This morning, when I logged into Bar Towel, I read a very distressing piece of news which had been linked from the Globe and Mail. A tragedy has occurred at the Okanagan Springs Brewery in Vernon, BC. Apparently, a gas buildup in a fermenting vat resulted in an explosion, causing the loss of 32,000 litres of beer. Now some people who have tried the Okanagan Springs product may think that this is an improvement over actually making a shipment, but I admonish you! Think of all the poor unfortunate beer drinkers in British Columbia who will be forced to wait for their beer. They may even have to buy a different product while they wait for the next batch from the brewery. This is a tragedy of epic proportion, and alcohol abuse of the worst possible kind.
That said, we’re Canadians and we should rally around and show support for the poor men and women who are now forced to sweep up shards of broken glass and fermentor. I mean, how would you feel if you got in to work in the morning and sat down at your desk and the computer suddenly caught fire? You’d probably get to take the rest of the day off while the IT department fixed it, but that’s neither here nor there. The fact remains that this is a tragedy and given our national character, the loss of this much beer is an affront nearly on par with the G20 riots, mining disasters and people making fun of our accent!
I began to think to myself, what can I do to raise the spirits of the poor souls involved in the clean up? They have literally days of work ahead of them and the brewery will smell even more like a brewery than usual. Then I realized that my course of action was clear: WWGLD? What Would Gordon Lightfoot Do? He’d record a song commemorating the sacrifice of the people involved in the disaster and probably wear a snazzy leather jacket while doing it!
Since I had no idea of how to go about contacting Gordon Lightfoot, I’ve had to make do with an ugly approximation of my own design. It’s a shame because my leather jacket is nowhere near snazzy enough to do Gord’s song the justice it deserves.
Without further ado, I give you The Wreck of the Okanagan Springs Brewery. I have even included lyrics so you can sing along at home
The legend lives on throughout Vernon’s downtown
Of the day the fermenter exploded
The beer, it is said, never gave up its head
And by nighttime the city was coated
As craft breweries go it was bigger than most
Each fermenter held thousands of liters
But there wasn’t a vent and it finally went:
Broken bottles for dozens of meters.
The newspapers claimed that the problem was blamed
On a buildup of carbon dioxide
The force of the squall tore the door from the wall
With the violence and strength of a rock slide
This was the tale of a batch of cream ale
from the brewery called Okanagan
The lumberjacks cried and they broke down inside;
There’d be nothing to drink after logging.
The beer it was spilled and though no one was killed
It was tragic enough to the brewers
Instead of being filtered through beer loving men
It flowed directly into the sewers.
While it may not be the rallying cry that the folks at Okanagan Springs need during this, their darkest hour, I feel as though I’m at least attempting to provide some moral support and with that untenable sense of self righteousness under my belt, I’m going to go and enjoy the rest of my Saturday afternoon.