great accompaniment for a romantic evening, if only you ever had one. Instead, drink to quell the crippling loneliness that accompanies the realization that, not only do your social hangups and advancing age mean you’re likely destined to be forever alone, but it’s highly probable that true love doesn’t even actually exist and is merely a construct of popular culture designed to perpetuate the mythology of the nuclear family.
Bring Out Your Dead Russian imperial stout aged in cognac barrels by Bellwoods Brewery
The beer: This hella-potent Imperial Stout spends about six months in the barrel and while each batch thus far has been a little different, the time in barrels rounds out some of its high-alcohol heat and produces a crazy smooth, rich beer with subtle oak character and heavy cognac aromas.
The pain: With it’s high alcohol content and rich, dark character, this beer is one you might save in the cellar, only to open on the occasion of the day that you finally give up on your frivolous dreams of pursuing a career in your chosen field in favour of accepting a low-level but sensible job with some financial stability. Drink this one in a snifter glass so that it warms as you drink it and use the occasion to ponder not only the years of your physical and mental prime that you have wasted pursuing fruitless flights of fancy, but also how you’re essentially starting from scratch in a new endeavour simply to grind out an unrewarding existence doing something you don’t love, only to die any way.
*Ben’s Beer Blog does not actually condone using alcoholic beverages to cope with mental health issues. That’s what drugs are for.