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February 4-17
VOL.14 ISSUE. 12

It Just SnowballedGeraldine Malone

Published Thursday February 4, 08:34 pm
David Thomson and his Yukigassen comrades seek glory and fun
In the past few weeks it’s more likely people have seen David Thomson in a red and white, Canadian flag onesie than in pants. The 28-year-old aspiring filmmaker is co-captain of Yukigassen Team Canada.What is Yukigassen you ask, and why have you heard it all over the news? It’s professional snow-battling invented in Japan around 30 years ago. It comes from the words “Yuki” meaning snow and “Kassen” meaning battle. It’s a sport most of us had never heard before but now Team Canada, made up of nine Saskatchewan players, is heading to the world championship in Japan this month.In the lead-up to their “World Snowbattlers” title attempt, the team has been making a web series about their adventures and, oh yeah, organized a Guinness world record-breaking snowball fight in Saskatoon.As co-captain, Thomson has been running, jumping, and diving in front of the camera, but his dream actually is to stand behind it. Thomson was born and raised in Saskatoon and went to school at the University of Saskatchewan. A few years ago he moved out to Toronto and now claims both centres as home.I sat down with Thomson to see how one ends up on the roa

The Drunk Monks Jason Foster

Published Thursday February 4, 08:35 pm
Trappist Ale: the tasty potion that’s brewed with devotion
Most everyone knows about the monks who brew beer. Many also recognize the term Trappist Ale. Fewer recognize that Trappist is a special designation that applies to very few breweries in the world.So what’s going on with these crazy monks and their Trappist beer anyway?Monks have brewed beer for centuries. There are records across Europe of monasteries brewing their own beer, either to support themselves or to feed the local community. However, in the 1600s the Cistercian Order took the craft to the next level. In an attempt to rid the Order of its more liberal tendencies, the Abbot at La Trappe monastery in France invoked an edict that, among others things, required Cistercian abbeys to be self-sufficient. This, unintentionally and ironically, entrenched brewing as a way to sustain the monastery.The term Trappist Ale comes from this original monastery.Over the centuries, other orders slowly ceased their brewing practices, and by the 1800s the only monks who had a consistent tradition of brewing were those of the Cistercian Order. It wasn’t until the early-20th century, though, that the tradition broke into the commercial beer world.Today, Trappist Ales have a recogniza