My Vue Weekly column this week (which you can read here) is a review of Brooklyn Brewery’s Local 2, a Belgian Dark Strong ale. I remember trying Local 1 a few years back and being quite impressed with it. Given its price point, I only bought it a couple of times, but felt it was a well-made Belgian strong.
Somehow the release of Local 2 slipped past me, and I only finally got around to trying it a few weeks ago. Where Local 1 was/is a Belgian Golden Strong, the new brethren goes darker and fruitier. I really appreciated the complex fruitiness and dark sugar sweetness in the beer. It also found a nice way to stay balanced and relatively clean (for an Abbey-style). Just like Local 1, the alcohol lurks in the weeds and sneaks up on you as you near the end of the glass.
In the column I played up the union angle, which is both obvious and fun (for me anyway). I do find it a bit ironic that a non-union brewery is playing with a distinctly labour-ish branding. However, at least Mr. Oliver and company are not shuttering breweries that kept hundreds of unionized workers feeding their families for generations (yes, I am talking to you Molson/Coors).
Also, to set the record straight, the factual error in the sub-title is due to the editor, not me. I am fully aware that Brooklyn is the 11th largest craft brewery in the U.S. In the body of the review I make reference to them being “one of the largest”, which is true. An unfortunate, but ultimately forgivable mistake.
I suspect I won’t be purchasing too many bottles of Local 2 either. Not because I didn’t enjoy it. Simply because it costs too much. But those of you who don’t have padlocks on your wallets should go out and give it a try.
The latest in Sherbrooke’s and Paddock Wood’s Beer Gods Series quietly came out a few weeks back. Ninkasi, named after the Sumerian Goddess of Beer, is the fourth in the series. This has been a fun and educational approach to one-off beer. I hope they find a way to re-brew them all at the end and offer a mixed pack or other such offering. It would be fun to see them side-by-side. Tangentially, one of the first known written records of beer is an ode to Ninkasi (it even contains a recipe for Sumerian beer).
This Ninkasi is an Imperial Pilsner, clocking in at 8.3%. In general I am a bit cool on making the “imperial’ moniker a generic term for “bigger”. However, I will give them a pass for the time being, as Ninkasi would prefer it that way.
The beer pours light gold with a decent white head that hangs around well enough. It is bright and effervescent, not giving the unsuspecting drinker a hint at the strength that lurks within it. In the aroma I pick up sweet corn and aromatic earthiness. There is also some graininess and a touch of rounded malt like honey and rich kettle melanodin. Some grassiness lingers in the background.
The beer starts with a soft grainy malt, rather big with a rich malt base and a fairly big body. The middle brings out some hops, which continue to build into the linger. It is a spicy, floral hop flavour and bitterness reminiscent of classic Czech pilsners. The bitterness is fairly balanced, but the hops has a remarkable linger to it. It lasts forever with a sharp earthiness. At first the alcohol only hints at its presence, only finally giving itself away in the linger, where a distinct warming builds.
I will admit that this is an intense beer. It is exactly what it promises to be – a pilsner base ramped up to imperial level. They do everything right with it, keeping the balance while upping the intensity. I appreciate the beer, but I find myself undecided on whether I “like” it. I can tell that it is well-made and hits its targets. But I find myself regularly looking at the glass with a quizzical look on my face.
I think, after some contemplation, it is not the beer’s fault. I think I just don’t appreciate an imperialized pilsner. It is the malt base, mostly, that crinkles my nose. The amped up graininess just doesn’t hit my palate that well. I really appreciate the hops and the way Paddock Wood maintained that key balance between the components.
This is clearly a case where the impression of the beer will come down to personal preference. The beer is well-made, and is a creative idea. I am sure many will love it. I certainly respect it, but simply believe I prefer a regular-sized pilsner and will save my imperials for stouts and IPAs. However, don’t let this dissuade you. Pick up a bottle. Give it a try. Maybe you might love imperial pilsner.
One of the more anticipated and boundary-pushing beer that has hit the prairie market in recent weeks is Half Pints’ Le Temps Noir. An Imperial Stout aged in bourbon barrels, it is intended to be intense and intimidating. Even the label demonstrates this, with a barrel hanging by a noose. The name evokes post-revolutionary France.
The beer was aged a whopping 8 months in barrels and clocks in at 9.6% alcohol. This is some beer. Do not trifle with it, especially since it comes only in 650 ml bottles.
What am I talking about? Let me tell you. This is an inky black beer with a thick, dense dark tan head that seems like it would stay for weeks. What I pick up in the aroma is a dizzying combination of rich bourbon alcohol, dark roast, vanilla, pulled taffy, wood, chocolate and musty barn. And then there is the warning from the alcohol – a sharp scotch-like pungency in your nose.
You take a sip and the first thing you pick up is bourbon. Bourbon comes out big time. There is a stout under there, I am sure. And it seems like it was pretty good when it went in, but after 8 months it came out a different puppy. The beer allows an alcoholic warming, some oak notes, vanilla, dark chocolate and hints of coffee that has sat on the burner a bit too long. The linger is big on bourbon and slick dark malt. There are hops in this beer, but it is hard to tell as there is too much else going on. This is a complex, rich and enticing beer. The bourbon really sharpens and thins the stout character, but without losing its overall identity.
I find this beer dangerously enticing and drinkable. This is one of those beer that might the next morning make you want to hang from a noose if you imbibe too much.
Respect this beer. Because you don’t at your own peril. But be sure to try it, as you will be equally unhappy to have missed it.
The Edmonton location of Beer Revolution officially opens its doors today. I was fortunate to be invited to a “soft launch” on Saturday to get a sneak peak and sample a pint or two. Beer Revolution, for the uninitiated is the Brewster’s Brewpub chain’s foray into craft beer not brewed by them. The first location was in Calgary (you can read my review of it here),and was notable for its model of offering no regular standing beer (except for three house beer). Now they have imported the model to Edmonton, opening a branch in Oliver Square (yes, across the parking lot from the Oliver Square Brewsters).
The room is spacious and accented by stone. While it is one big space, it has the feel of being divided with the bar on the left and restaurant seating on the right. Finishing touches were still be performed (a painter was still working on the foyer logo) and some elements are not quite ready, for example the patio is still a week or so away, but it gives off a professional, elegant feel. My favourite feature is the keg room, which is glassed-in allowing people to see the kegs and tap lines. Some may find this unsightly, but I think it is a constant reminder of what the place is supposed to be about. It is a beer room, and the visible kegs on the other side of the glass are a symbol.
They have 24 taps. Three are house beer: Peach Fuzz, Lucky Penny Lager and Bow Bugger Pale Ale (the pale ale being an original recipe for Revolution, the other two re-named Brewster’s beer). The remaining 21 are rotated constantly. The opening line up included Charlevoix Vache Folle Imperial Milk Stout, Red Racer IPA, Innis & Gunn Whiskey Cask Stout and BrewDog 5 A.M. Saint. It also had beer from Alley Kat, Hog’s Head, Wild Rose, Half Pints and a one-time offering (for Edmonton, anyway) of Village Blonde.
Edmonton replicates the electronic airport-style beer board, indicating date the keg was tapped and its estimated date of departure. They say it will be linked live to their website so you can check availability before you arrive. At the moment the departure date is a manual estimation, but they are working on a system that will measure the volume being dispensed so a “real-time” estimate can be provided.
As I have mentioned before, the all-rotation model is interesting, ensuring you always can try something new. However, the downside is there is never a “go-to” beer that you can always rely on. Sometimes I am not looking for something new, I just want a quiet pint of something I enjoy and know will always taste good. Plus this model is less than ideal for the breweries, who prefer a dedicated tap to build up consumer awareness and loyalty. Like most things in life, it is a trade-off.
As of today Edmonton is one beer-oriented pub richer. Can’t see anything wrong with that.
Last month in my Beer 101 column I came to the defence of quiet beer. In the interests of balance I decided this month (which is now officially last month, but don’t sweat the details) to offer equal time to adventurous, “out-there” beer. What I choose to call “edgy”. You can read the column here.
I use that term intentionally to avoid impressions that I am talking only about Imperial this-or-that. Edgy beer is defined by what a brewer does with it. It needs to push a boundary of some kind. That could be making it bigger, as often happens, but it might equally be about a novel ingredient, an innovative process (stein beer, anyone?) or a creative approach to a style. The key is that, in contrast to quiet beer, it is designed to make you take notice of some aspect of the beer.
In a way edgy beer are all the rage these days. There are lots of experiments going on. This is good. I am a big believer the beer world requires all kinds of beer. I did a series on “big” beer a while back in Beer 101, so I didn’t want to repeat myself. So, this time, I focused on how to best appreciate edgy beer. I thought that might be a useful contribution to the ongoing discussion of beer evaluation and appreciation.
I argue it is a multi-layered, multi-stepped process. The drinker needs to get a handle on a few things simultaneously. On one hand, they need to pay attention to the “special” feature of the beer. What is the unique ingredient? Can you tell it is there? If the beer is imperialized does it do so appropriately? Those kind of questions.
But you also can’t lose sight, which so many reviewers do, of the base beer. What was the beer designed to be before it got edge-ified? Anyone can add a bucket of hops or create a smoky character that will invert your cheeks. But where did they start? This matters.
Finally a drinker needs to evaluate the beer wholistically. How well does the special feature meld with the base beer? And, most importantly, is this an enjoyable beer to drink? Would you have another?
That last question usually plays large for me. I can appreciate the most “out-there” beer a brewer can create – and trust me I have sampled my share. But, for me, it comes down to would I want a second one? If the answer is no, there is something wrong with the beer. I am not saying it has to be a beer I would drink every day of the year. Simply, would I have a second if offered it? A edgy beer worth its salt had better aim for a “yes”.
As I say in the column: “Small beer. Quiet beer. Big Beer. Edgy Beer. All have their place. Enjoy them all. Just be sure not to lose sight that it is just beer after all.”
A couple weeks back, word leaked out of a new brewery opening in Calgary. Tool Shed Brewing is hoping to launch this summer. After hearing about its impending launch, I decided to get in touch with the owners. A couple of days ago I had a phone call with Graham Sherman, who along with Jeff Orr are the founding partners, who gave me the run down on their plans and vision for their beer.
Graham and Jeff are IT guys by day (at least for now). When over in Afghanistan working on a security project, they got talking about what to do when they arrived back home, and the idea of a brewery bubbled to the surface. Upon their return home they started homebrewing like mad fiends – brewing multiple times a week – and giving themselves a crash course in the art and science of brewing. Their process was helped out by Graham’s brother, who is brewmaster at Four Pines Brewpub in Australia. At the same time they started beating the bushes in Calgary for start-up investments.
Graham is well-aware of the challenges of opening a brewery in Alberta. “There are not a lot of people who have gone after it because of the minimum production levels”, he says, acknowledging that has made their job harder. But he prefers to see it as an opportunity. “There is more room to grow here”.
The name Tool Shed comes from the location of their 10-gallon homebrew system, which is housed in the tool shed in Graham’s backyard.
They are currently working with DME Brewing Services to build a 25 hectolitre brewhouse and have already purchased a canning line (more on that in a moment). For the time being, however, they have contracted with Dead Frog Brewery in B.C. to produce their beer, which they intend to sell across Alberta. They anticipate the Calgary brewery is 8-months to a year away.
The first beer should be available in July. Jeff just quit his day job and has traveled out to Aldergrove to oversee production. They plan on releasing three beer this summer:
- Star Cheek IPA, which Graham describes as a heavily hopped “game changer IPA” for Alberta.
- Red Rage Ale, a “malty, dark” red ale.
- People Skills Cream Ale. Graham says they fancy the idea of people saying “Get that man a pint of people skills!”.
The beer will be sold in kegs and six-packs of cans (they shipped their canning line to Dead Frog, who does not have one). When asked why the decision to package in cans, Graham replies “There is a nostalgia to bottles, but the movement to cans is beginning to outweigh that nostalgia. Light and oxygen are bad for beer. Bottles let in both. Cans don’t change the flavour.”
Graham sees their upstart operation as part of the effort to build a stronger beer culture in Alberta. Graham has been to great beer locations and observes that “Alberta just doesn’t have that culture yet”. Graham is hoping to build some beer critical mass in Calgary. Their brewery will be built a few blocks north of the Big Rock brewery, and a block away from the new Wild Rose brewery under construction. Brewsters is also nearby. Graham is hoping to create a beer neighbourhood, with “walking brewery tours” of the area.
That is still some ways off, as Graham and Jeff have a lot of work ahead of them just to get their fledgling operation off the ground. In the meantime, Albertans can try a couple of new, almost-locally made beer this summer.
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the release of Big Rock’s Erratic Stone-Fired Ale. I promised at the time to post my impressions once I tried it. Well, I finally opened the bottle a few days back. It was bottle #1684 and, to be clear, I have every intention of keeping this attractive, Italian-made flip-top for my home-brewery (which will likely amuse Big Rock’s brewers, but not their accountants, as the bottles, I’m told, were expensive).
It offers an attractive dark red beer with brown hints, building an off white head with medium density and decent staying power. The aroma has moderate caramel, but that is quickly overtaken by an earthy and, frankly, mineral-y character. There is a sharp edge to the aroma. It is not unlike a red ale with a bit of smoke in it, even though the smoke does not come through directly.
Upfront I find a soft caramel, some light-bodied sugar and a cola-like prickliness. It seems a bit thin at first. In the middle, the beer starts to transform, building both malt and other characteristics. Some toffee and brown sugar appear, as does a bit of smoke, a hint of sharp loam and a rougher earthy feature. I also pick up some wood-fired caramel as the beer sits on my tongue. The linger offers burnt caramel, mild wood smoke with a dry character and a fascinating husky rebound.
This beer is all about the finish. It gets way more interesting at the end. A wood-fired caramel comes out, topped by some toffee and brown sugar, as does a bit of smoke, a hint of sharp loam and a rougher earthy edge. It don’t want to overplay the smoke – it is moderate and subtle, playing in the background but still present. The burnt caramel gives it a Scottish feel, while the hints of smoke make it seem more like a Rauchbier (but not quite). The start is disappointing, but the beer finds a way to deliver in the finish. I also wonder if, overall, the beer is almost too clean for the style.
I honestly can’t tell you how it compares to other Steinbier, as I have never had one. But, other than the thin opening, I suspect this is in the zone. An earthy, mineral-y character with a bit of smoke but not too much. The caramel should be accented and fairly deep.
I will be able to hear those who think the beer misses the mark. But I actually think they do a pretty good job with this beer. Just think about it. They threw a few rocks into the beer during the boil. There is not any science or a consultant to help them with that. They were on their own and found a way to make a legitimately “out-there” beer. Reviews may differ but, I believe, they created an interesting, admirable beer.
The beer news keeps coming fast and furious in recent weeks. Must be spring! (And it is finally feeling like it!)
First, a couple of interesting events:
- In what may be one of the more creative and unique approaches to a beer event, on May 17, Cookie Love and Alley Kat Brewing are co-hosting “Cookies and Beer: The Pairings Edition” at the Edmonton Petroleum Club. All proceeds go to Ronald Mcdonald House. Yes, cookies and beer. I will quote from the press release:
“Ticket holders will be treated to savoury dishes from the culinary team at the Edmonton Petroleum Club paired with Alley Kat beers, followed by desserts from Cookie Love and custom Beer Flavoured Ice Cream from Pinnochio Italian Ice Cream Co.”
Pairing cookies and beer may seem odd to you at first, but trust me it works. A few weeks ago I joined the owners of Cookie Love (which is across from Mountain Equipment Coop) and Neil and Charlene from Alley Kat to help work out the appropriate pairings. There were some very intriguing matches (yes, tough life I have – sampling gourmet cookies AND craft beer). And, as I often remind you, it is for charity, so there is no going wrong here. Tickets are $50 and available at Cookie Love and (I think) Alley Kat.
- Continental Treat, the European restaurant on Whyte Avenue, has quietly become a bastion of interesting beer events. I don’t mention it often, but every month they host a beer dinner (sometimes wine) with a different brewery or region. The meals are fancy, elegant and quintessentially eastern European, and they have become very popular. After pursuing me for almost 2 years, the owner of the Treat has finally convinced me to host one of their dinners. I think I picked the perfect event. June 25 I will host a Trappist Beer Dinner. We will have a beer from each of the eight Trappist breweries paired with a four-course meal, plus a cheese reception to start. Don’t ask me which beer yet as I am still working that out. But we guarantee to represent every Trappist brewery and span the range of flavours they offer. Tickets are $100 (GST and gratuity included) and available at the restaurant.
Moving on to new beer releases there have been a couple:
- Many thought that Sherbrooke Liquor’s days of releasing its own beer might be over, but it isn’t the case. A couple weeks ago they released THREE exclusive beer in one day. From right to left (think about looking at a map), they put out Going Dutch Imperial Porter by Brouwerij de Molen, made with licorice and aged in wood barrels. They also officially released the long-awaited Ninkasi Imperial Pilsner, the latest in the Beer Gods Series, made by Saskatoon’s Paddock Wood. Finally, they put out Udderly Vanilla Latte Milk Stout, a milk stout with coffee and vanilla added. The brainchild of Edmonton’s resident mad genius homebrewer Ernie Boffa, it is exactly what is says it is.
- Hot on the heels of its Stein Beer, this week Big Rock is releasing its latest seasonal, Rosemarinus Aromatic Ale, a rosemary-infused beer. I haven’t seen a description yet, but they claim that they use rosemary instead of hops, so it is likely like a heather ale but with the more aromatic and pungent rosemary.
- Wild Rose earlier this week released a limited edition Barrel-Aged Cherry Porter, which obviously is this past winter’s cherry porter aged in bourbon barrels. They indicate they also added an extra dose of sweet and sour cherries to each barrel. Plus, in an interesting innovation, their summer release is going to be Gose Rider (get it? The Wild Rose folks are getting awfully clever lately), a traditional Gose, which is an old German ale known for its lemon character and a noted salitiness (yes due to salt). It is released May 30.
- Alley Kat’s latest Dragon Series beer is being released May 6. Jade Dragon is single-hopped with Citra hops this time. Citra, with distinct citrus and grapefruit character might be an interesting accompaniment to their recently released grapefruit beer.
And finally, while I am talking about these things, I should mention that Sherbrooke Liquor, with support from Vue Weekly, has just released The Beer Guide. The 36-page guide, authored by me (by the way), is a tour around the world of beer, highlighting beer regularly available in Alberta. I agreed to do it because a) it seemed a good opportunity to offer quality beer education; and b) they gave me unfettered editorial control. Which means a couple of things. First, all mistakes, omissions and screw-ups are mine. Second, it is an accessible introduction to beer styles, their origin and their flavour.
That they were willing to not mess with my content meant a lot to me, and a major reason I agreed to do it. Yeah, they sold ads, and I know they are hoping to shore up their reputation as a go-to beer place, using my reputation to facilitate that. I am okay with that. Sherbrooke’s reputation is well-deserved. They don’t need me to convince beer fans of that. I was just glad of the opportunity to spout off about beer for 36 pages.
So that is the news for now. I fully expect to have to do another one of these very soon, as things are moving fast.
So, the Calgary Beerfest contest has closed and we have some winners! First, I apologize for not getting this up on Wednesday, but my day ran away on me and I had no time.
We got fewer entries than expected. I think in part due to the short notice and that it is a Calgary-based festival. Something for me to think about in the future should I ever do this again.
After reviewing the entries we did receive, I have made an executive decision to alter the prizes. Some of the entries simply did not reflect the spirit of the contest. They either made no attempt to justify their choice, or there was no connection to Calgary. Awarding that lack of effort seemed wrong to me. However, there were two absolutely fantastic entries. Creative and appropriate. Both clearly spent a lot of energy on their entry. The entries are re-posted below.
I wanted to reward the both of them equally, given how much effort they clearly put into their entries. I am eliminating third prize and awarding each of the two winning entries with pairs of VIP passes to the night of their choice.
Each winning entry took a very different approach to the topic. The first composed a poem evoking Calgary. The beer reference is implied and a bit vague, but the imagery clear. The second wrote it in the form of an advertisement for a fictional Calgary brewery. The risk there is someone might actually take his idea and run with it. Here are the winning entries:
Winning Entry #1
The Perfect Calgary Beer
Eye of newt, a polar bear,
Heritage and ol’ Eau Claire,
Some Chinese herbs, a cowboy hat,
A few old fibers from where Klein sat.
A huge Big Rock, some alchemy,
The Calgary Flames, and some rivalry.
Place it all in a melting pot.
Heat it up. Make it good and hot.
Add some barley, n’ cool it down,
Livin’ it up in ol’ Cowtown.
Winning Entry #2
At Bow River Brewing we’re proud to present our latest creation. A beer that celebrates the Spirit of the New West. A brew we can call uniquely Calgarian. From the purest local spring water combined with the finest barley that southern Alberta has to offer, we’ve crafted a brew unlike any other: Chinook Sunset Amber Ale. Calgary may be Cowtown to some, but here at Bow River we’ve always thought of ourselves as mavericks. When we set out to forge our brand, our goal was to produce an unforgettably original beer. Chinook Sunset Amber Ale embodies the pioneering spirit that sets Calgary apart. From that wintery crisp first taste to a stampede of complex flavours, you’ve opened an ale to be reckoned with. We’ve perfectly balanced the sweet toastiness of our malt with the zesty, spicy and earthy overtones of western Canadian hops to create a full-bodied brew that’s as smooth as a chinook breeze yet as bold as a prairie fire. It’s sunset amber hue and slightly smoky finish lets you know you’re enjoying a taste of the foothills. Break away from the herd! Open a Chinook Sunset Amber Ale and savour the taste of Calgary today!
I am not listing the names of the winners because they didn’t indicate their consent (they didn’t tell me one way or the other). I may amend the post if they tell me it is okay to give their names.
I am very happy a couple of readers took the contest seriously and offered creative, interesting entries. Hopefully next time I do this (IF I do this again) more of you will feel inspired. Congratulations to the winners and have a good time at the festival this weekend.
Further to a recent post updating matters around the Alberta government’s review of beer mark-up policy (found here), yesterday I received a press release from a new interlocutor. This increases the number of distinct positions being advocated to four, which really is something when you think about it. How any political issues have FOUR different sets of interests?
It comes from a group calling themselves the Alberta Craft Beer Alliance and includes, at least, five of the more noted beer importers in the province and one beer-oriented liquor store (at least this is who attached their name to the release, which states there are other signers on a letter to the Minister).
You can read the full release here (I pdfed it as is, except for deleting the email address lines and the contact information for the six signed names, for reasons I trust you understand). It puts out the position of craft beer importers, which I have summarized here in the past and a number of comments have articulated.
The core of the argument is straightforward. They argue increased mark-ups on beer produced out of province to the full rate will cripple the beer import business, reducing consumers’ access to a diversity of craft beer. Behind their argument is price-point: “A regular 6-pack of craft beer could cost you soon up to $2.50 more. If you think about going for an after work drink with some colleagues or friends, the price for a standard 16-oz. pint in your friendly neighbourhood pub would increase by up to $1.50 per pint.”
I fully admit that I don’t know the economic models for selling beer in Alberta. However, by my, admittedly simplistic, math, I calculate that moving imported beer from 40 cents to 98 cents per litre (as proposed) would lead to an increase of about $1.20 per six-pack and about 30 cents per pint. There may be add-on effects I am unaware of (some of which might be retailers who tend to mark-up based on percentage of cost price), but I wouldn’t mind seeing some details behind this figure.
They also take aim (gently) at Alberta’s brewers who have been advocating the change, arguing that while some reduced rate for Alberta beer is justified the proposal goes too far:
The changes have been proposed by Alberta beer producers that feel that they are at a great disadvantage on the free Alberta beer market and that they do not benefit by producing in Alberta. Certainly, everyone would agree that Alberta producers should have some kind of home advantage. But not to the disadvantage of the consumers ability to make choices and certainly not to the extent where the consumer has to pay excessively more for his choices.
They state “the great selection of hundreds of craft beer might disappear very soon” if they are subject to the full mark-up rate. They also claim the changes “would leave several thousand Albertans at a great risk of losing their jobs, from a truck driver that delivers the beer to and from the warehouse to the waitress that serves you the delicious cold pint at the pub”.
The latter claim, clearly aimed at countering the arguments of the other sides, seems somewhat dubious. Even if many dozens of beer disappeared from Alberta shelves, it is hard to see how that would lead to significant job loss. Yes, consumers might lose variety and range (and that is a real issue) but the downstream staff would deliver and sell other brands that gain from the market hole. The agents would find other product to represent, although I appreciate they would take a big hit in their income in the short term. Most of the breweries would find other markets for their beer. That said, I can see how it might be a big hit to smaller western Canadian brewers for whom Alberta is a large portion of their sales. It seems their argument is more nuanced than they put forward.
I have written enough about my take on this issue, so will refrain from repeating myself. I will just remind that I recognize how complicated this issue is. The entry of the fourth legitimate viewpoint on this issue makes it even more complicated. I will leave it to you, the reader, to consider which side makes the best case.