Monday, 30 May 2011

May 30, 2011

197)  Home:  Old Ruby Ale 1905 by Duchy Originals of England:  *1/2;  brewed with an English barley first used in 1905;  nicely balanced;  served me well as a lawn-mower beer today;

May 29, 2011

196)  Home:  Chipotle Ale by Rogue Brewery of Oregon, U.S.A.:  *1/2;  I needn't have feared this one:  the chiptole is subtle and serves to add a layer of flavour and (mild) aroma;  it wasn't burning hot as I might have imagined;

Saturday, 28 May 2011

May 28, 2011

194)  C'est What in Toronto:  Cabin Fever IPA by Muskoka Cottage Brewery of Ontario:  **;  here is where keeping notes has helped me - I am certain that this cannot be the IPA I tried in April at the Twisted Kilt;  this one is less citrusy, rather it is earthy and slightly bitter;  I think the one I had in April was a one-off;

195)  Home:  Banana Bread Beer by Wells and Young of England:  **;  it's a bit of a goof on the concept of beer as liquid bread;  brewed with bananas and it shows in both the aroma and the taste;  it's perfect for after dinner;

May 27, 2011

193)  C'est What in Toronto:  IPA by Cheshire Valley of Ontario:  **;  mildly hopped compared with other IPAs;  faint sweet chocolate notes

Thursday, 26 May 2011

May 26, 2011

192)  Home:  Triple by Brakspear Brewing of England:  **:  pours dark brown;  malty with hints of banana and dried fruit;

May 25, 2011

191)  Home:  Golden Ale by St. Peter's Brewery of England:  *1/2;  Grainy, slightly yeasty;  came along with the Red in a gift pack with a special glass;  I am a sucker for that sort of thing:  I love to buy them and I enjoy receiving them as gifts;  I am accumulating a fair number of special glasses;

May 24, 2011

189)  Caffe Volo in Toronto:  Dopplebock by Les Trois Mousquetaires of Quebec:  **;  warming alcohol notes;  finishes with faint taste of bitter cherry;

190)  Caffe Volo:  Russian Imperial Stout by Wellington County Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  bold mocha flavours with hints of fruit and muted alcohol notes;

Monday, 23 May 2011

May 23, 2011

188)  Home:  Stuart's Natural Session Ale by Scotch Irish Brewing of Ontario:  **1/2;  pours blonde with very fine bubbles;  mild scent of sweet fruit;  mildly hopped, finished with notes of brown sugar and yeast;  reminds me of the English style bitters I used to seek out;

Also by Scotch Irish is their John By Imperial Stout which the Volo has regularly, except when I'm there - I will keep trying.

May 22, 2011

187)  Home:  Tusker by East African Breweries Group of Kenya:  **;  brewed with 100% African ingredients;  yeasty nose, leafty, slightly minerally taste;  a crisp lager that goes well with Indian food;

Saturday, 21 May 2011

May 21, 2011

185)  Home:  Traditional Pilsner by Creemore Springs:  *1/2;  back in the day, Creemore made only the one beer, this is a recent addition to the line;  it is crisp and malty - a lawn-mower beer to be sure but with a bit of class;

186)  Home:  Tripel by Abbey de Maredsous of Belgium:  **1/2;  fruity aroma;  sweet and fruity taste, little hint of the 10% alcohol;  the finish is cherry;

May 20, 2011

184)  Home:  Corporal's Bitter Brown Ale by Scotch Irish Brewing of Ontario:  **1/2;  I seem to recall that this was once called Corporal Punishment (the LCBO up to its old tricks again?);  pours brown/borderline amber;  the nose is mocha and caramel;  the taste is strong mocha with hints of caramel finishing with dried fruit;  it's everything I look for in a stout, oddly enough, only in a brown ale;

May 19, 2011

183)  Home:  Ruby Red Ale by St. Peter's Brewery of England:  *1/2;  starts with notes of brown sugar, off-set by bitter spice notes;  malty

I'm half-way there!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

May 18, 2011

182)  Home:  Skjalfti by Olvisholt Brugghus of Iceland:  *1/2;  it's sort of a continental lager but with something extra;  hints of fruit to the nose and grainy flavours

May 17, 2011

181)  Home:  Beaver River I. P. Eh? by Beau's All Natural Brewing of Ontario:  **;  Very strongly hopped to both the nose and the palate;  the night of the Spring IPA Festival at the Burger Bar and Tequila Tavern (and I do feel the need to say the full name every time) they had this set up so that it ran through an enamel cask of hops on the way to the glass;  I cannot attest either way to how well this works; 

I wonder when the push-back in reaction to all these aggressively hopped IPAs will start and where it will come from - I am already hearing rumblings in reaction to all those beers of late that have been aged in oak casks formerly used to age scotch, etc.

May 16, 2011

180)  C'est What in Toronto:  Texas Tea Stout by Neustadt Springs Brewery of Ontario:  ***;  Hurrah!  I found it at last!;  I concede that the fact that it is so hard to find may contribute to my infatuation with this stout - I haven't seen this one since the Fall;  very dark with mocha and honey/caramel in both the nose and taste;  my favourite stout;

Sunday, 15 May 2011

May 15, 2001

179)  Home:  Orange Peel Ale by Great Lakes Brewery of Ontario:  **;  The story is that they found an erstwhile tobacco farmer with an infrared drying machine which enabled them to process as much as two hundred pounds of orange peels, or any other desired fruit or vegetable for that matter;  also brewed with honey;  being brewed with the peel and not the pulp, the flavours are very subtle and refreshing;  it would make for a classy patio beer;

As luck would have it, and as you can plainly tell, I did not die today but instead I crushed my personal best by over ninety seconds - not bad for fifty.

I edited that May 11th post again to see what would happen and it re-appeared at the top again!  This has not happened with any of the others I have modified so by way of a series of copy & pastes and deletions things are again back in order.  It really was starting to bother me.

May 14, 2011

I have generally avoided getting off topic but by way of explanation, there are no new beers today as I am running 21.1km tomorrow.  As it happens, I am bad luck in that in about half of the major runs I have done (if you knew how I placed you would understand why I don't call them races) someone has died.  In case it is me tomorrow, I'll bet this last post doesn't go viral like the fellow we've been reading about lately so, to take Dorothy Parker's advice, I may as well live.

May 13, 2011

Well, how do you like that?  I edited a post and now things are out of order because it was treated like a new post.  My apologies.  Unless and until certain people get their act together I will have to be careful to get it right the first time.  I know for a fact that I have corrected spelling errors as recently as yesterday without this happening.  With luck this will be sorted out, much the same way yesterday's disappearing posts were and this paragraph becomes unnecessary.

Good and bad news locally.  It seems as though my local pub is re-thinking the idea of Friday night "comedy" after a notorious evening in which performers failed to tailor their act to the audience, in this case the seniors and families with children who were in the room.  I missed the night in question.

The bad news is that it looks like time is running out for Heritage Ale.  It might be a case of being introduced too soon.  I pictured this one as a patio beer but it debuted in the middle of winter.  Also, people are asking where the Keith's went.  It sounds like that is what people would rather buy and I am part of the problem myself - out of habit I have stuck with Old Mill but now it becomes a matter of enjoying it while I still can.

May 12, 2011

178) Home: Kostritzer Schwarzbier by Kostritzer Schwarzbierbraueri of Germany: *1/2; Pours very dark with earthy, malty notes;

May 11, 2011

177) Home:  Erdinger Weisbier Dunkel by Erdinger Weissbrau of Germany:  **;  this is a dark wheat beer, with a lasting head of fine bubbles;  there are hints of sweetness, dried fruit and chocolate;  malty but not overly so;

Saturday, 14 May 2011

May 10, 2011

I need not have been embarassed to have tasted Labatt's 50 at the Linsmore.  At the 8th annual Ontario Brewing Awards a panel of Beer Judge Certification Program approved judges selected 50 for the Gold in the Cream Ale category.  It also won the People's Choice in said category.  The full story is at
if you prefer.

I am definitely going back for more of Ontario's finest cream ale, though I may keep that bit of trivia to myself, along with anything else I might be tempted to say, for safety's sake.

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

May 9, 2011

176)  Home:  Gouden Carolus Hopsinjoor by Brouwerij Het Anker of Belgium:  **;  Brewed with four varieties of hops;  yeasty nose gives way to earthy hop flavours;

Sunday, 8 May 2011

May 8, 2011

175)  Home:  Nobel Dry Hopped by Bierbrouwerij Sin Christoffel B.V. of the Netherlands:  **;  Nobel refers to the nobel hops used;  at 8.7% it is strong but with a pleasant aroma and taste;  well balanced;

May 7, 2011

174)  Sin and Redemption in Toronto:  La Trappe/Koninghoeven Quadrupel by Bierbrouwerij Konongshoeven B.V.:  ***;  I've given my top three so let's say that with Urthel Hop-It this is a top five beer;  warm, fruity aroma and taste, only a touch sweet;  this one is 10% but you can't taste the alcohol so be warned;  this is absolutely the perfect glass at the end of an evening;  it's one to contemplate and savour;

Saturday, 7 May 2011

May 6, 2011

171)  Ten Feet Tall in Toronto: Cobblestone Stout by Mill Street Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  slightly sweet with notes of mocha;  this is one of my favourite Ontario stouts;

172)  Ten Feet Tall:  Hoptical Illusion Almost Pale Ale by Flying Monkeys Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  lots of hops to the nose and taste, but not nearly so extreme as their Smashbomb;  it's one to savour and it will likely be enjoyed by a wider audience which can only be a Good Thing;

173)  Linsmore Tavern in Toronto:  50 by Labatts of Ontario: *;  well, it was cold...

I can explain.  In Notes On A Beermat, Nicholas Pashley cites the Linsmore as possibly Toronto's last remaining old school tap-room and a visit has been on my list for a long time.  When I saw that it was almost across the street from where we were going out to eat I had to drop in, though I did so alone.  I have a feeling someone was expecting to see me flying out a window but I survived, even if I didn't exactly blend in.  There were two taps, both reading 50, the glasses were tiny and the decor was Spartan.  I wasn't used to getting so much change back, either.  I later calculated that I left a 73% tip (and this on top of the tax) which is OK because the next time I am in the area I am going to repeat the experience.

Ten Feet Tall, by the way, is fun and kitschy right down to the menu.  They are housed inside old LP covers.

May 5, 2011

The opening round match-ups are set for the 3rd Ontario Cask IPA Challenge:

The winner of the first Challenge in 2009 was Duggan's Number 9 IPA.  As fashionable as it was to knock Duggan's beers, it goes to show what a blind tasting can achieve.

I was able to make it out for the final round of the 2010 Challenge.  By this point in the festivities, it was not a blind taste test and I ended up narrowly favouring Smashbomb Atomic IPA by Flying Monkeys (formerly the Robert Simpson Brewing Company) over Great Lakes' My Bitter Wife.  The Great Lakes was the eventual winner but not by much.

This year's Challenge is on the same weekend as the Mississauga Marathon, not to mention the Toronto International Marathon.  Self-preservation dictates that I am likely to give this a miss.

May 4, 2011

How the mighty have fallen.  I have been keeping an eye on in the hope of seeing some news of the appearance of a mixed pack from Dead Frog Brewery of British Columbia.  No luck so far but the rumour is it will happen in May.  Fishing around a bit, I spotted Labatt's Blue listed as a discount brand!

Discount brands are the retirement community of beers.  I almost felt a touch of regret.  Blue was once the biggest selling, not to mention most heavily advertised, beer in Canada.  I couldn't stand the stuff and the after-taste put me off even more.  It looks as though once the ads stopped, so did the buying - not the first example of this in the beer world but certainly one of the more extreme.

May 3, 2011

168)  Duke of York, Toronto:  Cream Ale by Muskoka Cottage Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  nicely balanced;  light, but not "lite";  a good summer beer;

169)  Duke of York:  Happy Hour Ale by Hop City of Ontario:  *1/2;  I liked this more than the Barking Squirrel, mentioned earlier;  I thought I caught faint notes of carbonated chocolate, even a touch of hops;

170)  Caffe Volo, Toronto:  Brown Ale by Mill Street Brewery of Ontario:  **;  a bit maltier and paler than I would have expected from this brewer and that name;  this is more in the English style, a touch leafy with hints of caramel/honey;

I should mention that this is the Duke of York just North of the University of Toronto, where I attended a concert, and not the similarly named, more Eastern establishment;

May 2, 2011

167)  Home:  Triple (White Cap) by S. A. Bieres de Chimay of Belgium:  **;  Brewed at Scourmont Abbey, a Trappist monastery;  notes of hops and yeast;  undergoes further fermentation in the bottle;  proceeds support the Trappist community's charitable works;

Monday, 2 May 2011

May 1, 2011

166)  Home:  Pale Ale by the Black Creek Historical Brewery of Ontario:  **;  my first thought was that this was strongly hopped for an ale brewed in the authentic 1800s style but it might be a case of me needing to adjust some pre-conceptions;

April 30, 2011

165)  Home:  Propeller Extra Special Bitter by The John Allen Brewing Co. Ltd. of Nova Scotia:  **;  a well balanced English style ESB;

Two hundred more to reach my goal.  I don't think I can name two hundred beers.

April 29, 2011

160)  C'est What in Toronto:  Steve's Dreaded Chocolate Orange by C'est What:  **1/2;  very nearly a three star beer;  I often think this should be served in a bowl and consumed with a spoon;  the orange is subtle and overall it is thick and rich and chocolatey.

161)  C'est What:  Northumberland Ale by Church Key of Ontario:  *1/2;  a self-styled throw-back to the Canadian ales of the 1950s and 60s;  it would be fair to say that this IS your father's beer, then;  I found it a bit grassy, earthy;  I hear tell it is a hit at the local Legion;

162)  Burger Bar & Tequila Tavern in Toronto:  Chuck Noris Roundhouse IPA by Taps Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  That is not a spelling mistake, just the one "R" in Norris;  it does not seem to have kept the lawyers away, however, and this will soon be called Sinister Sam's Insane IPA;  I may have drank one of the last glasses of Chuck Noris IPAs if this is true;  strong hop aromas and flavour;  it doesn't knock you over the way Smashbomb Atomic IPA does but one does not always need to be knocked over;  it is a very strong IPA, in all senses of the word;

163)  Burger Bar & Tequila Tavern:  Augusta Ale by Kensington Brewing Company of Ontario:  **;  Kensington is the creation of the owner of the Burger Bar, similar to the way Ralph of the Volo has gone into brewing;  best termed nano-breweries, they operate from a corner of the back of the restaurant, though I hear tell Kensington is having the Augusta brewed under contract until things are fully operational;  an English style ale, moderately hopped;

164)  Burger Bar & Tequila Tavern:  Sgt. Major IPA by Scotch Irish Brewing of Ontario, although as mentioned earlier, this was bought up by Kichesippi of Ontario:  **;  faintly yeasty nose;  more subtlety to this than many modern IPAs;

I checked out the Burger Bar's Spring IPA Festival after the concert;  this is becoming a must visit venue for craft beer fans;  knowing it would be hard to limit myself to just a couple, there were a lot of half pints today.

This is an example of where I part ways with the previously cited 1000 beers in one year project.  The owner poured me a sample of a gluten-free maple bock but as it was only a couple of ounces I am not listing it here.

April 28, 2011

158)  Trio Ristorante in Brampton:  Cream Ale by Sleeman of Ontario (now owned by Sapporo of Japan):  *1/2;  There was a time when this was as good as it got;  the beer world has changed and so has this one;  it's not so distinctively minerally as it once was but as often as not, it is the best choice available when I am not choosing the location;

159)  Trio:  Draught by Sleeman:  *;  yeasty and not particularly inspiring; 

This was a branch social, just as the visit to Fanzorelli's two months back was.  Sadly, the Weihenstephan tap was not working.

April 27, 2011

Since I have listed Delirium Tremens and Smashbomb Atomic IPA as top three beers you might be wondering as to the third.  It has been several months since I have spotted Texas Tea by Neustadt Springs.  When I was last at C'est What they said they have only seen two or three casks all year and an inquiry seven days ago  to the brewery yielded this auto-reply: 

Thank you for your enquiry. We will get back to you as soon as possible.
If you are a label collector please send a stamped address envelope to:
Public Relations Department
P.O.Box 248
Neustadt ,Ontario
N0G 2M0, Canada

Helpful, but not an answer.  I remain hopeful.