Tuesday, 7 June 2016

June 7, 2016

I never imagined the day would happen but as of this week, the number of U.S. visitors to my modest blog have surpassed the number of Canadian viewers, all time.  The past few days have featured a surge in visits from south of the border.  The margin was quite large not so long ago.

Monday, 6 June 2016

June 6, 2016

I have only met Mirella Amato briefly, when she signed my copy of her book Beerology but I know I would like her if I knew her better.  I am working from memory here but I think she started out as an opera singer.  During Toronto Beer Week she would put on an event she called "Hopera" where a scene or aria would be performed accompanied by a beer selected for the number.  I never managed to make it out for one and I felt badly when it didn't take place last year.  I hope it will happen again at a time that I am able to attend.

I am on one of her e-mail lists and she passed along this link which is absolutely hilarious and I hope not overly familiar to my readers, if you know what I mean.


June 5, 2106

101/1686) Home:  Pouch Envy by Refined Fool Brewing Co. of Ontario:  **;  5%, 20 ibu;  an Australian Pale Ale;  brewed with Australian hop varieties;  light straw colour;  opaque;  mild orange nose;  mild fruity, citrsuy notes;  gently dry after taste;

Brewed in Sarnia.

June 4, 2016

99/1684) Home:  Apricot Ale by Black Creek Historic Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  5%;  this is the LCBO version which I think is brewed under contract at Trafalgar in Oakville; brewed with real apricots, not extract;  strong, fresh apricot nose;  tastes mostly of apricot with a dry, almost bitter finish;  my wife is crazy about this one;

100/1685) Home:  Hickson India Pale Ale by Brasserie Les 2 Frères of Quebec:  **;   6.2%, 53 ibu;  brewed with Citra, Cascade, Chinook and Centennial hops;  earthy hop nose with mild fruit, not citrus, notes;  earthy, dry hoppiness;  it is very nice and considering it was purchased at The Beer Store, astonishing;  it is an odd choice for them but I am glad they did;

Their website is in French only and what is even more interesting is that the description on the bottle is in French only.  Brewing details are in both of Canada's official languages.  Stores in Toronto have been raided for not having French as well as English on the labels but the reverse is acceptable it seems.

June 3, 2016

98/1683) Dum Dum's:  LandShark Lager by Brick Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2; 4.6%;  originally created for Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville restaurant chain and brewed by the Margaritaville Brewing Company;  described as an Island/Tropical styled lager, depending; mildly grainy rice beer nose;  sweet flavours;  not as bad as some would lead you to believe but I wouldn't necessarily have a second;  one demerit point for using a clear bottle - it is not going to keep well;

I don't think I have mentioned the derivation of the name Dum Dum's.  It turns out that the proprietor's nickname is Dum Dum so it's Dum Dum's Sports Cafe.

June 2, 2016

97/1682) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Uncle Sam's Hoptacular Adventure by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **;  a Thursday evening cask;  brewed with Cascade, Nugget, Amarillo, Centennial, Mosaic and Citra hops;  opaque;  silky smooth mouth feel;  dry earthy nose;  there is a lot going in the hops department;  musty dry flavours with hints of citrus;  dry, nearly bitter after taste;

I tried it side by side with their daily IPA and decided that the cask beer had a bit more going on, though both are very fine.

I wish I was available every Thursday evening, this is such a great thing to have.  I would never have expected something like this outside Toronto.  Even better, if you are sitting at the bar you can exchange pleasantries with the brewmaster who is nearby with the cask.

June 1, 2016

96/1681) Home:  Two Tides India Session Ale by Granville Island Brewing of British Columbia:  *1;  4.6%;  faintly musty nose;  very nearly flavourless until the finish which is mildly floral with faint notes of citrus;

May 31, 2016

95/1680) Home:  Busch by Labatt's of Ontario:  *;  4.7%;  grainy, uninspiring;

By way of explanation, my son brought several of these back from University so I gave one a try.  It is an experience that in all likelihood will not be repeated.

May 30, 2016

94/1679) Home:  Goose Endless IPA by Goose Island Beer of Ontario:  **;  5%;  it's brewed in London, Ontario, which I guess really means it's really brewed by Labatts; described as a session IPA;  brewed with barley and wheat;  the tin suggests notes of orange and indeed it has a sweeter citrus nose than most;  mildly citrusy, the hop flavours are muted save for the dry finish;

It's high time to cease referring to 5% abv as sessionable.

Did you notice?  The same tin reads both "Endless" and "Édition Limitée", French for Limited Edition which is written on the other side.  Maybe some people should talk this over.

Friday, 3 June 2016

May 29, 2016

93/1678) Home:  Hoppin' Maibock by Big Rig Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  5.8%;  dry hopped with New Zealand hops;  the nose is malty as one might expect of a Maibock but with a grassy, musty hop presence;  malty, mildly sweet with a faint hop presence in the finish and after taste;

May 27, 2016

My wife forwarded this to me in an e-mail.  I am trying not to take it as an accusation.

Peel Regional Police (@PeelPoliceMedia) tweeted at 8:13 PM on Wed, May 25, 2016:
If you spot a male in his 50's running with a beer KEG on Steeles and Kennedy in Brampton please call us. It was just stolen. #truestory

This is less than two kilometers from where I reside but it wasn't me, honest.  

I'm not certain I would want to confront an individual who can run whilst carrying a keg of beer.

May 26, 2016

92/1677) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Island Girl by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **;   on cask;  this is a variation on their white beer, brewed with coconut and pineapple;  cloudy pale straw colour;  coconut is more prominent in the nose while pineapple takes the front in the taste;  each is present in both;  a great summer beer;

On Thursdays my local 3 Brewers has cask beer available if you get there early enough.  This is a great piece of news for me.  I will be taking advantage to the best of my availability.

May 23, 2016

91/1676)  Home:  Maibock by Junction Craft Brewing of OntarioL  **;  6.2%, 26 ibu;  amber in colour;  malty, fruity nose;  sweet biscuity, malty flavours;

Purchased at the brewery.

May 22, 2016

Given how frightfully funny it is for a leftist to assault an individual of a different political stripe (witness Shawinigan Handshake http://agreatdayforbeer.blogspot.ca/2013/08/july-3-2013.html) I am wondering how and when our spoiled rich kid Prime Minister, a forty four year old in his very first full-time job (sort of - four trips to the U.S.A in his first seventeen weeks as P.M.) will be commemorated for bolting on to the floor of the House of Commons and assaulting two members of opposing parties.

Perhaps an e-mail to the folks at Trou du Diable is in order.

May 21, 2016

89/1674) Home:  Sunnyside Session IPA by Great Lakes Brewery of Ontario:  **;  3.9%, 25 ibu;   fresh, hoppy nose - mild pine;  floral, piney flavours;

The abv of so called session beers has been climbing of late so it is nice to see one with a reasonable alcohol by volume figure.

Sunnyside is a beach region in west Toronto.  I hear tell my grandmother had her hat blown off on one of the rides back when.  This was purchased at the brewery today.

90/1675)  Home:  Haters Gonna Hate by Beau's All Natural Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  8%, 40 ibu;  an Imperial Kolsh;  Beau's Wild Oats Series No. 16;  brewed with barley and wheat malts and Nelson Sauvin hops;  a tribute, ten years later, to the first batch of Lug Tread which was accidentally brewed extra strong;  unfiltered, orange hued;  grainy nose with hints of white wine;  strong musty flavours;  hint of hops towards finish; dry after taste;

This is an appropriate name for a beer from Beau's.  After being, for many years, the darlings of the hipster craft beer crowd, beer forums have erupted in an endless, repetitive series of anti-Beau's tirades.  When an LCBO employee offered that Beau's beers sell very well it all fell in to place.

Sure, Beau's experiments a lot and maybe some of those experiments ought to have stayed in the lab but even when they fail, I respect them for trying.  What has happened here, as verified by the afore-mentioned LCBO employee, is that the Private Party is over.  People who know it is bad manners to wear a knitted hat indoors are buying Beau's.  People who own sedans and have real jobs are enjoying Beau's wares.  They have achieved success which to some translates as welling out.

Luckily, you have found a blogger who places more value on good beer than on personal street cred.  

Thursday, 2 June 2016

May 20, 2016

88/1673) Home:  Monogamy Single Hop Pale Ale:  Simcoe by Bellwoods Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  6.4%;  65 ibu;  pours opaque;  strong piney citrusy nose;  delicious citrus flavours;

May19, 2016

86/1671) Home:  West Coast Style IPA by Mill Street Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  6.6%, 87 ibu;  brewed with barley, malted wheat and toasted oak;  pours opaque and cloudy;  fresh grapefruit nose;  floral opening, grapefruit finish;

This has proven to be a a somewhat controversial offering.  I am on the FOR side.  It is hard to tell how much is due to the audacity of the owners allowing themselves to be bought by Labatts.

87/1672) Home:  Red Racer Imperial India Pale Ale by Central City Brewing of British Columbia:  **;  9%, 90 ibu;  dry hopped with hops from the Yakima Valley;  brewed with Maris Otter English barley;  nose is green tea with hints of fruit;  strong bitter flavours, the alcohol makes its presence known in short order along with green tea flavours;  it is very nearly a bit too much;

May 18, 2016

Black Creek Historic Brewery has announced its schedule of specialty ales for 2016.  The list can be found here: http://www.blackcreekbrewery.ca/the-beer/

I will be dropping by several times this year.  If you tell them you are going straight to the brewery and back they will let you park for free and if you promise to be quick you can even avoid paying admission.

May 17, 2016

It was announced that Junction Craft Brewing will be relocating.  As it is now they are a short walk away from the Indie Ale House which is handy when I am in town to buy beer and they are right next door to the Toronto Distillery Co. Ltd.  You may have seen them on TV concerning their constitutional challenge.  Both partners are lawyers during the day and the one has a splendid mustache.  They also make an outstanding gin if that is your sort of thing - highly recommended.

The new location will place them very close to Shacklands Brewing and Rainhard Brewing once all is done.  I am only vaguely familiar with these two breweries so I will be looking forward to visiting as part of a beer run some time in 2017, if all goes according to plan.  (Does that ever happen?)

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

May 16, 2016

84/1669) Bar Volo:  Hanlon's Point, a collaboration between Great Lakes Brewing and Bar Hop, both of Ontario:  **;  a 6.5% coconut coffee porter brewed with the assistance of Juan of a Kind Coconuts and Sense Appeal Coffee Roasters;  sweet mocha nose;  sweet coconut and mocha flavours;

I spotted this on menus last year, on-line, but I never arrived anywhere in time to try it.  I have since learned it is significantly better on tap than bottled.

85/1670) Bar Volo:  L’Impératrice by Le Trou Du Diable of Quebec:  **; a 10% bourbon barrel aged imperial stout;  nose is chocolate vanilla and oak;  tastes of vanilla and sweet oak;  midly sparking cidery mouth feel;

Instead of referring to the Volo by how it has appeared on my VISA statements I am going to belatedly call it as it reads on their window.  Since we no longer have forever to do this, I took my sons here today.  I think they were impressed with the place and with how many people wanted to shake my hand, including Roger who asked,  quite loudly, "How does an ugly bastard like you have such handsome sons?".

It was successful enough that we decided to reconvene very soon.

May 15, 2016

82/1667) Monk's Kettle:  Lauter Tun Saints HPA by Brimstone Brewing Co. of Ontario: **;  5.3%,  HPA stands for Hybrid Pale Ale;  the bartender suspects this is referring to the factt that this is brewed with oats, wheat and rye as well as barley;  also uses Nelson Sauvin and Amaraillo hops;  hazy with a fresh citrusy nose;  warm gentle flavours against a grainy backdrop;

83/1668) Monk's Kettle:  Sinister Minister by Brimstone Brewing Co. of Ontario:  **;  7.5%,  "+90 ibu";  darker than above, stronger as well;  similar in that it, too, is opaque;  citrusy mildly resiny nose;  citrusy resiny flavours;

After today's performance by the Windermere String Quartet, it is pretty much the end of concert season.  Prior to concert season, I had mentioned that the Bay Street concourse at Union Station, and particularly the McDonalds therein, had permanently closed.  Between then and now I have shed some nine kilograms.  As Bear from Polka Dot Shorts might say, "Coincidence?  I think not!'.