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;