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Tasting the sweet nectar of the gods

Posted on September 18, 2013 by Taber Times

Each fall the Galt Museum in Lethbridge features a thirst-quenching fundraising event, which excelled this year in making the annual soiree one of the best yet.

Beer, wine and whiskey were on tap to satisfy the most snobbish of connoisseurs. Okay, maybe not actually on tap, but in bottle and can form. I’m bit of a snob when it comes to sipping and savouring the sweet nectar of the gods.

Beer tastings have become big business and a great way for organizations to raise funds through sample sales and silent auctions.

This year’s tasting featured a prohibition era theme with live big band/acoustic musical entertainment plus Thom from Pyramid Entertainment based out of Lethbridge playing tunes.

Guests were dressed up in an assortment of costumes and the libations flowed like rivers of gold, amber and chocolate.

Walking to and fro from tables set up throughout the Galt was delightful, chatting up others on the same quest, while exchanging thoughts and suggestions of what to try next.

Mostly everyone in attendance was there to accomplish one simple goal. To try anything and everything that is drinkable and pleasant to the palette. If wine was your thing, wine was provided. If beer was your beverage of choice, beer was plenty. If sipping whiskey was your deal, whiskey was available straight-up or on the rocks.

I will be honest, wine was not consumed by me on the night in question. I sampled raspberry, ginger, strawberry, cherry and chocolate infused brews. They were all quite spectacular. I tried a caramel whiskey, which was too sweet to consume without a chaser of the cola or other variety but it still was pretty swell.

Beers that stood out from the pack (the six-pack that is) were Big Rock’s Life of Chai, Prohibition Bootlegger Ale, of course Granville Island’s Ginga Ninja, the aforementioned Melville’s fruit-inspired craft lagers and Amber’s Chocolate Stout — to name a few.

Trying something new is always a treat. Sampling is a great way to nibble and/or sip on an exciting and innovative creation. Whether it’s a new cheese in a can or a sickening concoction with curried mussels and pickled pigs feet in it.

We enjoy the spice of life, as humans. It’s in our nature to want to explore and be curious. Like cats, who usually get killed, according to tales of yore.

Some of us like to march to the beat of a different drummer or to take a walk on the wild side. Others are content, just being normal without much passion to venture out of their comfort zones.

Either way, life is full of chances to experiment while keeping grounded in the “real” world.

Years ago I went to a beer tasting in Calgary but it was a bust. Domestic beer for as far as the eye could see. Blah. Yuck. Give me a break. Organizers of the event — for shame.

University and college students, as well as just-turned-18 (mostly boys) came out to support the cause. The cause of crappy beer and drunken idiots. Not what I would call — “classy.” Unless you were perhaps Ron Burgundy from “Anchorman” or Duff swill-drinking Homer Simpson. Doh!

So, life is like a box of lager-filled chocolates that melt in your mouth and not on your hands when one holds a golden ticket to a good old fashioned beer tasting.

If it’s not a liquor-based tasting, food fairs are also great ways to experience what other countries and nationalities have to offer (food-wise) without leaving town (for those afraid to leave the nest.) From cabbage rolls to sushi to barbecued Yeti — the world has insane, outrageous and often average delectables to devour at a snail’s pace or like a Speedy Gonzales, left with heartburn. Antacid, stat.

Is life about living a mundane and choreographed existence day in and day out or do we break off and bust a move, free-style?

Instead of “no” do we take the path of least resistance and say “why not” or do we decline our eagerness to embark on mini-adventures through the food that we eat and the liquids we drink?

Either/or is fine and dandy. Whatever floats your boat. Each to their own. In the wisdom of the words from Mr. George Costanza from “Seinfeld,” “George likes his chicken spicy.” Indeed.

Sadly, one of the events the Galt Museum has been presenting some years is not happening this year. In previous years the Galt has screened a late-night showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” complete with props and costumes. Dang it, Janet…we love the time warp dance.

But, coming up this fall visitors from Taber can check out exhibits and events such as the Harvest Festival and Cemetery Tours (by flashlight.) Spooky.

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