There’s more to this trend than beer

Truro Daily News - - Opinion - Steve Bartlett

We had to take our best guess at who sang “Happy To­gether.”

A cor­rect an­swer would give us a great shot at a Trivia Night crown, or so we thought at the time.

“The Tur­tles?” my wife whis­pered to our team.

We pen­ciled in the ’60s band on our sheet, a Hail-mary move to at least have an an­swer and stay in con­tention.

Turns out, my wife was right. As we waited for the trivia master to tab­u­late the re­sults, vi­sions of free bar tabs danced in our heads.

Our team — “East and West Winds,” or a name some­thing like that be­cause our play­ers were from east­ern and western Canada — held a slight lead af­ter the fi­nal round of ques­tions.

But there would be no free brew or trivia ti­tle.

Turned out the win­ning team got brag­ging rights, and that there was still an­other, un­ex­pected round to go … of Pic­tionary!


We got creamed by cre­ativ­ity (or lack thereof), as some were light­ning quick at fig­ur­ing out the ab­stract doo­dles of others.

Se­ri­ously, if some­one drew a bot­tle next to some kind of an­i­mal, what would you guess?

I cer­tainly wasn’t think­ing of the Coca- Cola Christ­mas com­mer­cial with the po­lar bear. That was the far­thest thing from my mind on a hot Au­gust night.

Any­way, in the end, our team didn’t take the crown.

But I cer­tainly felt like a per­son of for­tune, as I looked around a room abuzz with smiles and con­ver­sa­tion. The place was mag­i­cal. Ev­ery­one was in a great mood.

There were no iphones, pul­sat­ing songs won­der­ing, “Kiki, do you love me?” or flat screens with talk­ing heads spending an un­nec­es­sary amount of time dis­sect­ing and spec­u­lat­ing on the mean­ing of a pres­i­den­tial tweet.

It was sim­ply a room full of peo­ple, many of them strangers, talk­ing, laugh­ing and ad­mir­ing Pic­tionary draw­ings.

This was all go­ing down at a craft brew­ery in Port Rex­ton, N.L.

As it did, I re­al­ized the lure and power of these busi­nesses, and a rea­son why more and more of them are dot­ting the At­lantic Cana­dian map.

Craft brew­eries — and there are now dozens across New­found­land and Labrador, Nova Sco­tia, Prince Ed­ward Is­land and New Brunswick — are not only about pro­duc­ing cre­ative IPAS, porters, and fruity sum­mer ales. They are also meet­ing places where peo­ple share con­coc­tion and con­ver­sa­tion, the type of dia­logue that isn’t hap­pen­ing enough in this dig­i­tal age.

We may have been there to sam­ple the beer and try our best at trivia night, but there was noth­ing triv­ial about the evening. So­cially, it turned out to be my favourite night of this sum­mer. Ev­ery­one, many of us strangers, seemed to en­joy the ale and at­mos­phere. Just like The Tur­tles song, we were happy to­gether.

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