Monday, 27 June 2011

June 27, 2011

229)  Home:  606 India Pale Ale by Paddock Wood Brewing Co. of Saskatchewan:  **;  interesting hop profile:  earthy but with hints of citrus;  very nice;

Sunday, 26 June 2011

June 26, 2011

228)  Home:  Morimoto Soba Ale by Rogue Brewery of Oregon, U.S.A.:  *;  I thought I caught a touch of smokiness in the nose, likely from the roasted soba used in brewing this;  I found this malty, almost biscuity, with mild notes of citrus (orange) in the after-taste;

Saturday, 25 June 2011

June 25, 2011

227)  Home:  Patrick's Pick Extra Special Bitter by Trafalgar Ales & Meads of Ontario:  *1/2;  left over from St. Patrick's day;  scanned at the LCBO check-out as Elora ESB, but I supppose there's no harm in re-labelling something for the occasion - you might get a new customer from it;  it's quite malty;  a decade ago I visited the old Elora brewery site, since taken over by Trafalgar, but that was so long ago I cannot comment on if or how this one has changed;

Trafalgar came early to the craft beer party and they do have a lot of different products but for some reason it is fashionable to knock them;  I can't claim to have tried most of them but a scan of their list leads me to believe they don't mind taking chances, though I cannot attest to how they play out;  oddly enough, it was my daughter who spotted this on the shelf with the harps and shamrock on the label;

June 24, 2011

225)  Home:  La Fin Du Monde by Unibroue of Quebec:  **;  a Belgian style triple;  I thought it would be appropriate on St. Jean Baptiste day, which I take off on the grounds that even if it is not a holiday nation-wide, it should be;  Unibroue is owned by Sleeman which in turn is owned by Sapporo of Japan;  translates as The End of the World;

226)  Home:  Shock Top by Shock Top Brewing of Missouri, U.S.A.:  *;  a rather ordinary Belgian style wheat ale brewed with coriander, orange, lemon and lime peel;  I recall being pleased with things in general the day I bought this as I had come across something moments earlier that I didn't expect to see, and had stopped looking for some time ago;  had I read the tin more thoroughly, I would have seen that Shock Top is a trademark owned by Anheuser-Busch;  it would have been revealing had I learned this after rating the beer but it wasn't bad and the hope is people may be encouraged to try other Belgian wheat or "wit" ales;  I can tell you Unibroue makes a good one in this style (Blanche du Chambly) which I enjoyed on a patio in Quebec City last summer;

Thursday, 23 June 2011

June 23, 2011

224)  Home:  Holiday Honey by Old Credit Brewing Co. Ltd:  *1/2;  left over from Christmas;  made with Billy Bee honey;  hints of this in the taste but it's not over-powering or cloying;  the Mississagua Half Marathon goes past the brewery but I was busy at the time so I didn't drop in; 

I am trying to consume an Ontario beer every day of Ontario Craft Beer Week, though some will be duplicates and they won't show up, having already had their turn in the spotlight.

June 23, 2011

223)  Home:  Scottish Pale Ale by Neustadt Springs Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  dark with caramel and chocolate notes;  perhaps the best Scottish Ale I have had the good fortune to try;  Neustadt does not have a huge line-up of beers but I like each of them so far;

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

June 21, 2011

222)  Home:  Plowman's Ale by Grand River Brewing of Ontario:  **;  nicely hopped but it's not over-powering;  I can't put my finger on it but something seems a bit of a throw-back, in the very best sense;  I become a bigger fan of Grand River with every new beer I taste from them;

June 20, 2011

221)  Home:  Double Dead Guy by Rogue Brewing of Oregon, U.S.A.:  *1/2;  here again I was able to have a show-down and I found this to be a bit darker than Dead Guy, though the nose was similar - soft and fruity, though perhaps a bit muted in the Double version;  the alcohol (9%) is very present and adds rather unpleasant, harsh bitter notes;  overall the Dead Guy has a nicer "mouth feel";  I wonder if Double Dead Guy is an example of a "stunt beer";  I'm not entirely certain it needs to exist and I don't know that it adds much by its existence;  I will be able to say for sure if I come across another one;

June 19, 2011

219)  Home:  2XIPA by Southern Tier Brewery of New York, U.S.A.:  **;  I used the opportunity to have a face off with Southern Tier IPA;  the 2XIPA is a paler blond colour with a hoppier nose;  it is 8.2% but not as bitter as many IPAs and double IPAs;

220)  Home:  Belgian Wit by Mill Street Brewery of Ontario:  **;  brewed with wheat malt as well as wheat flakes (would this make it a breakfast beer?), dried orange peel and ground coriander;  the taste is like an Abbey ale but with notes of spice and orange;

Sunday, 19 June 2011

June 18, 2011

218)  Home:  Hop Yard Pale Ale by Garrison Brewing of Nova Scotia:  **;  dry-hopped;  moderately well-hopped by today's standards;

Ontario Craft Beer Week begins Sunday (Fathers' Day), though things started taking place as early as Friday - the Cask Ale Crawl, for example.  I'm not sure if I will be able to make it out to anything but I willl give it a try.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

June 17, 2011

214)  C'est What in Toronto:  Al's Cask Ale brewed on site:  **;  very English;  rich, hearty taste;

215)  Burger Bar and Tequila Tavern in Toronto:  Screaming Beaver Double IPA by Beau's All Natural Brewing of Ontario:  **;  strongly hopped, high octane;  a welcome opportunity to try this one as it is brewed in limited quantities and is generally only available at the brewery;

216)  Cloak and Dagger in Toronto:  Hop Bomb by Black Oak Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  prominent hop nose and flavour;  the finish was a bit weak;  I could be judging unfairly as at this point in the day I was wishing I was drinking something cooler on Cloak and Dagger's patio in the back;

217)  Cloak and Dagger:  Stock Ale (bottle) by Molson-Coors:  **;  an oldie but a goodie;  strong, almost bitter tasting;  quite unusual among the Molson line to have such an aggressive tasting beer;

This weekend is the 2011 Cask Ale Crawl with (at least) 28 beers at ten locations.  I could only get out the one day (with a concert wedged into the middle) so it was half pints where I could.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

June 16, 2011

213)  Tracks Brewpub, Brampton:  Cool Beer by the Cool Beer Brewing Company of Ontario:  *1/2;  a blond lager;  I thought I may have caught a hint of hops;  this used to be brewed in Brampton but now it is made in Etobicoke;  another reason why it is good that this project has me returning to beers I once dismissed - this one is not as bad as I remember it being;  it is certainly lacking in excitement or character but it is drinkable;  maybe I let their departure from Brampton cloud my judgement;

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

June 15, 2011

212)  Home:  Kellerbier by Creemore Springs of Ontario:  *1/2;  hops are more prominent to the nose than to the taste but they are there;  unfiltered, no preservatives, unpasteurized;  brewed in small batches - if Molson wants to test the craft beer waters again, they might consider beefing up the Creemore line over launching another "Signature Series";  based on a traditional German process;

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

June 14, 2011

211)  Home:  Oranje Weisse by Amsterdam Brewery of Ontario:  **;  brewed with malted barley and unmalted wheat, also coriander, anise and orange peel;  a refreshing summer beer;  the bottle advises to perform the "Weisse Roll" by gently rolling the bottle back and forth on its side prior to opening, no doubt to suspend the sediment at the bottom (this is an unfiltered beer);  I have seen this on draft - I wonder how far I will get if I request that the Weisse Roll be performed before pouring my glass;

Monday, 13 June 2011

June 13, 2011

210)  The 3 Brewers in Toronto:  Pale Ale made in house:  **;  In the same way I was surprised to get a terrific Irish stout on St. Patricks day here, I have to ask who would have imagined that a French place could make a credible West coast style IPA?  citrusy and floral, it was very enjoyable; 

Sunday, 12 June 2011

June 12, 2011

209)  Rose Garden Square, in front of the Rose Theatre in Brampton:  San Miguel by the San Miguel Brewery of the Philippines:  *1/2;  malty, a bit sweet;  consumed at Brampton's Filipino Fiesta in commemoration of the 113th anniversary of the Philippine's independance;  a splendid time was had by all;

June 11, 2011

For the second consecutive year, Great Lakes Brewing of Etobicoke won the Ontario Cask IPA Challenge.  This year's winner, Karma Citra, was available at the Great Lakes night at the Volo mentioned some time back but I didn't get around to it.  A number of people actually did manage to try everything they wanted that night.  I don't know whether to feel happy or sorry for them.

The entire showdown may be viewed at:

Saturday, 11 June 2011

June 10, 2011

207)  Sin and Redemption in Toronto:  De Koninck by Brouwerij de Koninck of Belgium:  **;  I only ever see this, their flagship beer, locally but there are others;  a bit sweet with hints of dried fruit;  it reminds me of the La Trappe/Koningshoeven offerings but with less octane;

208)  Burger Bar & Tequila Tavern in Toronto:  Black and Tan by Hockley Valley Brewing Company of Ontario:  **;  dark with sweet mocha flavours;

Thursday, 9 June 2011

June 9, 2011

206)  Home:  Sunburst Classic Golden Ale by Dark Star Brewing of England:  *1/2;  very smooth tasting;  strongly hopped in the English fashion using milder hops from Kent;  subtle notes of grapefruit;  I could become a fan of summer beers;

June 8, 2011

La Mondial de la Biere starts today in Montreal.  Owing to other events like a jazz festival and an automobile race the hotel was booked at least as early as November which was when I checked.  I suppose I could have found something along the subway line but this is not the year for me to attend.

I will console myself at the Volo, which to my mind is a lot like a miniature beer festival.  It can get pretty crowded for starters and you will see people studiously sniffing their beer and making copious notes.  You get asked a lot what you are drinking and what you think of it.

I should also mention C'est What and one server whose name I have not learned (shame on me).  This fellow is always asking what I am drinking and he will make suggestions based on his perception of my tastes (generally bang-on).

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

June 7, 2011

205)  Home:  Blonde by Abbey de Maredsous of Belgium:  **;  a blonde, twice fermented abbey ale;  a bit sweeter than the brown from yesterday, with hints of spice;

Monday, 6 June 2011

June 6, 2011

204)  Home:  Brune by Abbey de Maredsous of Belgium:  **1/2;  a deep rich brown abbey ale, checking in at 8% after a secondary fermentation in the bottle;  aroma and taste is of sweet dried fruit;  very nice;

Sunday, 5 June 2011

June 5, 2011

203)  Home:  Hitachino Nest by Kiuchi Brewery of Japan:  *1/2;  a white ale brewed with coriander, nutmeg and orange peel;  brewed rather close to Japan's troubled reactors but the newspaper article assures that these were shipped prior to the tsunami and its after effects;  another in an increasingly long line-up of capable patio beers;

June 4, 2011

202)  Home:  Mad Tom IPA by Muskoka Cottage Brewery of Ontario:  **;  strongly, but not crazy hopped as evidenced in both the nose and the taste;

Saturday, 4 June 2011

June 3, 2011

201)  Caffe Volo in Toronto:  Mill Race Mild by Grand River Brewing:  **1/2;  an English brown ale with hints of chocolate;  a mellow session ale;  yet another winner from Grand River - I am looking forward to the next one;

Thursday, 2 June 2011

June 2, 2011

200)  Home:  Golden Crafted Ale (bracis-curmi) by The Celt Experience:  **;  Bracis-Curmi means malted beer;  milder, British, hops are used to give only hints of citrus;  another good summer beer;  I have never been much for summer beers but I have hit a good patch of late;

Having hit the 200 mark, I looked back and far and away the most different beers, some 110, were consumed at home so I owe a debt to the LCBO for bringing in so many new and uncommon beers.  Caffe Volo placed second at 17, followed by C'est What with 12 and the Burger Bar & Tequila Tavern with 10.

Ontario accounted for 110 different beers, and overall there were 126 Canadian brews of which Quebec takes credit for 14.  The next closest countries were England at 17 (if you rolled in Scotland and Wales the UK accounts for 28), the United States with 14 and Belgium with 10.

My most popular brewers were Mill Street with 9, followed by Great Lakes and Dieu du Ciel! each with 8.

To the best of my recollection the most expensive beer was Little Korkny Ale at $21.95 for a 600ml bottle and the least expensive was the Labatt's 50 at the Linsmore Tavern which was $1.15 for a tiny glass, though I ended up leaving $2.00. 

Onward to 365, and beyond!

June 1, 2011

199)  Home:  Rosee d'Hibiscus by Dieu du Ciel of Quebec:  **;  a wheat beer brewed with hibiscus flowers and spices;  I thought I caught a hint of orange among other delicate flavours;

May 31, 2011

198)  Home:  Somer Orange Honey Ale by Rogue Brewery of Oregon, U.S.A.:  **;  brewed with wheat, oats, honey, chamomile, coriander and sweet orange peel;  very subtle flavours and aromas;  very refreshing on a hot day like today;  that's not a typo, by the way:  the bottle reads "Somer";