Good­will Lager helps fam­i­lies

The Georgia Straight - - Food - by Char­lie Smith

Ev­ery year, the Don­nelly Group over­sees one of B.C.’S largest pri­vately run toy drives.

Dur­ing the past 18 years, the Van­cou­ver-based hos­pi­tal­ity com­pany has en­sured that al­most $1 mil­lion worth of play­things reached lo­cal fam­i­lies.

This year, the Don­nelly Group has added some fizz to the fes­tive sea­son by team­ing up with the Truck Stop Diner at Red Truck Beer on a new brew, the Good­will Lager. Each sale of one of these cans will gen­er­ate even more funds for this wor­thy char­i­ta­ble en­deav­our.

“We love the hol­i­day sea­son, but the re­al­ity is that ev­ery year there are kids who might not get toys un­der their tree,” Don­nelly Group’s Da­mon Holowchak said in a news re­lease.

This vari­a­tion on a Vi­enna-lager style beer will be avail­able start­ing Thurs­day (No­vem­ber 1) at all Don­nelly Group lo­ca­tions, as well as at the Truck Stop Diner. It’s 5.1 per­cent al­co­hol by vol­ume and it clocks in at 20 IBU (In­ter­na­tional Bit­ter­ness Units), which is rel­a­tively low on the scale. There’s a mix of grains—30 per­cent Vi­enna, 30 per­cent Dark Mu­nich, 30 per­cent Su­pe­rior Pilsen, and 10 per­cent Cara­mu­nich.

The can is adorned with a mes­sage never be­fore seen on a beer: “Some kids don’t get gifts over the hol­i­days. Drink this beer to change that.”

This less than sub­tle brand­ing will en­able beer drinkers across Metro Van­cou­ver to make a pub­lic state­ment of their good­hearted in­ten­tions ev­ery time they go out for a cool one with their friends or their work col­leagues.

“Match­ing our love of lo­cal craft beer with our toy drive seemed like the most nat­u­ral way to raise more money for toys and brighten up the hol­i­days for a bunch of lo­cal fam­i­lies,” Holowchak said.

MELISSA MC­CARTHY plays it straight and gets the role of her life in Can You Ever For­give Me?, named af­ter the mem­oir of her real-life char­ac­ter: a caus­tic New York writer called Lee Is­rael, who fi­nally found suc­cess by pre­tend­ing to be fa­mous peo­ple.

Movies have al­ways had a dif­fi­cult time por­tray­ing the lives of writ­ers. I mean, all that typ­ing and shit? In this case, the typ­ing—kind of—is the point, as Is­rael, who gar­nered at­ten­tion as a show-busi­ness bi­og­ra­pher in the 1980s, sees her prospects dry up at the start of the next decade. As her snarky lit­er­ary agent (SNL great Jane Curtin) is forced to ex­plain, Lee’s abra­sive per­son­al­ity and re­fusal to play the bookpromo game are much more se­ri­ous prob­lems than lack of tal­ent or ideas.

The irony is that Is­rael has cho­sen a purely com­mer­cial niche but wants to be treated like an artiste. This theme is sub­tly teased out by di­rec­tor Marielle Heller, who made the ter­rific Di­ary of a Teenage Girl. (She’s also helm­ing the still-un­ti­tled movie with Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers.) The witty script is from Ni­cole Holofcener (whose film The Land of Steady Habits is now on Net­flix) and Broad­way-mu­si­cal vet­eran Jeff Whitty. And they find the right balance of dark com­edy and un­der­ly­ing sym­pa­thy for a char­ac­ter who ex­hibits lit­tle of the slap­stick con­fi­dence Mc­carthy is known for.

Is­rael, who lives in a fly-specked Man­hat­tan hovel with her sick cat, soft­ens slightly when she starts hang­ing out with em­blem­at­i­cally named Jack Hock, a ge­nial hus­tler who gets by on the charm she clearly lacks. (This gives U.K. great Richard E. Grant one of his best parts since With­nail and I.) They’re both hard-drink­ing and gay—he ac­tively so, while hu­man con­tact is some­thing she avoids, even af­ter at­tract­ing the at­ten­tion of a shy book­seller, played by Doll & Em’s en­dear­ing Dolly Wells. When she brings the seller some le­git let­ters signed by Funny Girl Fanny Brice, Lee re­al­izes there’s gold in them there oldies. That’s where the (an­tique) type­writ­ers come in. If you’re go­ing to forge cor­re­spon­dence from Dorothy Parker, Noël Coward, and the like, you don’t do it on an IBM Selec­tric.

To de­scribe more is to give away the down­beat fun. But it’s rare to see

This Moun­tain Life.

a main­stream ef­fort let its scenes play out so or­gan­i­cally, goosed along only by su­perb act­ing and a sharp jazz score that—like the movie it­self—al­ways man­ages to avoid the ob­vi­ous notes.

Ken Eis­ner

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This vari­a­tion on a Vi­enna-lager style beer car­ries an en­tic­ing mes­sage.

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