Are we tired of April Fools yet? If not, perhaps you should read this well written piece from Hal Incandenza, which just popped up on our radar. Perhaps you remember Hal as the youngest of the Incandenza children from David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest? But probably not. Anyway, Hal penned a nice piece on the Vancouver School Board, which just approved a pilot project that will see a craft beer brewing course offered at several local high schools next year. Pretty cool, huh?
Wait, aren’t those kids underage?
No need to worry, according to the Pacific Northwest brewmaster Caleb Colten who developed Craft Fermentation Sciences program. From this excellent article on the Vancouver Courier.
“High school students handle far more dangerous things in a typical science lab or even a P.E. class. Ever get a medicine ball in the head? Let me tell you, it’s not fun,” said Colten, adding that students won’t consume their creations but instead swirl, sniff and spit out the beer, similar to a wine tasting. “In Europe and Portland, this wouldn’t even be an issue. Those places have a more progressive attitude towards alcohol, but in Vancouver we have to be sure to dot our t’s and cross our i’s.”
Fair argument. And in British Columbia, including Vancouver and Victoria, the legal drinking age is 19. Apparently, the Craft Fermentation Sciences program is modeled after similar high school programs offered in Portland, though we could find no confirmation on the internet for such classes in America (wait, is this story even real?). Seems like Colten tried something similar before, operating an after-school brewing program out of the Boys and Girls Club before it was shut down in February after a number of parents questioned its appropriateness, according to the Vancouver Courier.
What do the teachers think about all this? Well, they will at least be getting some free beer out of it. The student beers will be shared among teachers at participating schools, according to Colten.
“Let’s just say the staff Christmas party at John Oliver secondary is going to kick ass on whatever lame thing Kits High throws. It’s their loss, really.”
Oh progressive Canada. April fools!