What’s in a name? Well, in the following product names it’s enough to make you wonder what they’re selling eh? Unless…

What’s in a name?

Well, in the following product names it’s enough to make you wonder what they’re selling eh?

Unless you’re a psychic, or a connoisseur, how would you, could you, interpret ads with names such as those which follow?

I can say Weyerbacher Quad is not a machine; Main Street Blue-Eyed Moose is not a guide and outfitter; Cimes Yeti, is not a visiting Tibetan, and Left Hand Widdershins is not a gadget to wind the sun up and down.

Tommyknocker Butthead isn’t a new cartoon on TV, nor is Silver City Fat Bastard a name from the Yukon’s past.

Nethergate’s Old Growler, Riva Lucifer, Elysian the Wise Esb, or Avery the Beast Grand Cru doesn’t help either, I suppose? Maybe Big Sky Moose Drool will?

Connoisseurs would I recognize these at once, and would not call them balderdash.

Linguists might be misled since it was they who revealed that the word ‘balderdash’ originally meant a peculiar combination of drinks — for example, a blend of beer and wines.

Only later, perhaps after drinking some of the wild combinations, did balderdash come to mean “trivial nonsense.”

So, Eggenberg Urbock Dunkel Eisbock, Dogfish Head Old Schoole, and Left Hand Widdershins, and all of the above, are the official names of beer from around the world, and came, supported by a series of Quaff Quotes, Lager Lingo, and Timely Toasts, and Beer Facts from a daily calendar of beers picked up in a bookstore somewhere.

If the names are of little interest surely this beer fact will evoke interest, if not a pile of special orders from around the world.

The clever and inventive brewers at Neuzeller Brewey in Belgium have developed an “anti-aging beer.”

It’s ingredients include spirulina and thermal saltwater from a local spa.

I present this list of unusual beers in the hope that it may help in making May come forth with enough warmth to allow us to sit on a warm deck, reading a favourite newspaper, with a cool beer in hand, preferably a Lead Dog Ale, or one of its fine world-renowned tablemates.

Poet John Cardi said, “Fermentation and civilization are inseparable.” David Rains Wallace added, “Fermentation may have been a greater discovery than fire,” and a sign near a Belgian monastery asks us, “The good Lord has changed water into wine, so how can drinking beer be a sin?”

Shakespeare in his — or is it her? — anyway, in The Merry Wives of Windsor, has one player advocate the good use of booze: “Come gentlemen, I hope we shall drink down all unkindness.”

I shall leave the ins and outs, ups and downs, around and around discussions of booze and its merits or demerits, and merely note historians tell us that in the 1930s the Yukon’s tax on booze was all that kept our tiny government financially solvent.

Suffice to say we’re still hard at it.

Yukoners are among the top booze consumers in Canada.

For example, figures released by the Yukon Liquor Corporation for the fiscal year April 1, 2004 to March 31, 2005, show that 4,490,500 litres of liquor were sold in the territory. (That’s 987,771.91 imperial gallons, if my math is right.)

This volume of liquor was made up of 3,792,200 litres of beer, and cider, 467,300 litres of wine, and 230,00 litres of spirits.

All that booze brought $27,676,700 into Yukon government coffers.

Author Washington Irving is quoted saying, “It is a fair wind that blew men to ale.”

It looks like booze is a fair wind to our Yukon government coffers too, eh?

A revelation on booze consumption in the Yukon comes when we do the simple long division of consumption and population.

Unless I’ve goofed, every Yukoner, man, woman, child, and the odd dog too, I guess, has to consume 30 Imperial gallons to give us those numbers.

Cutting out kids, dogs, and non-drinkers moves that number towards a 45-gallon drum each.

I’m sure not doing my share, are you?

So who is?

I also wonder how much of those millions of dollars goes toward studies, and how much reaches, and helps, the people who get addicted to it?

A tip of the hat to moderation, and all who practise moderation when using the stuff!

(P.S. A four-page report with lot’s more booze numbers is available from Yukon’s bureau of stats on the net. It’s worth a look.)