The Order of Good Beer is Born!

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Whew! Well, this post was meant to be written on Sunday, while all the events were ‘fresh’ in my mind, but best laid plans and all that ended up delaying it by a few days. You see, Sunday was a bit abbreviated in my mind, as I slept soundly quite late, then lacked any sort of energy to write coherent sentences on my computer. So what exactly caused such a derailing of my blogging ability? Well, the Order of Good Beer of course 🙂 And the logical second question you will no doubt be asking yourself is just what is the Order of Good Beer? Well, I’m glad you asked, for the tale contained in the following few paragraphs should be able to clarify that for you, as well as fully explain why we decided to throw a good old fashioned barn burner at our place on Saturday night. I had great plans of documenting the entire evening in photos as well, but that turned out to backfire too, and I ended up with only a couple clumps of photos. Some of very early in the evening, then a whole bunch when we devolved into crazed karaoke singers. You can view them all if you dare on the folder on flickr that I put up. Once you’re done, click back to here and read the rest of the story.

There are a number of reasons that Ms. ActiveSteve and I decided to have this party. Firstly, we were away for the holiday season, and as such, we missed all the fun get-togethers as well as New Year’s Eve parties. Secondly, we have that awesome bar in the basement that just loves to get used by our friends. Another excellent reason to host a soiree? Well, it was actually a mortgage burning party as well. Since the market sucked so hard last year, we poured our money into the house rather than investing. In a sense though, it was an investment, and probably the smartest one we made in 2008! So, not to dwell on that too much, we were happy, and decided that the only proper thing to do was buy a delicious keg of beer and treat all our friends to a fun night at the Nanaimo Bar.

As a result of all these little things, I sort of got a little excited, and decided that it was high time to start an exclusive club at my house, The Order of Good Beer, patterned after the famous Order of Good Cheer from my native Nova Scotia. If you don’t already know about the Order of Good Cheer, I suggest a reading of the entry at Wikipedia. Quite interesting, and of course something we were all taught about at school where I grew up. The parameters are quite simple. You join the order upon coming over to the Nanaimo Bar, having a drink, and taking the Oath of Ninkasi, the Sumerian goddess of beer and brewing. Of course, the funny part about the oath is the fact that I never actually got around to writing it, so I had to wing it for the 30+ guests in attendance 🙂 That didn’t stop everyone from taking part though, and I muddled through with stuff about never raising a glass in anger, and always looking out for your fellow human and treating each other with kindness, etc.

The one thing that I did manage to pull off in time for the party (by a pure miracle), was putting together both membership cards, as well as a cool certificate that I made in Photoshop Elements. It took a bit of time, but I think it was pretty worth it. People seemed to get a kick out of if, and it was even suggested that I should start up a facebook group to spread the word. An interesting idea for sure, but I haven’t implemented it yet. We’ll see where this goes. There was another special dimension to the club as well. Members which display and exceptional adherence to the code (okay, people who happen to spend a lot of time at the Nanaimo bar) were also given their very own drinking mugs and an honourary spot on the mug rack. There are 12 slots, and 11 have been assigned (Jody and I aren’t even on it!), with one remaining vacant peg in honour of all those who have passed through and enjoyed a drink with us.

In order to make sure we got the club off to a good start, we opted to buy a 50L keg of Beau’s Lug Tread Ale, a beer from Vankleek Hill brewed fresh and natural, and delivered to us on Friday. After explaining that I was starting the Order of Good beer, they were even kind enough to send us a couple door prizes for the night. One mans’ T-shirt, and one Ladies baby-T. Pretty darn sweet. Thanks Beau’s! We hadn’t figured out how to determine a winner, but in the end, it looked like the best options were sole survivor, mixed with some Karaoke challenges. Jury is still out on the ladies, but for the sole survivor, it’s down to Kev, Dave and Rob. There will be a random draw to determine the winner of that contest. Not quite sure when we finally gave up on watching Flight of the Conchords, but I’m pretty sure it was around 5am!

We had an awesome turnout for the party, and once again, I want to thank everyone for coming out. I have to admit though, a lot of people may have come out under false pretenses. In my message, I had told everyone about the fact that there were surprises for that party. This in fact was due to the free keg of beer we had on offer, as well as the mug club and the Order of Good Beer. However, it turned out there was some rampant speculation that we would be announcing either an engagement or a pregnancy. We got a bit of a chuckle over that, and apologized if anyone came out for that reason, but by the same token, if that’s what it took to get all these people out to one place, than so be it. Admittedly, many of the people that came out hadn’t seen each other in a while, so it really was a great chance to get together. Hopefully this won’t be the last time the Order of Good Beer gets together, and I certainly can foresee a time in the summer when we might have to all get together for an excellent backyard party as well.

Before I close off this post, I just want to take a chance here to say thanks to all those who brought us congratulatory gifts to celebrate the occasions. I’m looking forward to some nice bottles of wine in the coming weeks, and we’ll be thinking of you all when we’re drinking them. Thanks for a great night, all, and thanks for being such great friends! Till next time, take care of yours, and remember to live each day to its fullest.

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