Sunday, 19 May 2013

January 21, 2013

17/665)  Home:  Two Captains Double IPA by Nøgne Ø of Norway:  **;

8.5% abv;  The name of the brewery translates as naked island, a term which traces to Ibsen;  it refers to the terrain of Norway's south coast where the brewery is located;  strong piney nose;  a hop forward, standard issue IPA;

From the label:  "What on earth is a double IPA?  The term is kind of mis-leading because there really is no double anything." 

Part of the LCBO's featured brewery line.

January 20, 2013

15/663)  Home:  Altbier - Collaboration Ale, 25th Anniversary Limited Edition by Creemore Springs of Ontario:  *1/2;  a Düsseldrof style altbier ("old beer") brewed in partnership with Zum Schlüssel;  bready nose with a touch of central European  hops;  crisp tasting, would make for a refreshing summer beer;

16/664)  Home:  BNL Chocolate Imperial Stout by Flying Monkeys of Ontario:  **;  Treble Clef Series Beer 1;  a collaboration with the band Bare Naked Ladies;  brewed with Ecuadorian cocoa nibs; checks in at 10%;  very strong chocolate aroma - I could sense it with the glass sitting on the table in front of me;  very chocolaty but not overly sweet;  rich, thick mouthfeel;  it's a 750 ml bottle so this one is for sharing;

Would you believe I forgot to snap a photo of this one?  Shame that - the box was all sorts of fun so I will have to ask readers to do a Google search.

January 19, 2013

13/661)  Indie Ale House, Toronto:  Instigator IPA by the Indie Ale House of Ontario:  **1/2;  flavours and nose are earthy and citrusy but not over the top;  a smooth drinking, hop-forward IPA;

14/662)  Indie Ale House, Toronto:  Jump The Shark by the Indie Ale House of Ontario:  **;  billed as a dark, American Strong beer (9.5%);  basically, it is a dark IPA;  under-stated hop nose and flavours;  maltier than most IPAs with very subtle chocolate notes;

The Indie Ale House is a nice addition to the craft beer scene.  It is located in Toronto's Junction district, which until 2000 was a dry area.  Lots of exposed brick inside - it looks a tad unfinished, if truth be told.  The service was good and there is a retail area where beer can be purchased for home consumption.  I was very tempted to try their Three Hour Tour, brewed with coconut and raspberries and I am definitely going to stick around for something to eat next time I visit.

I also visited the Junction Craft Brewery this day, located in a somewhat foreboding industrial/warehouse  area.  A very nice place, well worth a visit.  I will be going back again.  I picked up a growler and a couple of 500ml bottles.  You an also drink their wares on tap.  They have nothing but kind words for the beerbistro who have supported them, and their flagship Junction Conductor's Craft Ale, from the beginning.  As you might guess, the room is very much railway themed and so are the names of their beers.  Check out

Saturday, 18 May 2013

January 18, 2013

From their current menu I learned of a second Toronto location for the 3 Brewers, coming towards the end of this year at 120 Adelaide Street West in the Richmond-Adelaide Centre.

It is a safe bet that this location will draw a radically different crowd than the one on Yonge Street just south of Dundas Square and across from the Eaton Centre though I will be interested to learn how long after quitting time it will stay busy. 
Seeing how much closer it is to Union Station, and my ride in and out of town, it's a safe bet that I will be visiting this location more frequently than the current one. 

The Richmond-Adelaide Centre is not on my "PATH" map so it may not be reachable from Union without stepping outside but even if it isn't I can get pretty close.  I am looking forward to paying a visit.

January 17, 2013

11/659)  Sin and Redemption:  St.-Feuillien Grand Cru by Brasserie St.-Feuillien of Belgium:  **;  this was a bottled beer;  9.5%;  pours pale and hazy;  undergoes a secondary fermentation in the bottle;  the nose and flavours are spicy and fruity with a yeasty scent;

12/660)  Sin and Redemption:  Rodenbach Grand Cru by Brouwerij Rodenbach of Belgium:  **;  another bottled selection;  this is a blend, one third young beer and two thirds older beer, matured in oak;  yeasty, sweet citrusy (orange) nose;  cidery, sparkling wine flavours;  6%;

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

January 16, 2013

Well if this doesn't beat everything - how about Wurst Idea Ever, by F & M Brewery, brewed with Brussels sprouts and smoked meat?  It regret to report that I cannot attest to this one.  Well, maybe.

January 15, 2013

10/658)  Home:  Our Special Ale 2012 (Merry Christmas Happy New Year) by Anchor Brewing Company of California:  **1/2;  this is the 38th edition of this beer;  has a deep rich, brown colour;  the nose is sweet, dark sugar and yeast;  tastes remotely Belgian;  this one is indeed special;  another of the beers picked up by my son while he was on a co-op work term in the San Francisco area;

January 14, 2013

9/657)  Home:  Matt's Sleepy Time Belgian Imperial Stout by Beau's All Natural Brewing of Ontario:  *1/2;  Wild Oats Series 01;  8% abv;  it pours black as night;  the nose is Belgian yeast, cloves, roasted coffee;  tastes of cloves with a hint of banana and mild, astringent coffee notes;  I am not convinced that adding Belgian yeast to anything and everything is a good idea, much in the same way that adding hops and more hops to everything does not always work for me.

January 13, 2013

7/655)  Home:  Screamin' Beaver Oak Aged Double IPA by Beau's All Natural Brewing of Ontario:  **1/2;  this is from their Wild Oats series, number 03;  has a sharp, citrusy nose and delicious, hop forward flavours;  from their mix pack; 

The cashier at the Queen's Quay LCBO ran to the back to get this for me - it wasn't even on the shelf yet.  We had got to talking - he has actually visited the brewery.  A few guys basically bought a farm and it was a slow day when he showed up so everyone sat down and had a beer.

8/656)  Home:  Anchor Steam Beer by Anchor Brewing Company of California:  *1/2;  has a biscuity, malty nose;  considering who it is from, this is a bit ordinary;

Anchor dates back to 1896 but they became a force when Fritz Maytag, of that Maytag family bought the brewery in the 1960s.  Often when I am enjoying a craft beer I raise my glass in a silent toast to Mr. Maytag as I might not be drinking such good beer if not for him.

January 12, 2013

More name changes, this time from Lake of Bays.  Their Pale Ale is now called Crosswind and Rousse becomes Sparkling House Red.

January 11, 2013

For those of you keeping track at home, Hop City's Happy Hour is now known as Big Mouth.  It is roundly suspected that this was the price of being listed at the LCBO.

January 10, 2013

6/654)  Home:  Mokah by Southern Tier of New York, U.S.A.:  **1/2;  brewed with chocolate and coffee;  it's a strong one - 11.5%;  sweet mocha flavours off-set to a degree by the alcohol;

January 9, 2013

5/653)  Home:  Oktoberfest by Les Trois Mousquetaires of Quebec:  *1/2;  a 6% copper coloured lager with a sweet malty nose and a touch of herbs;

Sunday, 5 May 2013

January 8, 2013

4/652)  Home:  Island Lager by Granville Island Brewing of British Columbia:  *1/2;  a typical malty lager;  from the Winter Mingler mixed pack

January 5, 2013

Last night when I got on the bus to Union Station the fellow I sat beside opened with, "How did you like the beer?".  It turns out he was next in line after me at the Crossroads LCBO waiting in the cold to buy Westvleteren 12.  You never know who you are going to sit next to on a bus.

I was on my way to the Rex to see the Jive Bombers. They are a terrific ensemble, incredibly talented and all sorts of fun.  Where else will you hear the Sanford and Son theme these days? 

One of many things I like about the Rex is how very many servers they have working, both behind the bar and on the floor.  If you are in need of a glass you will be looked after very promptly.

A couple of links for Toronto jazz fans: and  I learned of this just recently from the Pilot's website and I have a feeling it will become indispensable:

January 4, 2013

3/651)  C'est What:  Hogwild IPA by Hogtown Brewery of Toronto:  **;  6.2%;  floral piney nose;  refreshing bitter, resiny hop notes; 

January 3, 2013

2/650)  Home:  Hefeweissbier Dunkel by Bayerische Staatsbrauerei Weihenstephan of Germany:  *1/2;  the label informs that this is the "world's oldest brewery";  rich, malty nose;  mild smokiness with sweet biscuity notes;

January 2, 2013

1/649)  Home:  Vintage Lager by Hogsback Brewing Company of Ontario:  *1/2;  pours  pale amber;  Saaz hops to the nose with a hint of fruity, biscuity sweetness;  nice balance;

January 1, 2013

It's a new year and I have dug myself into another hole.  I have my pen and ink notes so it's a mere matter of catching up but the fact is, it is hard for me to get near the computer these days when I do have the time for such frivolities.

Too, I wonder if achieving my 365 in 365 goal has left me without a focus.  I am open to suggestions for a similar stunt.

Looking back on 2012 the highlights seem stacked towards the close of the year what with the Westvleteren 12 quest and New Years Eve at the Volo.

A favourite spot, the Burger Bar and Tequila Tavern has been sold and to date no one is sure what will emerge.  That was always a great place to visit.  The story I heard is that when Brock bought the Rice Bar he envisioned himself being kept busy as a mixologist but instead the craft beer crowd made it their own and he has decided to focus on brewing beer, after starting out by experimenting in the corner of the kitchen.  See  One can only wish the very best for such a fine fellow as Brock.

I am already missing the Oh My Goodness This Might Just Kill Me burger.  Never mind, I get to keep the memories.