Ads begone! (And more summer beers)

In today’s blog, I open up the mailbag and share some recent emails with you. This one looks interesting. Why, it’s from my wife Elaine, who writes: “When did you start to put rum ads in your blog?”


So I took a look at my blog. No ads. Hmmm.

I logged out of WordPress and looked at my blog as if I was a tourist. Aha. There was a video ad buried in my blog near the bottom.

I did a little investigating and discovered that WordPress occasionally places ads into unsuspecting blogs. I say “unsuspecting” because if you are a registered user of WordPress, you don’t see the ads. Since you have to be a registered user in order to blog, you will never see the ads inserted into your own blog. But your readers will — at least those readers who are not registered members of WordPress.

I had three choices.

  1. I could accept that occasionally WordPress was going to insert ads into my blogs. The problem with this option is that I have no control over the ads. They could be for Coors Light, Bud Light Lime or birthday-cake-flavoured vodka, which would both really suck, and seriously lower my beer cred. Worse, some of my readers might believe that I deliberately added the ads in order to make money off of their eyeballs.
  2. I could shake my fist at the heavens and rail against The Man. Having occasionally resorted to this since the days of love beads and Woodstock, I can assure you that although there is a certain satisfaction gained, the end result is usually less than effective.
  3. I could pay WordPress $30 to make the ads go away for a year.

After some consideration, I chose option 3. Think of it as your early Christmas present. You’re welcome.

Let’s go back to the mailbag.

“Loved your blog about summer beers, but only two out of the six beers are available in the LCBO. I know I should get out more on weekends and take daytrips to Niagara-on-the-Lake and Cambridge and Mount Forest and Etobicoke, but in the meantime, could you list more beers that I can walk to the store for?”

First of all, Etobicke is hardly a daytrip — for those outside southern Ontario, Etobicoke is actually a part of Toronto. You can get to it on a streetcar. Nonetheless, I see the man’s point — if it’s hot and humid and one needs a cold beer, one is unlikely to hop in the car and drive to Niagara-on-the-Lake. So on top of the two beers I mentioned that were available in the LCBO (Great Lakes Miami Weiss and Flying Monkeys Hoptical Illusion), here are four more that can also easily be found on government-approved shelves:

  1. Stiegl Grapefruit Radler: Radler is similar to shandy, being a mix of grapefruit juice and beer. It was supposedly invented by a German innkeeper who was trying to quench the thirst of some hot and tired cyclists. (Ein Radler is German for a cyclist.) Stiegl has created the perfect blend, and it is the import hit of the summer here in Ontario. If you like grapefruit, this is an amazing summer beer. Drink it cool, not cold.
  2. Great Lakes Orange Peel Ale No mistaking this one in bars — the tap handle is a large plastic orange. Strangely, when I first tasted it several years ago, I couldn’t taste any orange. However, GLB has evidently upped their game in the past couple of years, and the orange peel flavour is now very evident.
  3. Beau’s Festivale Altbier Altbier was made in the Dusseldorf area by brewers who, as the lager revolution washed over the land, refused to stop using ale yeast. However, they used it like lager yeast — cold fermented, long storage. The result is  a beer that is smoother and less fruity than many ales, but has more body and character than your usual lager.
  4. Black Oak Pale Ale I tasted a lot of this on the bottling line last summer — hey, quality control is important — and this is one of the best British-style pale ales out there. An earthy nose, a bit of citrus, and a nice snap at the end of the aftertaste.
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