Author’s note: below is a transcript of my notes from the This Hand Sanitizer, That Beer Throwdown, a new event which took place on January 9, 2021, in Gibsons.*
12:40 P.M. // First beer event I’ve been to in a year! Love the concept—we’re pairing B.C. craft beer with hand sanitizer made by B.C. craft breweries. Place looks great, too. I vacuumed.
12:45 P.M. // Getting set up. Took a while to find beer tickets but then remembered that stash in my underwear drawer from the 2019 B.C. Beer Awards. I knew they’d come in handy! (I got in free today by volunteering at the ticket table.)
1:00 P.M. // The event’s started but nobody’s here. I’ve pocketed the tickets. Time for a pour. Moving to the couch.
Think I’ll hit the Red Truck booth first, which is also my fridge.
1:05 P.M. // Forgot that I volunteered to pour too, so getting up again. Think I’ll hit the Red Truck booth first, which is also my fridge.
1:10 P.M. // OK, first sani of the day! Red Truck’s Hand Sanitizer spritzes evenly—nice mist dispersion. Aroma: ethanol and—actually that’s it. It’s unscented. Now the pairing—Road Trip Classic Lager. Crisp and clean. Clean hands and clean beer! Ha! Ha! No liquor inspector in sight so I’m finishing the can.
1:20 P.M. // Round two: From Gibsons, The 101’s “Hand and Surface Sanitizer.” Spritzed some on my coffee table and it’s left a mark. Hmm. At least it’s a clean mark! Aroma is strong ethanol—a blank canvas for their bold and fruity Tall Faller Hazy IPA. Wow, there are four pours in a tall can!
1:35 P.M. // I checked my driveway and there’s no food truck. Opening some chips instead. Better sanitize! Spritzing left hand with 101 and right with Red Truck. Nuanced ethanol. Love the collaboration in this industry. Maybe I’ll have another Road Trip while I eat.
Is “ethanol” the “malty” of hand sanitizer tasting, er, smelling notes?
1:50 P.M. // Round three: Patina, from PoCo. Their sani is in a pump bottle. Pumping. Nothing coming out. Pumping. Pumping. What the—uh oh. Mark on my table is now bigger. Huge aroma—this one’s an ethanol bomb. Is “ethanol” the “malty” of hand sanitizer tasting, er, smelling notes? It’s all I’ve got. Cracking their Juicy IPA. Juicy. Trying their Amber Lager too. It’s “malty.”
2:10 P.M. // My family just got home. My wife looks concerned and my son is eyeing up my pretzel necklace.
2:30 P.M. // My wife says it’s last call—already? I think Bad Tattoo, from Penticton, is probably still pouring. Cracked a can, but where’s the sanitizer? Wait, this can is the sanitizer? OK. Pouring it copiously over my hands in the bathroom sink. This feels dangerous. My skin is stinging and the bathroom smells flammable. Hey, that’s a good aroma word: “flammable”! OK, pairing time—uh oh, I think it really is last call—maybe I can still get a pour of their Peanut Butter Chocolate Porter—what?—my wife says she drank it on her Zoom call last night. Nope—here’s one! Wow! Chocolatey!
2:40 P.M. // Phone’s ringing. My wife says it’s the liquor inspector. Says the event permit is invalid. I’m skeptical.
2:45 P.M. // Whatever. Vibe killed. Looking for instant ramen. Does anyone here know how to check in hand sanitizer on Untappd?
*At my house.
This story originally appeared in the Spring/Summer 2021 issue of The Growler, out now! You can find B.C.’s favourite craft beer and cider guide at your local brewery, cidery, select private liquor stores, and by subscription here.