I love this city. I truly do. Young, vibrant and entrepreneurial, it is a place that I am proud to call home. At times, however, Calgary has had the reputation of being a touch trite and is oft accused (usually by those who spend little to no time in here) of being “unoriginal” or “vapid”. It is an unfortunate slander, and one that long time Calgarians will passionately argue against .
It is true, we can can become vitriolic when defending our fair city. If Vancouver is the Ferris Bueller of Canada, delightfully irreverent and loved by all who encounter it. Than Calgary is certainly Ferris’s younger sister Jeanie. It kills us that we are confidently doing our own thing, blazing our own trail with a no nonsense approach, but all anyone ever talks about is Ferris, Ferris FERRIS!
John Hughes taught us many things with the angst ridden teen characters who appeared in his films, but the core theme that ran through all of his great films was that before we can be truly happy we have to “let go and be ourselves”. With that I would like to remind Calgarians of one of the most original, most unpretentious houses of “Hughessence” in the world, the nationally recognized “Ship and Anchor”
When the people of this city want to shed all the bullshit and just sit back and relax without the headaches of the office, or the stress of the nine to five, they go to the Ship. Why the Ship? Its pretty simple. For 20 years it has been Calgary’s best spot for a pint. A place where the 21 year old cook can swill beer with the 65 year old oilman. Where the Betty Paige types can enjoy a rum with the Betty White types, and where the self-proclaimed intelligentsia rub elbows with the locally anointed “rock and roll” set. Truly a place where anyone is comfortable with everyone.
After too long a hiatus, I recently sat at the Ship bar to have a pint with my lovely fiance. We were instantly at ease. My good friend Sanjay was behind the bar, as he has been for years, and we bellied up to some good old fashioned pub food done properly, and a big glass of draught.
What better to do when you are shedding pretension than drink an American beer? I went for a pint of one of my favorites, Samuel Adams Pale Ale. This beer is much lighter and a far more traditional English style “pale” than the many of the super bitter, high hop, pales coming out of the States. The sweet peach fruit and delicate floral hops were a refreshing break from many of the “huge” beers I have been drinking lately. In a word… POUNDABLE.
We had a wonderful time as we always do and I wanted to take this time to encourage all Calgarians to get out to the Ship and enjoy a beer amongst some of the “good people” of this City.
I have a feeling the Ship and Anchor is going to be around for a very long time. After all, as Ferris says, “Only the meek get pinched, the bold survive.”