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 ImpĂ©riale 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;