Fredericton — Premier Brian Gallant is going for broke in his attempt to gain the favour of as many factions of the New Brunswick populace as possible before Monday’s election.
One demographic remains notoriously hard-to-get for any political party: the beer snobs. And it’s crucial that the Liberals secure this ever-expanding group if they want to beat out the PCs. So, Gallant has been on a craft beer crawl to every brewery in the province, taking pictures and meeting locals, to show not only how chill and laid-back he is, but how knowledgeable on all things craft beer.
“I’ve been to Flying Boats, Big Axe, Petit-Sault, Trailway, Graystone — all the cool ones,” he listed.
“By now people know I’m an IPA guy,” he said, reading from a cue card, standing in the taproom at Maybee Brewing in Fredericton. “Barkeep — will you please pour me another…shit, what was it…oh yeah, ‘India Pale Ale,’ if you’d be so kind!”
Once he had his pint, Gallant began scrolling through Untappd on his phone and rating the beer a generous 4.25 stars out of 5. “This isn’t the best IPA I’ve had — I’ve had Alchemist’s Heady Topper Double IPA — I’m a bit of a ‘hop head’ — and nothing quite measures up,” he recited way too loudly, clearly hoping the other patrons would hear him.
“This has a citrusy, piney nose, it’s moderately malty and at 70 IBUs and 7 per cent,” he added, reading directly from someone else’s checkin on the beer app, “it really gets the job done.
“Just like I will, if you re-elect me as premier!”
Since no one was paying attention to him, Gallant was forced to go sit with a group of beer snobs at a nearby table.
“I guess I’m feeling a bit disillusioned with all politics at the moment,” said husky 38-year-old craft beer fan Connor Anderson, sporting a too-tight Bissell Brothers T-shirt and a toque bearing the Surly Brewing logo. “There’s no one candidate who really represents the needs of the slightly overweight, mildly arrogant, aging beer nerd who’s been planning on becoming a cicerone for the last six years. I haven’t heard any of the parties so much as mention the importance of persistent head retention, or the untimely resurgence of kettle sours — no one’s even discussed open versus closed fermentation!
“I mean, I have over 4,500 unique checkins on Untappd,” continued Anderson. “How many do you have?” he asked Gallant.
“Uh…well I don’t know…let me see. I guess I have….12. But I bet that’s three times as many as Blaine Higgs! He just doesn’t get us craft beer people. He probably drinks Budweiser…or maybe…what’s the other one we don’t like…Coors Light?”
The beer snobs appeared skeptical.
“Dude, I’m just gonna come right out and ask: Do you even cellar??” demanded Anderson. “Honestly, if I go to your house, will I find a nice aged barleywine and a Russian imperial stout and a Belgian quad in the basement? I doubt it. You’re a fake, man.
“Maybe you should get out of here and go hang out somewhere you’d be more comfortable…like Boston Pizza,” he added, the group of snobs sniggering.
A crestfallen Gallant then slunk off to his waiting tour bus, officially ending his craft brewery tour.
Editor’s note: Gallant asked us not to publish this article for fear it will lose him the beer-snob vote. Being beer snobs, we declined.