As a collector of pin-up art, and the wife of a beer writer, I am probably more exposed to, and less bothered by, cheeky and puerile beer labels and tap handles than other women. I don’t know if beer labels with cute (hot) cartoon babes actually sell more beer – that would be kind of a sad thing, actually – but they certainly are out there. Here in Ontario, we’re all familiar with Niagara Brewery’s Niagara’s Best Blonde, with the 40s era bombshell on the label. She is not scantily clad, mind you, in fact she’s downright wholesome, but I can see where some women would take issue with an image of a woman being used to sell and promote beer.
Of course, busty women have been a marketing default for beer companies for years, and it’s only lately, with the rising popularity of craft beer, that mainstream brewers have changed gears to be more inclusive of women, portraying them more as beer consumers and less as a set of tits in a bikini top, emerging from a lake to bring the man in the ad a crisp, cold one.
Oddly enough, the “sexy-making” in the beer industry has seemed to revert back to the little guy, with craft brewers, especially in the UK, using sexual imagery and innuendo to gain attention for their products in a market that is becoming ever more saturated with competition.
You’ll laugh your butt off at this, then feel guilty for doing so. And when it comes to selling fast food chicken, it’s a bit of a stretch. But who doesn’t enjoy the occasional playful dictator? [Daily Mail]
Old salty – people get freaking out about consuming too much salt, but too little can be just as bad. [Globe and Mail]
This is interesting – it looks as if the US is getting set to allow the slaughter of horses for meat. Which means fewer horses being shipped across the border to Canada for slaughter here. [Chicago Tribune]
You know, part of me really believes that the “drunken office Christmas party” really only exists on TV. I’ve never been to one, and I’ve never known anyone who has been to one. Most workplaces do some kind of demure no-booze luncheon and then send everybody back to work. [Grub Street]
It is the obligation of schools to create a completely allergen-free environment? And does that include banning foods that *look* like common food allergens, such as soy nut butter instead of peanut butter? [Toronto Star]
It’s taken a while to trickle down to the mainstream, but the mini-dessert trend allows people to have their cake and eat it too. [USA Today]
Restaurant patrons (hopefully) know that booking a reservation via OpenTable means a hefty charge to the restaurant. Soon-to-roll-out free booking services via Google and Facebook are about to change that. [Seeking Alpha]
I was lucky enough to be able to attend the media preview event at Oliver & Bonacini’s Bannock at the Hudson’s Bay flagship store (401 By Street) at Yonge and Queen, but those events, while fun and full of free samples, are never really reflective of what the restaurant is like during regular service. Of course, it took a few weeks to get back; Greg and I arrived once without a reservation for dinner and the place was packed. So we popped in for lunch a week or so later and managed to score a table and check out what Chef Anthony Walsh had done with a menu that doubles as a love song to Canadian cuisine and Canadian history.
Teaming up with the Bay and creating a restaurant featuring Canadian comfort food was a no-brainer. As in, why didn’t someone think of this before? The space is both modern and sleek and drenched in history – step into the dining room portion of the space and look up – the ceiling is made from planks of The Queen’s Wharf, a 244 foot long wharf that once stood at the foot of Bathurst Street and was buried/underwater until 2006 when it was unearthed during excavations for a condo tower. The walls, which also look like wooden planks, are actually concrete. How’s that for modern history?