Saturday, 31 December 2016

December 18, 2016

232/1817) Home:  Gouden Carolus Classic by Brouwerij Het Anker of Belgium:  **1/2;  8.5%;  pours dark chocolate brown;  strong burnt sugar nose;  burnt sugar, molasses flavours;

This is the second of the boxed set that I have not previously enjoyed.

233/1818)  Home:  Root of Evil Prohibition Lager by Whipsnapr Brewing Co. of Ontario:  *;  4.5%, 27 ibu;  a pre-prohibition lager;  smokey nose;  mild smoky flavours;  not a particularly strong anti-prohibition argument;

December 17, 2016

231/1816) Home:  Gouden Carolus Ambrio by Brouwerij Het Anker of Belgium:  **1/2;  8.0%;  dark amber;  dark sugar nose;  flavours of dark, singed sugar, warming alcohol;  sweet fruity finish;

Part of this boxed set, with a branded glass.

December 14, 2016

230/1815) Home:  Deep Tracks American Brown Ale by Flying Monkeys of Ontario:  **;  6.2%, 45 ibu;  described on the tin as, "an alluvial brown" and "a folksy craft beer" - I would term it a "Brown IPA";  very piney nose;  the brown ale flavours are largely overshadowed by all those hops but it's interesting just the same;

December 13, 2016

229/1814) Home:  Midnight Bock by Lake of Bays Brewing Company of Ontario:  **;  from their Wild North series;  5.5%;  the usual four ingredients plus malted wheat and molasses;  grainy, roasted malt nose;  roasty flavours, sweet after taste;

December 11, 2016

228/1813) Home:  Blue Collar Pale Ale by The Hamilton Brewery of Ontario:  **;  5.5%;  pours perfectly clear; in the English style with a sweet malty nose and a dry hop bite at the finish;

The Hamilton Brewery is a contract brewery.  The brewing took place at Railway City in St. Thomas.

December 8, 2016

227/1812) The 3 Brewers, Adelaide Street:  Festive Ale by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  ***;  6.5%, 42 ibu;  I am vaguely reminded of the late, lamented Winter Warmer and indeed the 3 Brewers' website indicates that this beer was modeled after British Strong Ales, "the precursor to Winter Warmers and other Festive Ales';  spice, malty alcohol nose;  warming sweet spice with a touch of alcohol and hops towards the close, which makes things even more warming;

I did give this one my 3 pint glass rating as I have gone out of my way since to enjoy another glass.

December 2, 2016

225/1810) C'est What:  Shinnicked Stout by Muskoka Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  5.2%, 19 ibu;   brewed in collaboration with Muskoka Roastery using their Lumberjack Coffee;  mocha nose, grainy roasty flavours;

The rating may be a bit unfair (and I did want to like this one more) but the sad fact is this was up against some uncommonly tough competition.  I was here for the St-Ambroise Stout Impériale Russe which comes to Ontario once a year, if that, and is yet another reason to treasure the winter.

Shinnicked is "that numbing, gasp-for-breath feeling you get when you plunge into a Muskoka lake for a chilly late night dip in the fall or walk outside on a -20 winter day".  I imagine with all the skating I do I spend a good deal of time in a "shinnicked" state but there is nothing like diving under the covers in such a state at the end of the day.

I will give this another go under less unfavourable conditions.

226/1822) C'est What:  Shakedown APA by Big Rig of Ontario:  **;  75 ibu, 5.6%;  piney nose;  earthy, piney flavours;  astringent after taste;

December 1, 2016

224/1809) Home:  Everyday IPA brewed by me in Ontario:  ***;

As you might imagine, this is a tough one for me to objectively rate.

This came about as a result of a confluence of things.  I have long wanted to brew beer and the action of planting a hop vine in my backyard pretty much committed me to it.  Brooklyn Brew Shop's kits come highly recommended for beginners and the fact that I was able to buy one from Chapters-Indigo with free shipping and five dollars off pushed me off the fence.

Back in the day, you needed to make an awful lot of beer at one time and my worry was if I made a bad batch it would be quite a drain-pour.  The Everyday IPA kit was designed to make one gallon of beer and it came with almost everything I needed.  I ended up buying a second stockpot (I am considering buying a third) and a funnel.  I decided for next time out it would be helpful to have a strainer a size or two larger than the one I was using.

The customer support I received was only outstanding.  My questions were answered very promptly.  It is easy to see why the Brooklyn Brew Shop is so highly regarded.

The result is a bit of an up front cost of entry and I did calculate the price on a per glass basis and that is all I am going to say about it save for the fact that it will reduce with subsequent batches.

I have taken several brewery tours but now I can say I really know how to make beer.  There is nothing like the experience when it comes to learning.  I think from here on in I will try to use my own hops and limit myself to purchasing the barley, yeast and - very important -  the sanitizer.

I was left with an awful lot of spent grain but, here again, the Brooklyn Brew Shop has a number of helpful recipes on their website.  Spent grain adds a certain nutty flavour to baked goods and even if my family was tiring of my efforts I couldn't get enough of the cheddar scones, among other treats.  It did leave me wondering how those people I met at Rainhard last month dealt with five times as much spent grain.

Storing up my own ice over the course of a week saved me the expense of buying a bag and I had accumulated enough swing-top bottles to suit my needs.  I learned why this variety of bottle was recommended - my beer was certainly not lacking for carbonation.  By the third bottle I had learned to plan ahead and visit the bottle every five minutes over the course of an hour (!) to spare by-standers.

About that beer, I could smell the honey I added prior to the aging process.  There was a good grainy, malty backbone and a dry, bitter hop aftertaste.

The whole experience was great fun.  I can't wait to do it again.

Friday, 30 December 2016

November 28, 2016

223/1808) Home:  Monogamy Single Hop Pale Ale:  Centennial by Bellwoods Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  6.4%;  cloudy orange colour;  bright citrusy flavours;  fresh citrusy nose;

Thursday, 29 December 2016

November 26, 2016

222/1807) Home:  Gingerbread Stout by Black Creek Historic Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  5%;  strong ginger nose, even after an extra week of aging on my part;  brewed with ginger, cinnamon, cloves, molasses;  strong ginger and spice flavours against a rich stout backdrop;

I picked this one up at Black Creek Pioneer Village - well worth the drive.

November 22, 2016

221/1806) Home:  Hop Burst Galaxy by Junction Craft Brewing of Ontario:  **1/2;  3.5%, 58 ibu;  tropical, citrusy nose which carries over to the flavours;  mildly sweet finish;

November 20, 2016

220/1805) Home:  Hop Burst Wai-Iti by Junction Craft Brewing of Ontario:  **1/2;  from their Hop Series;  4.5%, 45 ibu;  a new hop to me, it turns out it is from New Zealand - their hops have a chance to shake up the world of beer to an extent not seen since the explosion in popularity of North American West Coast hops;  as is regularly the case with JCB, there is a strong malty backbone to the nose and palate;  mildly tropical, citrusy (lime) flavours;

Monday, 19 December 2016

November 19, 2016

219/1804) Home:  Citradelic Single Hop IPA by Big Rock Brewing of Alberta:  **;  6%, 67 ibu;  more musty green tea than citrus to the nose and flavours;  maybe it was too long in transit or too big a batch;

November 18, 2016

218/1803) Home:  Burnout Dry Hopped Pale by Rainhard Brewing Co. of Ontario:  **1/2;  5.6%, 50 ibu;  cloudy blonde colour;  bright citrusy nose;  citrusy, lemon notes;

Purchased at their "Learn to Brew" event.

November 17, 2016

217/1802) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Mr. Deepu's Neighbourhood by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **; this Thursday's Brewer's reserve cask;  "Blonde avec juniper, chai, black pepper, licorice";   cloudy, low carbonation;  Chai tea, juniper nose;  the pepper remains in the background until the finish, same for the licorice;  it's almost citrusy like a wit beer;

November 13, 2016

216/1801) Home:  Return of the Mumme by Beau's All Natural Brewing of Ontario:  **;  a 5.8% medieval Mumme ale;  Wild Oats Series No. 55;  brewed with the usual four ingredients (including hops, which I wasn't expecting in a medieval style ale) plus red clover blossom, mugwort, dandelion root, caraway seed, black tea, marjoram, cloves and thyme;  pours chestnut;  spiced herbal nose;  very rooty, especially dandelion root;  most unusal;

Sunday, 13 November 2016

November 12, 2016

215/1800) Home:  Remembrance Red by Royal City Brewing of Ontario:  *1/2;  5%, 25 ibu;  unfiltered;  pours reddish brown;   very malty nose;  malt, mild spice, minerally notes; a tiny bit nondescript but it seems like it would goes well with food; one dollar from the sale of each bottle goes to Wounded Warriers;

Had I remembered that the next two Remembrance Days are going to be on weekends I might have taken the opportunity to attend the ceremony at Fort York again but after the Brampton ceremony I went to Tracks (which is why this one wasn't consumed on the 11th) and ran into an acquaintance who had served in both the Navy and the Army.  This may not be as rare as I might have imagined as there is another regular with a similar resume.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

November 9, 2016

213/1798) Home:  Schadenfreude Pumpkin Oktoberfest by Parallel 49 of British Columbia:  **;  5%;  brewed with Munich and Pilsner hops, pumpkin;  mild pumpkin nose;  pumpkin flavours and malt with pumpkin pie spices, especially towards the finish;

214/1799) Home:  Ball's Falls Session IPA by Bench Brewing Company of Ontario:  **1/2;  4.5%;  "crafted in the escarpment" (Beamsville to be precise);  brewed with barley and wheat;  wonderful citrusy nose;  citrusy, nearly floral flavours with a very mildly dry finish;  .

My wife had tried this before me and she was crazy about it.  The cashier at the LCBO knew and liked Ball's Falls though she expressed the hope the beer wasn't brewed with the water from the falls.

November 8, 2016

211/1796)  Home:  Rambler IPA by Goose Island Beer Co. of Ontario:  **;  6.7%;  brewed with barley and wheat;  nose of green tea and pine;  peach, pine flavours;

212/1797) Home:  Dunkel Fester by Wychwood Brewery of England:  **;  4.4%;  the label reads, "disturbingly dark" and "'tis the season of mischief";  brewed with barley, wheat, oats;  very English malty nose;  nutty flavours with a hint of fruit at the finish;

November 6, 2016

210/1795) Rainhard Brewing Company:  Hearts Collide Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout:  **1/2;  11%, 90 ibu;  the nose is bitter cherries, alcohol, dark coffee;  notes of vanilla and bourbon but it's not so sweet as these can often be;  alcohol and vanilla finish;

It turns out that the first Saturday of November is Learn To Brew Day and Rainhard was hosting this opportunity to meet home brewers and ask questions of them.  This is very well timed for me.  I learned that it is not a bad thing that the contents of my growler were very murky and neither is it bad that the bowl of sanitized water at the end of my blow-off tube was pretty cloudy as well.  It simply means that my yeast is fermenting very vigorously.

Everyone there was using those five gallon pots that I have seen being used to deep fry turkeys.  The big advantage is temperature control is a lot easier than it is using a stove top as I did.

November 5, 2016

209/1794) Frankenstout Session Stout by Block Three Brewing Co. of Ontario:  *1/2;  5.0% - again, I am prompted to question the concept of a 5% 'session' stout;  mocha, mild roasted malt nose;  the flavours are a bit washed out -  sweet mocha, chocolate;

With so many exceptional stouts out there this suffers in comparison.

November 3, 2016

207/1792) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Helga's Shameful Birthday Surprise by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **1/2;  a Thursday cask;  brewed with cherries, cocoa, vanilla;  very dark;  sweet chocolate nose, almost like Nestle's Quik from in the day;  cherries are largely absent until the close;  strong, sweet chocolate and vanilla flavours;

I am reminded of Aphrodite but this one is sweeter.  Maybe Young;s Double Chocolate Stout (on draught) is closer.

208/1793) Home:  Lawrence of Arabica by Amager Bryghus of Denmark:  **;  a 7% coffee orange porter;  brewed with coffee beans and orange zest;  the nose is dark coffee with a hint of orange zest;  mostly dark, dark coffee favours;

Maybe all the good names for beers aren't taken after all.

Today is International Stout Day.

October 30, 2016

I sense a disaster in the works but the confluence of an Indigo Chapters gift card, free shipping and the offer of saving five dollars pushed me off the fence and I have purchased the highly recommended for beginners Brooklyn Brew Shop home brewing kit.  I felt the need to buy another stock pot and a bigger funnel and strainer as well.  Some day when I am in a frivolous mood I will calculate how much my first batch of beer has cost me per bottle.

An immediate benefit is that I have a fair bit of spent grain which I have dried and stored.  I have already baked a batch of spent grain and cheddar scones which have gone over well at home, save for with my daughter who finds anything remotely related to beer most revolting.  A couple of weeks ago I purchased a loaf of bread at the Montgomery's Inn Wednesday afternoon farmers' market which was made with spent grain from Black Creek's historic brewery.  I thought it was pretty terrific and I will definitely be searching for a recipe.

I bought the Everyday IPA kit.  It makes a gallon so if things go astray I won't be looking at too much bad beer.  I stuck to the rules the first time out but I plan to start clearing out the freezer and incorporating the hops I have been growing in my back yard.

Bottling is scheduled for mid-November.

October 29, 2016

205/1790) Great Lakes Brewery:  Swamp Juice #31 by Great Lakes Brewery of Canada:  **;  this one is a blend of Canuck Pale,  Karma Citra and 666 Devil's Pale Ale (which has quietly returned to the lineup);  pours a hazy burnt orange colour   it's maltier than GLB's swamp juice usually is;  a blend of hops to the nose;  malty and citrusy;

206/1791) Home:  Across The Pond English Special Ale by High Park Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  5.5%, 42 ibu;  sweet malty brown ale nose;  an odd one - it's a lot like an ESB but with prominent dry hop bitterness in the European pilsner style, especially towards the finish;

The name is double-barreled.  High Park in Toronto is an enormous park inside the city.  It is popular with runners and cyclists who get a real workout from all those hills and Grenadier Pond is a prominent feature.  It's quite a bit larger than a pond, some 14.2 hectares or 35 acres if you prefer.  It is also a popular spot for skating, in defiance of a recent by-law.  I confess to being a scoff-law in that regard.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

October 25, 2016

204/1789) Home:  Tales From The Pumpkin Patch Pumpkin Porter by Big Rig of Ontario:  ***;  5.5%;  brewed with the usual four ingredients plus oats, pumpkin, lactose and "spices";  the tin reads, "It's like homemade pumpkin pie with whipped cream but better, because it's beer.";  chocolate coloured;  the nose is a blend of bubble gum, whipped cream, vanilla bean, cream soda, spices;  not a whole lot of pumpkin here but there are a whole lot of spices, especially cinnamon and nutme; also notes of root beer, vanilla;

I am crazy abut this one even if there isn't much porter or pumpkin involved.

The can is supposed to glow in the dark but it doesn't seem to be working for me,  Back in the day, Dead Guy Ale by Rogue had a glow in the dark bottle which actually did glow in the dark which was very cool.

October 23, 2016

I should be getting the word out about a new Kickstarter campaign for what is described as a "beer tasting tool for anyone who enjoys good beer" called Palate Deck.  It is designed by certified Cicerone and BJCP certified beer judge David Shea.

The campaign and a description can be found here:  Palate Deck Kickstarter

There is also more information here:

I'm in.

October 22, 2016

203/1788) Home:  Wild North Series Pumpkin Ale by Lake of Bays of Ontario:  **;  6%;  brewed with Magnum and Fuggles hops, pumpkin, "autumn spice", vanilla;  "partially filtered";  vanilla is a nice touch;  nose is all pumpkin;  tastes of pumpkin with spice, and vanilla appearing towards finish;

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

October 21, 2016

Rather an interesting event, or better put, an interestingly promoted event being put on by the Society of Beer Drinking Ladies.  Allow me to quote:  "Tickets to this festival are open to women:  if you identify as a woman, we will welcome you.  The SOBDL is an inclusive environment!"

How positively Orwellian to assert that exclusion is inclusive.  The main stream media, true to form, has taken the role of stenographers over that of journalists on the topic.  

I don't think one gets away with this sort of fashionable hate far from The Six (which I understand means six suburbs in search of a city).

I shall wait until I see a beer list before deciding if I identify as a woman, in the manner of David Menzies.  Please see  David Menzies Becomes A Woman

October 20, 2016

202/1787) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Somewhere Between Barry Gibb and the Midnight Blonde by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **1/2;  on cask;  brewed with lime peel, Galaxy and Nelson Sauvin hops;  fresh, strong Cabernet Sauvignon nose;  wine notes with a refreshing citrusy lime finish;

October 15, 2016

201/1786) Sonnenhof German Canadian Association, Brantford:  Spaten München by Beck and Co. of Germany:  *1/2;  5.2%;  very malty, very German;  this was from a tin;

We were in town for a wedding.  Interesting location for a Ricardian.  The club is located on Henry Street, where Stanley Street turns into Bosworth Court.

For non-Ricardians I will explain that Henry Beaufort defeated King Richard III at Bosworth Field.  Lord Stanley stayed out of the battle until he was sure which way the wind was blowing and entered in time to take as much credit as he could.

October 14, 2016

200/1785) Home:  Red Racer Spiced Pumpkin Ale by Central City Brewing of British Columbia:  **;  5%, 40 ibu;  brewed with Pumpkin and spices;  sweet, spiced nose;  notes of caramel and toffee;  the pumpkin is over shadowed by the spices;

The pumpkin beers have been on the shelves since the end of August but this is my first "new" one.

A old favourite has returned in a new bottle:

October 13, 2016

199/1784) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Bloody Ale by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **;  6.3%, 30 ibu;  a Hallowe'en ale brewed not with pumpkin but with beets;  the barmaid described it as a lot like their Amber but spicier;  malty, yeasty nose with a hint of spice;  notes of yeast, star anise, earthy root and spice after taste;  it's odd enough that I would want to try another;

October 12, 2016

198/1783) The House On Parliament, Toronto:  Juicy Ass IPA by Flying Monkeys of Ontario:  **1/2;  6.5%, 69 ibu;  citrusy nose;  bright, yes, juicy hops with a resiny finish;

The House On Parliament is a great place in a modesty dodgy, let's call it "interesting", part of town.  I gather it gets dodgier as you head south but they are trying hard to gentrify.  The biggest laugh of the night came after dinner when a local who had had more than me pointed to a parked Brinks truck and suggested we needed a designated driver.

October 10, 2016

197/1782) Home:  Forgotten Lake Blueberry Ale by Lake of the Woods of Ontario:  **;  7.7%;  blueberry seems to be in fashion this season;  moderately strong blueberry nose;  grainy, flavours of blueberries remain muted until the finish;

October 8, 2016

195/1780) Home:  One Ping Only by Beau's All Natural Brewing of Ontario:  **1/2;   8.5%, 34 ibu;  a Baltic Porter, Wild Oats Series No. 56;  brewed with rye malt and oats;  for a change it is not bourbon barrel aged and it does not suffer for this;  strong nose of alcohol, roasted malt, caramel, mild fruit;  bottled on Black Ribbon Day (August 23rd);  flavours of dark roasted malt and coffee;

Another one from the Beau's Oktoberfest four-pack.  I appreciated the reference to The Hunt For Red October.

196/1781) Home:  Tankenstein IPA by Mill Street Brewery of Ontario:  **;  7.0%, down from 7.5% last year, still 60 ibu and brewed with Nugget and Cascade hops;  somewhat re-tooled from last year - it's not quite the aggressive hop bomb I recall which is to say it stands out less but still it is pretty good;  earthy rooty nose and dry bitter earthy flavours;

From the Mill Street Harvest mixed pack:

October 6, 2016

192/1777) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Oak Aged Drunkin Pumpkin Munich by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **1/2;  a cask take on their seasonal Munich brewed with spiced rum and oak chips;  there is a good deal of sweetness from the oak along with mild pumpkin and spice;  it works, which I was not expecting;

193/1778) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Salted Maple Munich by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  *1/2; brewed with sea salt;  this was cask B of tonight's cask challenge;  given the saturation of our populace with sodium, I continue to be puzzled at how adding salt to everything ever from chocolate to caramel to beer became fashionable;  opens salty with a pumpkin and spice finish and mild maple throughout;

194/1779) Home:  Ginger Wolf by Beau's All Natural Brewing of Ontario:  *1/2;  from Beau's Oktoberfest assortment;  a 6.5% Ginger Hopfenweisse, Wild Oats series no. 67;  brewed with wheat and barley malts and ginger (all organic);   fresh ginger root nose;  the ginger is not so present in the flavours which are herbal and minerally;  very dry, bitter after taste;

This pretty accurately crystallizes my feelings about brewing with ginger:

October 3, 2016

191/1776) Home:  Ox Blood Ale by Highlander Brew Co. of Ontario:  *;  5.4%;   overwhelmingly malty and sweet;  almost like a Scotch ale but not quite there;

The label peels off to become a vinyl "soundsheet" of a Plague Vendor 45 rpm.  I cannot attest to the tune as yet but, as mentioned above, the beer is pretty ordinary.

September 27, 2016

No, as fate would have it I did not participate in the 2016 Toronto Beer Run two days ago.  I am working through an injury which does not stop me from running entirely but it is cutting down on my distances.

The course begins at the Biermarkt on Esplanade with stops at the 3 Brewers on Adelaide, the King Street Biermarkt, Steam Whistle, the 3 Brewers on Yonge Street and finally the Amsterdam Brewery - 11.3km in all.  I hope they had as many portapotties as they did for the Mississauga Marathon.

September 26, 2016

190/1775) Bar Volo:  Titania Bourbon Barrel Aged Imperial Stout by Sawdust City of Ontario:  **1/2;  10%;  nose is strong bourbon, vanilla, dry cherry, cough syrup;  flavours of dry cherries, coffee, alcohol, bourbon - wonderfully complex; the alcohol is quite forward;

This is the last Monday of the Volo and the final chance for me to take my sons here.

Monday, 31 October 2016

September 25, 2016

189/1774) Home:  Legends of the Bay - Captain Tripp brewed for Midland Beer Works by Hockley Valley Brewing of Ontario:  *;  sweet, malty, unremarkable;

The legend goes like this:  on September 12, 1885 (oddly enough, three days before the death of Jumbo the elephant, also commemorated with a beer) the wooden hull of the Regina split open.  Captain Amos Tripp believed there was a chance he could ground her on a sandbar and save the crew and cargo but his crew disagreed and abandoned ship.  His body was found washed ashore shrouded in a sail.  To this day it is believed his spirit resides at the Cove Island Lighthouse, where he aids the light-keepers.

It's a great story that deserves a more remarkable beer.

September 23, 2016

The Golden Tap Awards were presented at the beerbistro yesterday.  The full list may be found here:

Golden Tap Awards 2016

I voted for a few of these.  Like many, I viewed it as one last chance to thank Ralph Morana and the Volo.

September 22, 2016

188/1773) beerbistro:  Wrigley Oat Pale Ale by Left Field Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  5.5%;  bright citrusy nose;  dry after taste;  citrus overshadowed by astringent dryness;

September 21, 2016

185/1770) The Monarch Tavern, Toronto:  Sink Or Swim Citra Hopped Farmhouse Ale by Black Oak of Ontario:  **;  4.5%, 15 ibu;  hazy;  lemony flavours;  bitter hoppiness, with notes of grapefruit and even nutmeg;

186/1771) Monarch Tavern:  Mountain Lager by Side Launch of Ontario:  *1/2;  4.7%;  a very traditional lager brewed with Noble hops;  cereal like maltiness;  pours hazy;  very crisp flavours;

187/1772) Monarch Tavern:  Banhof Zoo Berlinerweisse by Junction Craft Brewing of Ontario:  **;  sparkling, champagne like mouthfeel;  in the Bavarian style;  tastes slightly sour;  quoth Mirella, "if beer and champagne had a baby...";

This was the night of Mirella Amato's "Hopera" which I so regretted missing in previous years.  Eight songs from the world of opera paired with eight different beers.  The night opened with a half pint of Steamwhistle so really it was nine beers but everything came in small tasting glasses, to my very great relief.

The Monarch Tavern is a great old place with a lot of character.  It definitely rates a return visit.

After the welcoming half pint the evening went like this:  Walkerville Easy Stout/Carmen by Bizet;  Amsterdam Oranje Weisse/Don Giovanni by Mozart;  Black Oak Sink or Swim Citra Hopped Farmhouse Saison/King Arthur by Purcell;  Nickel Brook Raspberry Über Berliner Weisse/The Old Maid and the Thief by Menotti;

After intermission it was Side Launch Moutain Lager/a second scene from Bizet's Carmen;  Great Lakes Pompous Ass English Pale Ale/more from Don Giovanni by Mozart;  Double Trouble Revenge of the Ginger/Monteverdi's L'Incoronazione di Poppea;  Junction Craft Banhof Zoo Berlinerweisse/La Traviata by Verdi;

It was quite an evening and I hope to be able to attend next year.

Monday, 24 October 2016

September 20, 2016

184/1769) The Shepherd's Crook Pub, Georgetown:  Smashbomb with Simcoe hops by Flying Monkeys of Ontario:  **;  on cask, yes in Georgetown - why is there nothing on cask anywhere in Brampton?;  surprisingly sweet nose albeit with a hoppy edge;  more bitter then the original, especially in the after taste;

September 19, 2016

This is nearly too funny for words and it works because it is awfully close to the truth:

September 18, 2016

182/1767) Home:  Chimay Gold by Bières de Chimay NV of Belgium:  **;  4.8*;   mildly fruity, yeasty nose;  I found the flavours more yeasty than fruity, at least until the finish;  it's not quite as unspeakably wonderful as the balance of Chimay's lineup but I would buy it again;

This is brewed at Scourmont Abbey, a Trappist monastery.  A favourite cheese that I purchase regularly at St. Lawrence Market is sold with the rind soaked in Chimay.  It is wonderful.

183/1768) Home:  Against the Current Blackcurrent Kettle Sour by Wellington Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  5.5%, 18 ibu;  brewed with blackcurrants and lactobacillus brevis;  very tart nose;  tart, dry, lemony flavours;

Friday, 21 October 2016

September 17, 2016

179/1764) C'est What:  Accelerated Stall IIPA by Barnstorming Brewing of Ontario:  **1/2;  8.4%, 80 ibu;  dry, rooty, herbal nose;  bitter, earthy flavours;

180/1765) Home:  Raspberry Pilsner by Neustadt Springs of Ontario:  **;  4%;  this is the other of the two silver anniversary Handtmann brews I was given;  dark amber;  fresh raspberry nose;  strong raspberry flavours;  none of the hop bitterness typical of a pilsner;

181/1766) Home:  Kokanee Glacier Fresh Beer by Columbia Brewing Co.:  *;   prefectly clear;  mild pilsner like hop flavours;  sweet gingery notes;  the snob in me is trying to dectect the adjuncts;

I first tried this is BC in 1989 in the days before Columbia Brewing was part of the Labatts group.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

September 16, 2016

178/1763) Home:  Absent Landlord by Cowbell Brewing Co. of Ontario:  *1/2;   5.3%, 18 ibu;  a country Kolsch;  slightly hazy;  astringently,  unpleasantly dry;

Cowbell is also known as Blyth Brewing and Distillery Inc.

This beer is named for Henry Blyth who purchased Drummond (later renamed Blyth) in 1885, sight unseen.  He never did cross the ocean to visit from Berkshire, England.

September 15, 2016

176/1761) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  "Cask B" by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **;  this is the Flanders Saison, which I tried a couple of days ago, brewed with a tea blend and honey;   cloudy;  sweet honey nose;  opens with sweet honey - the tea appears soon after;  finish is mildly spiced tannins;

177/1762) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  "Cask A" by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  *1/2;   Flanders Saison brewed with sage, rosemary and thyme (but no parsley);   it's cloudy but paler than the first, also more persistent head;  tastes like the best stuffing you ever ate;  plenty of sage and it seems to work against the saison backdrop;  still, I am not sure how often I would want to drink this one;

This was a change of mind -  I wasn't going to try this one but by doing so I could cast a ballot on my favourite in the "Cask Battle" for a chance to create a cask with the brewmaster.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

September 11, 2016

175/1760) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Flanders Saison by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  *1/2;  30 ibu, 4.6%;  brewed for The 3 Brewers', or Les 3 Brasseurs if you prefer, 30th anniversary (ours was nearly a year ago);  hazy;  wheat, berries nose;  fresh mildly spicy with a light hop finish

September 10, 2016

171/1756) Home:  Marzen by Neustadt Springs of Ontario:   *1/2;  5.5%;  a standard marzen with a sweet, almost sugary, malty nose;  very malty and biscuity;

This and the other can pictured were brewed for the twenty fifth anniversary of  Handtmann Canada Ltd.  Handtmann serves the meat and bakery industries, mostly in the area of machinery.  This is a gift from a colleague by way of her husband.

Neudstadt's regular 456 Marzen lager is 5.8%.

172/1757) Home:  Kölsch Lagered Ale by Steamworks Brewing Co. of British Columbia:  *1/2;  4.8%, 22 ibu;  malty nose;  clear, golden;  I found it rather pilsner-like;

173/1758)  Home:  Sleeping Lemons Export by The Wild Beer Company of England:  *1/2;  6%;   brewed with lemons preserved in salt, lemon juice, wheat malt;  basically it's a gose;  pours cloudy;  lemon pie/lemonade nose;  the salt is mercifully understated;  it tastes like a like a lemon and tonic;  I am not entirely convinced by this one;

The Moroccan phrase for preserved lemons translates literally as sleeping lemons.

174/1759) Home:  Éphémére Bleut by Unibroue of Quebec:  **;  a 5.5% blueberry wheat ale or, as the label puts it, "a Belgian style fruit flavoured what ale";  a mere 7 ibu;  the nose is a blend of wheat, yeast and blueberry; fresh blueberry flavours

It looks like a lot but we had a full house today and there was a lot of sharing.

Monday, 17 October 2016

September 8, 2016

169/1754) Home:  Rickard's Red IPA by Molson Coors of Ontario:  **;  5.7%;    very piney nose with green tea notes;  bold floral green tea flavours;  a bit of an odd juxtaposition but the hops win out in the end;  surprising;

My street cred will take a hit.

170/1755) Home:  Badger Fursty Ferret by Hall & Woodhouse Ltd. of England:  **;  4.4%;  a "moreish malty beer',   nose is very English;  sweet, malty biscuity with a hint of hop edge at finish;  this would be very nice on cask;

The story goes, "at one Dorset inn, inquisitive ferrets used to sneak a sample of their local brew".

Sunday, 16 October 2016

September 7, 2016

168/1753) Tracks Brewpub:  Budweiser Prohibition Brew by Labatt's of Canada:  *;  0, yes, 0%;  nose is mostly adjuncts and starch;  brewed with rice and barley malt;  grainy, starchy, a bit sweet;

This tin was an experiment.  I am reminded of Garrison Keillor:  "The man who invented near beer was a damn poor judge of distance.".

September 5, 2016

167/1752) Home:  Carling Black Label by Molson Coors of Ontario:  *1/2;  4.7%;  "since 1927";  pale straw colour;  grainy nose with mildly sweet maltiness;

I may have given this an extra half point for sentiment.  Black Label used to be very fashionable on Queen Street West, maybe since everyone was wearing black at the time, but maybe not since time seems to have stopped for a brief stretch on that street.  The ads were great, too, but the trendies gave way to hipsters.  At least this is still available and as a result I don't panic when I see low information young people wearing toques (indoors), skinny, tighty neon pastel slacks, plaid shirts and blanket scarves drinking Molson Stock Ale.

September 4, 2016

165/1750)  Home:  Star Trek Golden Anniversary Ale by Garrison Brewing of Nova Scotia:  *1/2;  5%;  rather a standard golden ale;  grainy nose and flavours;

166/1751) Home:  Why So Sirius by Sextant Brewery of Ontario:  **;  a 4.8%;  American style Pale Ale;  citrus (orange) nose;  orange notes and finish;

September 2, 2016

164/1749) Home:  Stout by Riverbend Microbrasserie of Quebec:  **; 4.5%, 27 ibu;   it reads, "un stout pour le St-Patrick", and indeed it is very much in the Irish style;  sweet mocha nose;  roast and mocha flavours;

September 1, 2016

162/1747) Home:  Mocha Machine (Bourbon Barrel Porter) by Great Lakes Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  8.3%,30 ibu;  rich vanilla and mocha nose with dark coffee;  mocha is stronger in the flavour followed closely by the vanilla;  rich and sweet;

I am going to test my will power and try to age the second bottle.

163/1748) Home:  Bock de Joliette by Microbrasserie L'Alchimiste of Quebec:  *1/2;  6.1%, sweet sugary nose;  sweet and sugary with a touch of maple;

The bottle reads, "Pas besoin d'avoir 56 sortes de verres, est bonne direct dans bouteille", which rattles me just a bit.  I am more of a beer snob than I might admit to being.  Maybe.  I think.

August 29, 2016

160/1745) Home:  Bernard Mile End Pale Ale by Helm Microbrasserie of Quebec:  **;  5%;  brewed under license par Les 2 Frères, a recent discovery for me, thanks to The Beer Store of all places;  leafy nose, piney flavors;

161/1746) Home:  Hickson Porter Baltique by Brasserie Les 2 Frères of Quebec:  **1/2;  8.5%, 30 ibu;  "édition limitée";  another remarkable TBS find (Heartland); the  nose is roasted malt, alcohol and mocha;  coffee flavours with a mocha finish;

The Hickson line of beers is far too good for The Beer Store says Mister Beer Snob.

August 28, 2016

159/1744) Monk's Kettle. Etobicoke:  Break of Dawn APA by Black Oak of Ontario:  **;  4.5%;  piney, floral nose;  dry earthy bitterness;  astringent after taste;

August 27, 2016

158/1743) Sarah's Café:  Prospect IPA by Left Field Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  fresh citrusy nose;  refreshing citrus flavours;

I had been hearing about this one for a long time and I jumped at the opportunity to give it a try.  The pairing of beer with baseball is hard for me to resist.  All that was missing was live music.

We were in this part of town for the Art of the Danforth which was something of a disappointment compared to past years.

August 25, 2016

156/1741) Home:  Pale Ale Americaine by Brasserie Dunham of Quebec:  **;  5.5%;  peach like nose;  dry citrusy notes, bitter after taste;

157/1742) Home:  Double IPA by Riverbend Microbrasserie of Quebec:  **1/2;  7.7%, 80 ibu;  the fun feature of this beer is that it is brewed with hops from five different nations, along with English grains ;  fresh, mildly piney nose;  citrus (grapefruit) finish;

Friday, 14 October 2016

August 21, 2016

155/1740) Home:  India Pale Ale by Microbrasserie L'Alchimiste of Quebec:  **;  5.5%;  the label indicates that this is a "Bière Rousse Houblonèe" (a hoppy red ale) and "Une Excellente Source de Liquide Bieruex";  unusual nose - malty with sharp Swiss Emmenthal cheese, reminiscent of Church Key's Great Gatsbeer;  dry earthy hoppiness with a bitter, astringent after taste;

I returned home feeling I didn't do so well when it came to buying beer to take back with me but as the photo would indicate, I didn't do so badly.

August 20, 2016

152/1737) Gananoque Brewing Company, Gananoque:  Highland Bull Scottish Ale by Gananoque Brewing Company of Ontario:  *1/2;  5.2%, 27 ibu;  sweet, nearly sugary nose;  malty and sweet;  paler in appearance  than most Scottish ales;

153/1738) Gananoque Brewing Company:  Thursty Pike Pilsner by Gananoque Brewing Company of Ontario:  *;  4.0%, 18 ibu;  yes, that's "thursty" with a letter 'u';  smokey Euro-hop nose;  smokey, roasted hoppy flavours;  smokier and maltier than most pilsners but the hops are definitely those characteristic of the style;

154/1739) Gananoque Brewing Company:  White Calf IPA by Gananoque Brewing Company of Ontario:  *1/2;  5.5%, 55 ibu;  a White IPA;  herbal ginger notes;  dry herbal after taste;

There were from a flight.

I remain a fan of Gananoque.  As always we made sure to visit the Stonewater Inn which, as per usual, couldn't be beat.

August 18, 2016

151/1736) Le Veravin, Quebec City:  Rousseau by Unibroue of Quebec:  *1/2;  Well, it's red;  sweet malty nose;  malty, slightly minerally;

On this warmish day I felt a need for beer after watching so many near misses between cars, trucks buses, bicycles and pedestrians.  Le Veravin is a very nice place with a patio in sight of the water at a very "interesting" intersection.  In that respect, it's a lot like being in Brampton.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

August 17, 2016

150/1735) Le Chic Shack, Quebec City:  La Ciboire India Pale by Archibald Microbrasserie of Quebec:  **;  dry earthy flavours with a sharp, dry after taste;

The name is an example of a mild Quebecois, religious based profanity.  La Ciboire is the receptacle in which the host is kept.

If you are dragged into a burger place in Quebec City you could scarcely do better than Le Chic Shack (or most any other city for that matter).

August 15, 2016

148/1733) Kingston Brewing Company, Kingston:  India Pale Ale by the Kingston Brewing Company of Ontario:  **;  "approximately 40 ibu";  more in the English style;  malty nose and flavours, moderately hopped;

Bad news:  the Peanut Pasta is no longer on their menu.

149/1734) Stone City Ales, Kingston:  Ships In The Night Oatmeal Stout by Stone City Ales of Ontario:  **;    5.6%, 25 ibu;  nose is grainy and chocolatey;  rich chocolate and roast flavours and the alcohol is noticeable as well;

Since we last visited two years ago they have expanded their kitchen and hired a chef.  It's now a great place to eat as well as a great place to drink beer.

I picked this up while we were there:

August 14, 2016

147/1732) Home:  The Calling IPA by Boulevard Brewing Company of Missouri, U.S.A.:  **1/2;  8.5%;  from their Smokestack series;  brewed in Kansas City;  nose is fruity, citrusy;  opens very fruity and citrusy with a dry finish;

August 12, 2016

It is with great relief that I can report that the Moranas have found a new home for the Volo at 582 Church Street at Dundonald - a block east of the original location.

It looks like a huge building and I hope they aren't over-reaching.  I still remember how Smokeless Joe's, a place that desperately needed a bigger location, floundered when it moved to College Street.  It's an entirely different neighbourhood but I don't know that the Volo ever received much walk-in traffic.  As my sons learned, you can walk past it many times without knowing it's there.

Of course the interior will have to be gutted and the last I heard, they don't expect to open until the new year which relieves me of my dilemma concerning how to handle things with New Year's Eve landing on a Saturday this year.

August 11, 2016

146/1731) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Going To The Prom With Your Cousin, Coming Home With Perspective by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **;  a Thursday cask beer;  brewed with grains of paradise, sorachi ace hops and chamomile;  nose is oranges and green tea;  cloudy/opaque appearance;  very fruity, citrusy green tea flavours;

Plainly we are running out of names for beers.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

August 8, 2016

145/1730) Home:  Hickson Imperial IPA by Brasserie Les 2 Frères of Quebec:  **1/2;  7.6%, 74 ibu;  brewed with Calypso, Cascade and Mosaic hops;  fresh, leafy, piney nose;  deliciously fresh and piney with a bitter after taste, this one hides its abv very well;

Along with their porter, this is another very pleasant Beer Store surprise.

August 7, 2016

144/1729) Home:  Buggy Whip IPA by Abe Erb Brew Co. of Ontario:  **;  6.3%, 60 ibu;    nose is floral and citrusy;  there is a reasonable malt backbone while the bitter hoppiness lingers through to the after taste;

My wife was impressed enough after eating here post-work to pick this one up as well as the previous Abe Erb entry.

August 6, 2016

If I may veer off topic for a moment, as an individual with a degree in the area of Health Sciences who has been trying for the last several years to avoid making use of it and a runner I have encountered a number of interesting phenomenon.

For example, if you run long enough on a hot enough day you can pick salt crystals off your skin while you are cooling down and re-hydrating.   Don't put them in the salt shaker because very few people find this funny.  In the winter steam will come out of your pores.

In addition to this, should you happen to be on a penicillin type of antibiotic, this will come out in your sweat and it is quite unpleasantly noticeable.

Here is where I am going with this:  over the past couple of days I have marked IPA Day by consuming a number of very hop forward beers and I am convinced that as I was running today my sweat was distinctly citrusy.  If I could get a research grant I just might pursue this.

August 5, 2016

142/1727) beerbistro:  Elvis Juice by Brewdog of Scotland:  **1/2;  6.5%, 40 ibu; brewed with grapefruit peel;  fresh citrusy nose;  grapefruit accentuates the west coast hops;

143/1728) beerbistro:  The Bronan Vermont Style IPA by High Road of Ontario:  **1/2;  7.1%;  there is some controversy among people with a lot of underutilized time as to whether this is a legitimate style or not but it is the second Vermont style IPA I have come across in recent weeks;  fresh citrusy nose;  delicious and citrusy;

The bartender mentioned that Vermont IPAs tend to have higher alcohol and fruitier flavours.

I am marking IPA Day (or beer day, depending) the day after (depending...).

August 3, 2016

141/1726) Home:  Das Spritzhaus Hefeweizen by Abe Erb Brew Co of Ontario:  **;  4.7%, 10 ibu;  (this is according to the website - the tag rads 18 ibu);  pours hazy;  mild clove and sweet banana nose;  fizzy mouth feel;  notes of cider, bubblegum and banana;

July 31, 2016

140/1725) Home:  Best Bitter by Black Creek Historic Brewery of Ontario:  **;  4.5%;  brewed at Black Creek Historic Village;  purchased today along with this year's Simcoe hopped ale;  biscuity nose;  a smooth, malty, biscuity old school English bitter- just great;

July 28, 2016

139/1724) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  I'm The Lady You've Looked For by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **1/2;  cask;  brewed with pineapple, coconut and Amarillo hops;  cloudy, opaque;  from the bar where the glass sits it is the sweet coconut that is most noticeable but as I raise my glass the dry acidic pineapple comes on strongly;  it is the pineapple that is most prominent at first with the coconut appearing towards the finish with gentle hop notes lingering in the background throughout;

I appreciated the  reference to Rupert Holmes's "Escape (the Pina Colada Song)" which was the last #1 song of the 1970s and the first of the 1980s.  Had it been less than a two and a half star brew I would have added a half star for that alone.  I fear I turn into Brian Ferry after a couple of drinks, though I am smart enough to know only he could get away with a leather jacket and a bow-tie like in the "More Than this" video.

July 24, 2016

138/1723) Home:  Revivale by Lost Craft Beer of Ontario:  *1/2;  a 4.8% all natural lagered ale;  inspired by the beers of Cologne, Germany;  pours perfectly clear;  I thought I detected English ale elements in spite of the style's German origins;  a bit bland but at least the Euro hop presence is muted;

July 23, 2016

137/1722) Home:  Bombardier Ale by Charles Wells Ltd. of England:  *1/2;  5.2%, mind the LCBO would have me believe it is 5.5%;  the tin reads, "Welcome to the Wells Bombardier Glorious English Regiment Bang On!";  the water comes from their own well;  sweet fruity nose - with more alcohol it might well be mistaken for a Trappist ale;  mildly fruity flavours and the dry English hops quickly remove all thoughts of an Abbey;

Monday, 10 October 2016

July 21, 2016

136/1721) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  What I Found In Biblo's Pantry by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  *1/2;  on cask;  brewed with coriander, cardamon and ginger;  the taste is an interesting blend of all three, none overshadows any of the others; their Amber used as a base;  there is no denying it is refreshing;

July 18, 2016

135/1720) Home:  Vintage 2015 by Innis and Gunn of Scotland:  **1/2;  7.7%;  bottle conditioned;  matured for one hundred days in first fill American bourbon barrels;  brewed with wheat as well as the usual four;  pours dark, nearly black;  perhaps one for aging;  nose is sweet with caramel notes;  yeasty bite (I swirled the bottle and poured the yeast sediment to the glass);  rich and complex with flavours of dried fruit and caramel;  lingering after taste; very warming;

Even at $15, I will be looking for another bottle to age.

July 16, 2016

133/1718) Home:  Fired Oak Scotch Ale by Innis and Gunn of Scotland:  **1/2;  7.0%;  matured seventy days over a combination of lightly toasted oak and heavily toasted, to the point of catching fire, heartwood American oak;  the nose is oaky with vanilla notes and a toffee like sweetness ;  quite a lot of sweetness to the taste, almost caramel-like;  warming enough to make me wish it was winter;

Any talk of Innis & Gunn's decline is premature.

134/1719) Home:  Track 85 Lagered Ale by Old Tomorrow of Ontario:  *1/2;  4.5%;  a tribute to the railway which united Canada - the last spike happened in 1885;  cold lagered;  clear amber;  nose is malty and sweet, nearly English ale-like;  the taste is between a lager and an English ale;  sweet with a hint of fruit;

July 15, 2016

132/1717) Home:  Red Falcon Premium Ale by Stouffville Brewing Company of Ontario:  5.0%;  malty with mild spice;  uninspiring;

What jumped out at me was the address on the tin is the same as Wellington's.

July 14, 2016

131/1716) Home:  Beauty and the Belgian by Block Three Brewing of Ontario:  **;  a 6.3% Belgian amber ale;  nose is malty like an Eng ale but with a Belgian yeast edge;  Belgian style for sure but what stands out is the sweet spicy finish;

July 13, 2016

130/1715) Home:  Night Mist Imperial Stout by Bandit Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  5.5%, which is less than a good number of session and even light/lite beers;  roasty nose;  rich soft mouth feel;  rich, lingering roasty flavours;  a terrific stout;

July 12, 2016

129/1714) Home:  Smoked Applewood Roggenbier by Waterloo Brewing Co. of Ontario:  *1/2;

Let's start with the thoughts of the person who gave this to me:

Yes, she really does write like that.

6.5%;  very smokey nose;  flavours reminiscent of smokey bacon, building through to the finish;

July 11, 2016

128/1713) Home:  Salute 1179 Lager by Big Rig Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  4%, 20 ibu;  brewed as a tribute to co-founder Chris "Big Rig" Phillips who played 1179 regular season NHL games, all as a member of the Ottawa Senators;  he announced his retirement on the 26th of May of this year but he will remain with the team's front office;

pours a clear, straw colour;  Chris Phillips is a pilsner fan and this has similar elements, though the hops are softened at the edges;  rather a Saaz-like nose;

July 10, 2016

127/1712) Home:  Cone Ranger by Bandit Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  6.5%, 60 ibu;  mind, while the label reads 6.5% the website says 5.5%;  brewed with Cascade, Centennial and Chinook hops;  musty nose;  dry hearthy hoppiness w/ith a lingering, bitter after taste

July 9, 2016

125/1710) Home:  8 Man English Pale Ale by MacKinnon Brothers Brewing of Ontario:  **1/2;  5.8%;  an usual English pale ale in that along with the sweet, malty nose there is a definite fruitiness;  rich, malty fruit notes and a dry after taste;

126/1711) Home:  Red Tail Ale by Grand River Brewing of Ontario:  *1/2; 5.2%;  malty nose with hints of caramel;  sweet and malty with a dry after taste;

July 7, 2016

124/1709) Home:  Henderson's Best by Henderson Brewing of Ontario:  **;  5.5%;  a modern take on a traditional English ale, or ESB - the first beers that would have been brewed in Toronto some two hundred years ago;  sweet, malty nose;  rich and malty and very English;

On the tour we took it was explained that they tried to imagine the beers first brewed in Toronto at beginning of the nineteenth century and how they would have developed over the years.

July 4, 2016

123/1708) Bar Volo:  IPA by Burdock Brewery of Ontario:  **;  a 6.7% American IPA brewed with Simcoe and Mosaic hops;  citrusy nose;  dry, earthy citrus flavours with a bitter finish;

This was consumed in the afterglow of Brian Wilson's performance at Massey Hall.  He is touring to mark the 50th anniversary of the Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds" LP.  This was the album that, legend has it, prodded Paul McCartney to begin to formulate the idea of the Beatles' "Sergeant Pepper" album.

It was a exhilarating and a depressing night at the same time.  The music was wonderful and while Brian Wilson has lost the upper register this was ably supplied by Matt Jardine, the son of original Beach Boy Al Jardine who was also there.  The sight of Brian Wilson walking on and off stage, in a gait somewhere between lumbering and shuffling was sobering.  He sat nearly motionless behind a keyboard that may or may not have been a prop.  In the end the music won out.  With a genius like Brian Wilson it couldn't have worked out any other way.

July 3, 2016

122/1707) Home:  10 Megaton Tsarina Bomb IPA by Bandit Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  7.5%;  Tsar Bomba (or Big Ivan) is a 50 to 57, depending who you read, megaton device;  very much a hop bomb;  strong earthy resiny nose;  dry earthy hop flavours;

I purchased these at the brewery on the night of the Canadian premiere of Jaco:  The Film, an excellent documentary on the life of the extraordinary bass player Jaco Pastorius.  The interview with Bootsie Collins was worth the price of admission on its own.  He is in the trailer - at the very least view this:  Jaco: The Film.

Bandit is near the Revue Cinema, just off Roncesvales.  Clearly the neighbourhood was crying out for this.  It was the opening night of their patio and retail outlet and the place was packed.

July 2, 2016

121/1706) Home:  State of Mind Session IPA by Collective Arts of Ontario:  **;  4.4%, 38 ibu;  brewed with Amarillo and Centennial hops;  pours opaque;  the nose is citrusy and tropical;  similar flavours with a dry after taste;

July 1, 2016

120/1705) Home:  Pickup Truck Pilsner by Thornbury Brewing Company of Ontario:  *;
4.8%;  edgy Euro-hop nose;  bitter Saaz like flavours;

Sunday, 17 July 2016

June 28, 2016

119/1704) Home:  Sweet Pete's Ride On, Radler by Henderson Brewing of Ontario:  **;  3.8%;  lemony, not grapefruit as is most often the case;  refreshing, not sweet in spite the almost soda-ish flavours;

This was designed in collaboration with Sweet Pete's Bike Shop.  It's a touching story.  A friend of one of the staff was afflicted with ALS and solicited help from a number of bike shops with regard to setting up his bicycle so that he could continue cycling.  Only Sweet Pete's got back to him and with their assistance he was able to ride until only a few days before he died.  Sweet Pete's has three locations and if I lived in Toronto I wouldn't go anywhere else for my cycling needs.

I also bought this at the brewery tour.  Their four-pack case is pretty cool.