Sunday, 5 March 2017

February 24, 2017

67/1885) Home:  Trooper Red 'N' Black Porter by Robinson's Brewery of England:  **;  6.8%;  like The Charge of the Light Brigade from a number of months ago, this was created by Iron Maiden;  they took for inspiration an original Robinson's recipe from the 1850s;  pours dark brown, not quite black;  notes of honey in the  nose;  sweeter than many porters,  the sweetness over shadows roasty notes;  still, very old school;

68/1886) Home:  4 X 4 Quad by Stack Brewing of Ontario:  *1/2;  10.5%;  sugary, mildly fruity nose;  lacks much of the depth and complexity I seek in a quad but is was a brave attempt;

February 23, 2017

65/1883) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Fern, But Gentle by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **; cask night;  this is their Double IPA beer of the month with Citra and Mosaic hops; pours opaque with minimal carbonation; the extra hops certainly add sparkle and both feature on the nose;  smoother taste than the base and it lacks the sweet edge;

Named for Fern, winner of the draw following the Cask Battle.

66/1884) Home:  Rodenbach Vintage 2014 Limited Edition by Brouwerij Rodenbach of Belgium:  **;  7%;  matured two years From Foeder no. 192 (you may recall the 2013 edition used number 149);  tart, funky, sour nose;  tart, dry flavors;

February 21, 2017

64/1882) C'est What:  CafĂ© Del Bastardo by Nickel Brook of Ontario:  **1/2;  11.5%, 30 ibu;  strong dark coffee nose;  bitter coffee and oak notes; nearly 3 stars;

February 20, 2017

63/1881) Home:  18 Hands Rustic Pale Ale by Amsterdam Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  6%;  bottle conditioned;  one of Amsterdam's Adventure Brews, Farmhouse series;  pours cloudy;  yeasty, musty nose;  strong, musty, fruity bitter flavours;

18 hands is typical measure of a Belgian farm horse.

February 18, 2017

61/1879) Home:  The Starter Session IPA by Four Fathers Brewing Co. of Ontario:  **;  4.8%;   brewed with  Galaxy hops;  fresh hoppy nose;  mildly hopped, perhaps a bit watery but it achieves what it set out to do;  a fine session IPA;

62/1880) Home:  Aurora Heart Chocolate Raspberry Stout by Flying Monkeys of Ontario:  **;  7.1%;  brewed with cocoa and late season red raspberries;  raspberry truffle nose;  my son says it tastes like a Big Turk bar (a favourite of mine) and I think he is right;  a wonderful blend of chocolate and raspberry flavours;

This was originally intended for the 14th but my wife had her heart set on a Riesling with dinner which worked out very well.

February 13, 2017

60/1878) Home:  Through the Quad Belgian Quadrupel by Block Three Brewing Co. of Ontario:  **;  10%;  sweet dark, candi sugar nose with a faint touch of alcohol;  dark sugar, mildly yeasty flavours with fruit emerging towards the finish;   a serviceable Quadrupel;

Saturday, 4 March 2017

February 11, 2017

59/1877) Great Lakes Brewery:  Swamp Juice No. 33 by Great Lakes Brewery of Ontario:  **;   a blend of Lake Effect and Canuck;  fresh citrus nose;  another interesting blend of hops from GLB;  citrusy, resinous dry finish;

February 9, 2017

57/1875) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Elmo Doesn't Love You! by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **;  a Thursday night  cask;  their Strawberry Saison with basil, cucumber and Ekuanot hops;  basil is very prominent in the nose;  I needn't have been so worried about this one - it tastes like a fresh, carbonated summer salad;  very soda like;  the cucumber accentuates the fruitiness of the saison while the basil plays off the spiciness and herbal aspects;  I found it refreshing;  yet another example of what I imagine to be a patio beer being served in the middle of the winter;

58/1876)  The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Double IPA:  **1/2;  7.8%, 75 ibu;  brewed with Simcoe, Centennial and Mosaic hops;  a bit like their usual IPA but amped up;  more piney, earthy and citrusy notes;  very nice indeed;

February 6, 2017

56/1874) Home:  Luck and Charm Oatmeal Stout by MacLean's Ales of Ontario:  **1/2;  5.6%;  coffee like nose;  soft mouthfeel;  flavours of coffee with hints of sweetness and a coffee after taste;  just a great stout;

The tin reads, "Listen.  You're not going to get through life on good looks alone. You need a special something.".  Good advice.

February 5, 2017

I saw the news today that Sextant Craft Brewing has been purchased by Lost Craft.  Since both are contract brewers a better way to put this might be that the assets, trademarks, recipes and, very importantly, what is listed on balance sheets as “good will” were purchased.

I have no idea why certain of the cognoscenti look down on contract brewers the way they do.  An individual from Halo, whose wares I have yet to experience, certainly has no time for them but I don’t know how his assertion that Halo publishes their recipes on their web site could form part of his argument.  I do have a pretty fair idea, though, how he might react if I were to go from bar to bar peddling generic versions of his beers at a discount to the proprietors.

I wonder if class enters into this.  It seems if your trust fund can afford the space and brewing equipment you can sit in the high school cafeteria with the cool kids but if all you have is a recipe that you take from brewery to brewery it is a different story entirely.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

February 4, 2017

54/1872) Home: Baltic Porter by Smuttynose Brewing of New Hampshire, U.S.A.:  **1/2;  9%;  nose of mocha;  flavours of coffee and raisins with a warming alcohol finish;

55/1873) Home:  Reynard the Fox by Descendants Beer & Beverage Co. of Ontario:  *1/2;  a 5% "golden wry ale";  brewed with malted barley and rye;  pours hazy with a malty nose pierced by sharp rye notes;  rye and fresh hop notes;

February 3, 2017

Wendel Clark's Classic Bar and Grill has opened its doors in downtown Brampton,  Things seem pretty busy and maybe it is what the Four Corners needed but the real test will be how crowded it is come Fall.  For now, however, they have Lagunitas IPA which earns Wendel Clark's the title of Best Tap in Brampton.  Anticipating the inevitable, I am trying hard not to imagine this a put up or shut up moment for craft beer in Canada's ninth most populous municipality.

He still has the best wrist shot I have ever seen.  The hockey panel described it only a few weeks ago as "violent".

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

February 2, 2017

53/1871) Mill Street Beer Hall:  Imperial Coffee Porter by Mill Street Brewery of Ontario:  **;  8.5%, 28 ibu;  coffee nose, even stronger flavours of coffee as well as alcohol;  the coffee is particularly strong at the finish;  

February 1, 2017

52/1870) Home:  Barrel No. 1 by S & E Brewing of Ontario:  **;  6.5%, 49 ibu;  they are also known as Shed Brewing Company or Shawn and Ed Brewing;  based in the town of Dundas;  aged in wine barrels;  pours ruby;  malty, oaky nose - I thought I caught a whiff of cherries;  notes of coffee, oak and vanilla;