The world of beer, according to Bailey


Whatever you do, don’t try to engage Peter Bailey in an argument in favour of Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale.

“That beer is not an IPA,” the library director stated definitively. “It’s like the beer geek’s bête noire. We just can’t stand the fact that Keith’s calls their IPA an IPA because it’s a lager.”

Bailey knows a thing or two about beers. He’s been writing the Beer Guy column for The Tomato Food & Drink: The Flavour of Edmonton’s Food Scene for a few years now.

“I’ve always been interested in out-of-the-ordinary stuff. I try not to be a snob. I call myself a beer guy. A lot of times, we get called beer geeks, which isn’t so bad.”

Considering that the library has recently offered programs where wine was served, it only made sense for him to step up and do a beer tasting based on one of his recent columns.

The problem is that there are just so many beers in the world to choose from, so how can any one person pick only six?

“Ask me any day of the week and I could come up with six different ones!” he laughed.

That’s why he’s focusing on picking from a selection of beer styles rather than specific beers. There will likely be an ale, a stout, a pilsner and maybe even a porter.

“We’ll try to get one from every key style,” he continued, talking about why discovering a variety of beers is helpful to anyone’s palate. “The majority of the beer consumed in Canada and North America is what beer geeks call a macro lager from big breweries. It’s been brewed to be an easy drinking beer, as they say, and generally without much taste to it.”

There definitely will be some interesting conversations pop up about people’s favourites but it’s practically guaranteed that Alexander Keith’s India Pale Ale won’t be on the taste list. In fact, he would prefer to send it to a desert island and never see it again.

“Exile it!” he proclaimed.

Desert Island Beers: What 6 Beers Can’t You Live Without? runs at the Forsyth Hall in the library from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17. Only 20 tickets are available at $10 each for this adults-only event.

Tickets can be purchased at the second floor information desk or by calling the library at 780-459-1682. A library membership is not required to register.

Visit for more information.


About Author

Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns and profiles on people.