16 December 2010

KOTBR #117 - Canadian Thanksgiving with Peter Brewster

As has become Hoosier Beer Geek tradition, the Knights of the Beer Roundtable gathered on the Sunday after Thanksgiving to celebrate our collective culinary capabilities and to give thanks for beer. No Thanksgiving feast would be complete without remembering those who came before us, and it is with that in mind that we share two forgotten stories from Thanksgivings past with you now.

Many stories have been told of the traditional first Thanksgiving at Plymouth Colony in 1621. But not many know the story of Peter Brewster, the younger half brother of William Brewster. I’m here to fix that for you.

Peter was an aloof man known for being lazy and always putting things off. It earned him the nickname Procrastinating Pete. It was because of Procrastinating Pete that the launch of the Mayflower to the “New World” was delayed several times. He kept oversleeping and missing the scheduled launch.

Finally, his older brother Will said, “Screw that wanker” and decided to leave without him. Distraught that he would be left behind without a brother to mooch from, Pete borrowed a dinghy and set sail across the ocean.

It was a surprise to no one that Procrastinating Pete arrived in Plymouth just in time for Thanksgiving supper. He was very hungry and thirsty, having only brought four bags of Doritos, a dozen sticks of beef jerky, and a case of Four Loko with him on the journey.

One of the pilgrims offered him a drink upon his arrival: “Hey Procrastinator! Want a beer?”

“Hells yes, people!” And it was a delicious beer, smooth and malty. And from that day forward, the beer would be known as the People’s Procrastinator Helles.

That winter, Procrastinating Pete found himself in a pickle. He hadn’t made any provisions to feed himself during the cold months and was very hungry. Again. His brother Will was frustrated but took pity on him. “I have a cow in the barn,” Will said. “Take it and trade it for food.”

Pete walked the cow to a trading post run by an old Norseman who was the descendant of explorers that traveled with Leif Erikson. His name was Jofur Herjolfsson, but everybody knew him as Trader Joe.

“I’ll give you some beans for that cow,” Joe said.

“I don’t know,” replied Pete, “that doesn’t sound like much.”

“Tell ya what, someday there will be a chain of stores named in my honor. And they will have beer there. I will give you a bottle of Ale on Lees from 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010.”

“That’s like 400 years from now? I won’t be alive then,” Pete replied.

Joe thought about it and came up with a shrewd reply. “Those beans are magic beans. They’ll let you live forever!”

Procrastinating Pete was very gullible. He made the trade and immediately ate the beans. At first, they just gave him gas. But much to Joe’s surprise, the beans did make Pete immortal. Which is why he recently stopped at Trader Joe’s in Castleton and picked up his vertical of beer.

The 2007 vintage was his favorite, as the flavors seemed to be tastefully blended. 2008 and 2009 had sharper tastes and more booze in his mind. The 2010 vintage was completely different, being very mellow and thin in mouthfeel right out of the gate.

And that’s the story of Procrastinating Pete. Don’t you feel more enlightened for having heard it?

People's Procrastinator Helles
Jason: 3.8 Mugs | Mike: 3.33 Mugs | Jess: 3.8 Mugs | Rodney: 3.5 Mugs | Gina: 3.6 Mugs | Chris: 2.9 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 3.48 Mugs

While Jason may have just filled you in on American Thanksgiving, we Canadians* know that your Thanksgiving stories and traditions pale in comparison to ours. But before I bring you up to speed on Canadian Thanksgiving, I'll start with a quick lesson in Canadian history.

In 1480, the great Czech King Petr Prcrztnate decided that it was high time for the Czech Republic Navy to claim its rightful place among the worlds greatest navies. He brought his most trusted Admiral, Kanada Kolumbus, to his castle in Ostrava, and gave him a choice of three missions:

1) Win the America's Cup
2) Participate in the Red Bull Flugtag
3) Discover a new country

Admiral Kolumbus was a drunk; he knew that he had no chance of winning the America's Cup. And he knew that the Red Bull Flugtag was for hippies - he was an admiral! He had no time for hippies, even if he had a drug problem and lack of ambition himself. He knew that discovering a new country would be difficult. But given his options, it seemed like the one he would most likely be able to complete. And so he set forth from Ostrava in four vessels - the Nela, the Fanta, the Santa Meringue, and Russel - very hard going considering that Ostrava borders no sea or river. But just as he reached the Czech Republic/Germany border, he received word from King Prcrztnate. "Wait!"

And so he did, for many years - 11 to be perfectly clear. It was then, finally, that the Admiral and his four ships set course for a new country. Any country.

When asked why he made Kolumbus wait so long, the King Prcrztnate said, "Well, I...I just thought...What's the hurry?"

It was while carrying his boats on horseback through Munich that Kolumbus told his story to the locals, and they decided to award his predicament by brewing a beer to mock the Czech king. Thus Prcrztnator Helles was born.

Of course it wasn't until 1491 that Kanada Kolumbus reached what today is known as Canada. When Kolumbus finally reached Canadian shores, he was greeted by four Chiefs of the Loki tribe, each of them presenting him with a bottle of Ale on Lees. Now considered as the founders of modern day Canada, these Four Loko (much like a group of gooses are called geese, a group of Loki are called Loko) helped Kolumbus and his men found the city now known as Leduc (city motto: "This place is Leduculous!") and it is in their honor that we gather each year on Canadian Thanksgiving to drink four bottles of Ale on Lees.

*I'm not Canadian

Trader Joe's Vintage Ale 2007 (by Unibroue)
Mike: 3.6 Mugs | Jason: 3.75 Mugs | Jess: 3.1 Mugs | Rodney: 3.6 Mugs | Gina: 3.3 Mugs | Chris: 3.9 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 3.54 Mugs

Trader Joe's Vintage Ale 2008 (by Unibroue)
Mike: 3.6 Mugs | Jason: 3.5 Mugs | Jess: 2.8 Mugs | Rodney: 3.5 Mugs | Gina: 3.1 Mugs | Chris: 3.9 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 3.4 Mugs

Trader Joe's Vintage Ale 2009 (by Unibroue)
Mike: 3.9 Mugs | Jason: 3.25 Mugs | Jess: 3.3 Mugs | Rodney: 3.0 Mugs | Gina: 3.2 Mugs | Chris: 3.9 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 3.42 Mugs

Trader Joe's Vintage Ale 2010 (by Unibroue)
Mike: 3.8 Mugs | Jason: 3.33 Mugs | Jess: 3.6 Mugs | Rodney: 3.3 Mugs | Gina: 3.4 Mugs | Chris: 3.9 Mugs
KOTBR Score: 3.55 Mugs

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