Lots of Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ and Great Lakes Chillwave, two rye IPAs — Rhinegeist’s Streaker and Cane and Ebel from Two Brothers — Fat Head’s Head Hunter Imperial IPA, Sixpoint’s Bengali, Troegs’ Hop Knife, and a double stout from Green Flash. This line-up — essentially an all-star team of my favorite beers this summer — was what filled my fridge on my week-long vacation last month.
The vacation was in Canada, but I brought the beer from The States, which brings us to the second rule of vacationing: 2) Be prepared. In my personal experience, the beer in the part of Canada we visit is crap, so I always bring my own. Canadian customs allows exactly one case of 12 ounce beers for each person in a vehicle crossing the border. With Kate coming with me that came out to be 48 beers in our car and about three and a half beers per person each day on this week-long trip. That’s cutting it pretty close, frankly, for a vacation, so we made a number of excursions to The Sandbar around the corner to drink generous glasses of Dan Aykroyd Cabernets. (That man’s so damn talented.)
My friend Kate and I breezed through customs, as two young white women of extraordinary beauty are wont to do, and made it to our cabin in time for beer and a sunset on the beach. The next morning we took our coffee with our towels and sun hats to the lake. By noon it was beer time. Rule 3) Keep it classy. We found two plastic champagne flutes in the cabinet, forgotten by long-ago celebratory campers, and shared an imperial stout.
The rest of the afternoon was also spent on the beach, the angle of the Canadian sun being just gentle enough to not burn the hell out of my nearly-translucent white skin. When three or four hours of doing as little as possible stretch before you, one must keep in mind Rule 4) Pace yourself. Once Kate managed to convince me to work on a sand sculpture with her, but for the most part I just lay there with my eyes shut and the only way you could tell I was alive was when I took a swig of lukewarm beer every five minutes or so.
The one convenience store town carries T-shirts for the few out-of-towners that come through. For the last couple years the shirts have advertised the place as “A Drinking Town with a Fishing Problem.” It is super cheesy and incredibly accurate. There’s nothing to do in town but drink. All the same, drinking on the beach is treated like you’re a part of some secret society. Whenever someone walks by with a beer bottle or glass of wine, you raise your glass and nod. Because when in Rome, Rule 5) Do as the natives.