Why buy the cow?

I like Kurt Vonnegut’s work a lot.

I’m not unique in this regard, of course. Vonnegut, with his darkly humorous satire is arguably one of the most important and well-read contemporary American writers.

Still, as I was seeking out tattoo ideas to mark the occasion of turning 40, having a second child, and surviving a couple years of what now seems an infinite pandemic, I returned to the work of one of my favourite authors and had “So it goes,” a quote from his seminal 1969 anti-war novel Slaughterhouse-Five, inscribed on my forearm.

I am, again, not unique in this regard. Turns out this is kind of a popular tattoo.

So it goes.

The same year, knowing of my fondness for Vonnegut, my younger brother Tim sent me a first edition copy of Vonnegut’s 1982 book Deadeye Dick from Regina where he lives with his partner Marika and a couple dogs. Deadeye Dick was actually the first Vonnegut book I ever read and then I worked backward to consume essentially all his works.

Continue reading “Why buy the cow?”

Toronto artist Dave Murray and Grolsch’s 400th anniversary

If you’ve been reading my beer-writing for a while, or following me on social media, you’ll know that I’m kind of nerdy about cool beer label art. Yes, it’s really just an extension of a brewery’s marketing and has little bearing on what’s in the container, but when it’s done right or when an effort is made to collaborate with local artists or produce a label that is unique, I really dig it.

A couple years back I wrote an “article” for blogTO featuring the art on Toronto’s breweries’ labels. That “article” may or may not have been an excuse to bring a whole bunch of beer up to my inlaws’ cottage, but it did allow me to learn a little more about the process some of our local brewers use to develop label art. Some, like Mill Street, were predictably not so exciting (a design team develops the labels. Effective, but not exactly riveting stuff). Others, like Bellwoods, Great Lakes, and Indie Alehouse, employ local artists to develop art that is an extension of their companies’ general philosophies.