Defending Our Sobriety

3rd Annual ICC Festival
Defending Our Backyard

Fort Rodd Hill National Historic Site
Colwood, BC

E: Part three, check! liver, check! Our sobriety, well, I don’t know.

As I hinted at before, We sampled a lot of wines and beers at this festival and I was lucky I wasn’t storming the gates by the end. Well, at least I think James could hold his drinks in better. Those darn Scots.

J: Alcohol is one of the few ways to physically ignore the wind up your kilt in a land of extremities. Fight the draft with a draft mate. The highlight of my visit were two drinks; one of them was Canoe Club’s Beaver Brown Ale.

E: I was reminded of the days good drinks are aged in oak barrels. But in modern times, its mostly steel vats and temperature controls.

I’ve been to Canoe Club’s restaurant and their Winter Ale was perfect to keep me warm that cold frosty night from long ago. In the Springtime, the Beaver Brown kept me chilling like a piece of rock jutting out of a river.

I actually did that during a summer road trip to Yosemite National Park. And it was cold even then!

J: The Canoe Club really outdid themselves. It’s a great pub drink with a little foam to tickle your lips. It’s the taste of Canadian nostalgia in one glass. How can you go wrong?

The Tugwell Creek Honey Farm & Meadery’s Blackberry Wine (2008 vintage) was a disappointment for me. I couldn’t taste the blackberry and am guessing that’s probably due to the high alcohol content. A good wine is a treasure to have in one’s drinking cabinet during the winter holidays. And for this Christmas, I’ll be purchasing the delectable Port Victoria Wild Blackberry dessert wine from Starling Lane Winery. You could taste the sweetness of the blackberries from Brentwood Bay. They were used to make this crowning glory. And best of all, there’s hardly a sting of alcohol in its aftertaste.

E: Well, I can never understand the demand for more alcohol over the taste of grapes, fruits or even ginger. While some of it is naturally created through fermentation, I like it when the two are balanced against each other. I found the ginger spice wine from Tugwell to be refreshing. It had a nice tang to it.

If I was a cat, I’d say it’d tickle my whiskers. But this one needed to breathe a bit before all the flavours could come out. I drank it too soon out of the bottle.

J: Oysters always seem to go well with wine and there were a few to try at Defending Our Backyard. Ed and I queued up at the Hotel Grand Pacific’s tent, where they offered freshly shucked Gorge Inlet oysters, courtesy of Cortes Seafood Co. My wait was brief and I finally sampled what I came for. With a squeeze of lemon, the first taste had me guessing but after a second try I was rewarded with a delicious, but gritty, oyster.

E: I got back in line for seconds and thirds, just because these oysters are small. I wished they were bigger. Size matters, and while these ones aren’t all that good on its own, I found that once when there’s some vinaigrette sauce on top, they came out satisfyingly succulent.

J: So when I took a trip to the bathroom, you headed back to the trough for more?

E: You bet! What, you couldn’t hold your beer down, James?

J: I held together fine. At least I wasn’t the one who did the sideways shuffle.

E: I kinda felt rosy red, almost like a crab waiting to be cracked. Instead, it was the Fairmont and the dungeness crab and tuna salad. This was offered in a small cup and it was probably sitting out on the table too long. All the veggies were kinda soggy and tuna has to be eaten raw, not cooked.

J: As Ed pointed out, some things are better raw than cooked and for me that was ice cream! Chocolate gelato as a matter of fact, from the Ottavio Italian Bakery no less. I must’ve reversed in age while licking that cone. Just one scoop was all I could handle. There was a little too much sugar, but oh that creamy chocolate taste. I’m a big fan of Chapman’s Ice Cream because of their low butterfat content, but I’m slowly learning to appreciate other brands too.

E: Too bad its not our waistlines. But that’s a recap of what we enjoyed finding at the 3rd Annual ICC Festival. I’m already hoping for better for the 4th. This year, Mother Nature had to shed a tear but that didn’t stop us from enjoying ourselves.

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