Sunday, 13 August 2017

August 12, 2017

257/2075) Home:  Ruff Draught by Muskoka Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  a 5%, 25 ibu Tropical Blonde Ale; a collaboration with Born Ruffians, a Canadian indie band originating from Muskoka;  it was the first place winner at the Sessions Beer Festival;  malty nose;  not much tropical to speak of initially;  a standard blonde ale with an ever so mild hint of tropical citrus at the finish;

258/2076) Home:  Upside IPA by Wellington Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  6.8%, 58 ibu;  brewed with the addition of wheat and oats;  an East Coast style IPA using Vermont style ale yeast;  hazy, gold colour;  peaches and grapefruit nose;  peachy and citrusy flavours with tropical notes;

August 10, 2017

256/2074) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Hungry Thighs by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  *;  Thursday cask;  mix of their brown and their IPA with Falconer's Flight 7C's and Pilgrim hops;  reminds me of Wellington Terrestrial IBA but I prefer this hop profile;  the nose is dry with a hint of bitter citrus and lots of roasty malt;  blend of roasted malt with dry hop notes and a bitter after taste;  the chocolate notes of the brown are largely masked;

Pilgrim is an English hop while Falconer's Flight 7C's (the use of the apostrophes is theirs) is a proprietary blend of seven different hops, most, but not all, of which begin with the letter C.

August 7, 2017

255/2073) Home:  Chanan by Merit Brewing Co. of Hamilton:  *;  a 5.3% dry hopped saison with orange peel and Indian coriander;  tropical, citrusy nose with musty saison yeast;  I am not really getting the coriander;  the hops seem to take centre stage at first but the tropical and orange zest notes emerge leaving a lingering bitter finish;  not sure about this one;

August 6, 2017

253/2071)  Home:  Skull Rock Oatmeal Stout by Sleeping Giant Brewery of Ontario:  **;  5.1%, 30 ibu;  strong roasted malt nose with a hint of alcohol;  very roasty flavours - does not suffer for lacking coffee or chocolate notes of many stouts;  dare I say, a "Superior" stout?;

Sleeping Giant National Park is located near this Thunder Bay brewery but Skull Rock Narrows is a ways west and a bit north so I don't know if this is the reference or if it is a Peter Pan inspired name.

Compliments must go out to Sleeping Giant for naming a beer after one of Canada's greatest super-heroes, Mr. Canoehead.  I absolutely must try that one, posthaste.

254/2072) Home:  Piña Grande by Lake of Bays Brewing Company of Ontario:  *1/2;  4.2%;  a wheat ale brewed with "pure pineapple juice";  also Magnum, Perle and Belma hops;  not much pineapple to speak of;  nose is like a malty lager;  mildest of pineapple edges;  between the pineapple juice and the belma hops I was wishing for more;

Saturday, 5 August 2017

August 5, 2017

252/2070) Home:  First World Problems by Stewart Brewing of Scotland:  **;  6.2%, 80 ibu;  billed as a Belgian IPA;  brewed with rye and oats;  the recipe is by James Hardacre, winner of a home brewing competition;  the Belgian elements are revealed in the yeasty nose alongside floral hop notes;  mildly citrusy, not overpowering;  more a variation on a pale ale to my mind - it's not overly "Belgian";

An alternate set of captions from Stewart's website reads, "Forgot I was watching a recording/sat through the commercials".  I like this one better.

August 4, 2017

250/2068) Home:  Unfiltered Pils by Double Trouble Brewing of Ontario:  *1/2; 4.6%;  contract brewed at Wellington in Guelph;  brewed with added wheat flakes;  as you will imagine it is cloudy;  mildly sweet nose with grassy notes;  mild citrus flavours;  another unusual pilsner - is this going to become a trend?;

251/2069) Home:  Grapefruit IPA by Double Trouble Brewing of Ontario:  *1/2;  5.9%;  here again, they have added wheat flakes and also "natural red grapefruit flavour";  grapefruit nose;  as much a radler as anything and I still think these are best prepared fresh at home;  in spite of the "natural" grapefruit it tastes a little artificial, nearly soda-like to me;  bitter after taste;

August 1, 2017

248/2066) Home:  The Sociable Pilsner by Common Good Beer Co. of Ontario:  **;  4.7%, 26 ibu;  brewed with Citra hops;  nose is grassy with a mild hop edge;  grassy with fruity hop notes;  as pilsners go this is pretty good;  it was an inspired idea to add Citra hops, in place of Saaz;

249/2067) Home:  Stash by Collective Arts of Ontario:  *;  5% ;  fruity nose;  it's the sugary sweetness that grabs one's attention - sweeter than Sprite;  not revolting but I wouldn't risk another;

You will note we are instructed to "Drink From the Can" and I did consume nearly half this way but it didn't improve things.

July 31, 2017

247/2065) Home:  [Extra] Terrestrial Imperial IBA by Wellington Brewery of Ontario:  **;  8.2%, 90 ibu;  stands for India Brown Ale;  brewed with twice the amount of malt as the original, which I recall first tasting at the late, lamented Burger Bar and Tequila Tavern;  very roasty nose with a bit of cocoa but you cannot miss all those piney hops;  opens with sharp hop notes yielding to cocoa and roast with a dry finish;

My wife picked this up at the brewery in Guelph.

July 30, 2017

246/2064) Home:  India Pale Ale by Alexander Keith's of New Brunswick:  *;    5%;  clear pale amber;  smells of grain, adjuncts;  a bit of sweetness;  not offensive, just dull, very dull;

Here I fear I must be ungallant:  my wife bought this.  A third of a century ago, this one was just a bit edgy.  People from the maritimes referred to it as Vitamin K and the Shuffle Demons had a tune dedicated to it.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

July 27, 2017

245/2063) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Your Princess Is In Another Castle by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **;  their seasonal raspberry wheat with Cascade and Amarillo hops;  downright murky;  nose is sharp grapefruit;  tastes of  orange with mild grapefruit notes;  not excessively hoppy for those who might be put off by such;

I gather the name is a "Mario" reference.

July 25, 2017

For those who have been predicting the demise of craft beer, Goldman Sachs has downgraded Boston Beer Company and Constellation Brands due to sluggish beer sales and indications that millennials are drinking less beer (but more wine).  Then again, it has been said that economists have predicted ten of the last three recessions so the Latin cum grano salis applies.

July 24, 2017

243/2061) Home:  Honest Bucker Pale Ale by Mill Street Brewery of Ontario:  **;  5.9%, 41 ibu;  an American style pale ale;  brewed with Mosaic hops;  tropical citrus nose;  flavours are nice but not quite as upfront as the nose;  tropical finish;

An honest bucker is a bucking horse that bucks the same way every time.  This beer represents the Calgary brewpub.

244/2062) Home:   Walker's Blueberry Wheat by Mill Street Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  5%, 20 ibu;  this recipe was developed at the Toronto brewpub;  yeasty, blueberry nose;  blueberry flavours are subtle and sweet;  "A Canadian twist on a classic BEL fruit beer";  during secondary fermentation blueberries supplied by the family of a member of the Mill St. Team were added;

July 23, 2017

241/2059) Home:  Je Ne Sais Quoi by Little Known Brewing Company of Ontario:  *1/2; 4.2%;  Little Known is in fact a collaboration between Flying Monkeys of Ontario and the 49th Parallel Group, a distributor of British Columbia;  billed as "mysteriously obscure and beyond conventional categories;  cloudy appearance;  nose is promisingly citrusy (grapefruit) with pine;  flavours open a bit weak, almost washed out citrus and pine but things quickly turn bitter and resiny, nearly off puttingly so, in a lingering manner;  still, I would give it a second chance, especially on tap or on cask;

242/2060) Home:  Tom Green Summer Stout by Beau's All Natural Brewing of Ontario:  *1/2;  5%, 27 ibu;  a Blonde milk stout;  brewed with barley, oats, lactose, coffee and cocoa nibs;  pale and clear;  sweet, grainy chocolate notes;  sweet coffee nose with lingering coffee flavours;  without roastiness it doesn't feel like I am drinking a stout then but in the interest of full disclosure I do take my coffee black, no sugar;

July 20, 2017

240/2058) Home:  India Pale Ale by Innis & Gunn of Scotland: **1/2;  5.6%;  from their Beer Kitchen Test Series;  brewed with Cascade, Centennial and Mandarina hops;  does not appear to be barrel aged - one has certain expectations on pouring a bottle of Innis & Gunn into a branded glass but there are no notes of vanilla, oak or bourbon to be found;  instead we are treated to what might be deemed an old school hop bomb, which is to say in the fashion of a decade ago;  bitter grapefruit with hints orange and pineapple;

Lately Innis & Gunn have been unsuccessfully trying things outside their wheelhouse but this is an unqualified success.  I had been avoiding this one but I am very glad the opportunity to save a dollar on a six pack tipped me off the fence.

That ringer you are spotting is a bottle of the Spiced Rum Aged Porter I bought at the same time.  I still cannot get over the cola flavours.

July 18, 2017

238/2056) Home:  Jigger's Delight by Mill Street Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2:  5%, 26 ibu;  a California Common originating from their St. John's brewpub;  fermented warm, aged cool;  grainy nose with a touch of fruit;  grainy with mild lemon notes;  from the Mill St. Summer Brewpub Pack;

239/2057) Home:  Stone Mason Ale by Mill Street Brewery of Ontario:  **;  4.8%, 35 ibu;  this recipe comes from the Ottawa brewpub which is housed in a limestone building formerly used as a mill;  and English style bitter;  rich sweet malty nose;  rich malty nutty flavours;  overall, a nice bitter;

Mill Street's latest seasonal sampler is the Summer Brewpub Sampler and it is made up of two year round beers, the Organic Lager and the West Coast IPA, and four beers designed at their brewpubs.

July 17, 2017

236/2054)  Home:  Hop to the East Hefeweizen, a collaboration between Central City of British Columbia and Quidi Vidi Brewery of Newfoundland and Labrador:  **;  5.5%, 20 ibu;  brewed with wheat, barley and "new age tropical hops";  nose is yeasty with tropical fruit notes; flavours of yeast, cloves, bubblegum, tropical fruit;  an odd set of juxtapositions but it works for me;  your milage may vary, as they say;

With this we reach the end of Central City's Coast to Coast collaboration series.  A few nice beers I might try again on their own but I don't feel any need to purchase either six-pack a second time.

237/2055) Home:  Bandit American Pale Ale by Lake Wilcox Brewing Co. of Ontario:  **;  5%, 28 ibu;  mild citrus nose;  gentle citrusy notes, if a bit washed out;

This was purchased bought at Longo's, in a tin - take that,

It was an odd experience buying beer at a grocery store.  I was expecting rows of six-packs of the big sellers but while there were a few of this package size what I found for the most part was Ontario beers available individually and heavy on the "craft" side.  I don't know that I have ever bought enough items in a grocery store to disqualify we from the express line (not that this seems to inhibit people based on my observations) and the first time I bought a tin of beer here I was asked for my date of birth(!) but I made it through, business as usual.

The second time out I wasn't looking for the sign to tell me I could check beer through here and I had to make simultaneous transactions at the express line and the lottery counter opposite.  It seemed a bit fussy and I did think that I could have added another item to my basket.

July 15, 2017

Here's something I wish I had thought of.  Great Lakes Brewery has announced its support for Don Grant's attempt to set the world record for completing a marathon dressed as a lumberjack in September's Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.  He needs a time under four hours and fifteen minutes, which I will concede I would have a tough time matching.

Among the places Great Lakes' "mascot", Gordie Levesque, can be found is the label of Canuck Pale Ale.

July 14, 2017

235/2053) Home:  Bière d'ici Honey Ale, a collaboration between Central City of British Columbia and Prince Edward Island Brewing Company of Prince Edward Island:  *;  6%, 17 ibu;  brewed with PEI honey and maritime hops;  described as "a lighter take on the Bière de garde style";  sweet, mildly fruity nose;  sweet honey flavours and sweet after taste;  I found it a little one dimensional for my liking;

July 13, 2017

234/2052) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Candy Mountain No. 2 by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **; cask;  their brown ale with "Cherry Blasters" which I gather are a variety of candy;  a very nearly Kirsch like nose with chocolate;  I was worried it would be too sweet for my liking but even though the brewmaster commented that he used a lot of candy this is not the case;  cherry flavours and the chocolate notes of the brown play off each other nicely creating a chocolate and cherry blend which works very well for me;

July 12, 2017

232/2050) Home:  Restored Hop(e) ESB, a collaboration between Central CIty of British Columbia and Picaroons of New Brunswick:  **;  5.6%, 50 ibu;  brewed with wheat and barley;  fluffy, pillowy head;  rich and malty with a mild hop bite at the finish;  it;s nice to have a solid example of a tried and true style in this series;

New Brunswick's provincial motto "Spem Reducit" which translates as "Hope is Restored".  This beer was inspired by the French descendants and United Empire Loyalists who founded Canada's only truly bilingual province.

233/2051) Home:  "New" Scottish Ale, a collaboration between Central City of British Columbia and Garrison of Nova Scotia:  *;  5.5%, 20 ibu;  Nova Scotia Latin for New Scotland;  sweet caramel and smoke, or perhaps I should say peat, in the nose;  sweet malty caramel notes offset by said peat;  lingering bitter smokiness;

July 11, 2017

230/2048) Home:  Upper Reaches Pale Ale, a collaboration between Central City of British Columbia and Beau's All Natural Brewing of Ontario:  *1/2;  6%, 20 ibu;  brewed with peach juice and spruce tips;  nose is mostly spruce with peaches in the background;  tastes like a cough drop;  very sprucy with some peach at the finish;  bitter after taste;  somehow this is oddly compelling;  I just might try it again, given the opportunity;

231/2049) Home:  Bouclier Canadien, a collaboration between Central City of British Columbia and Le Trou du Diable of Quebec:  *1/2;  5%, 40 ibu;  pours a clear straw colour;  new world hops get around my main concern about pilsners;  grassy, leafy nose and flavours;

Bouclier Canadien translates as Canadian Shield, an interesting Canadian geological feature.  In the day we were taught that it was created during the ice age by a glacier scraping the topsoil south and exposing the rock but current thinking may differ.

We are into the second installment of Central City's collaboration series.

Saturday, 29 July 2017

July 10, 2017

228/2046) Home:  Light 'Er Up Canadian Craft Lager by Old Tomorrow of Ontario:  *1/2; 4.0%, 10 ibu;  I suppose the alcohol content would make this a light, or session beer;  grassy nose;  crisp, malty, mineral notes;  you wouldn't know it was a light beer - more flavourful that I would have expected;

229/2047) Home:  Land of Rice and Honey Saison, a collaboration between Central City of British Columbia and Half Pints of Manitoba:  *1/2;  5.8%, 25 ibu;  brewed with wild rice and wildflower honey;  nose is mostly honey and yeast;  flavours of spice and honey;  perhaps a bit sweeter than I care for but it's nice enough;

July 9, 2017

227/2045) Port Franks, Ontario, my father's cousin's place:  India Pale Ale by Black Swan of Ontario:  **1/2;  6.6%, 65 ibu;  earthy, resiny nose;  resiny and piney with tropical notes;

The occasion was a family barbecue.  This was a growler purchase and it was well received by all who sampled it.  I was tickled at how much our host liked Black Swan's Porter which I also brought with me.

July 7, 2017

226/2044) Home:  Wide Open Spaces, a collaboration between Central City of British Columbia and Black Bridge Brewery of Saskatchewan:  *1/2;  5.5%,  35 ibu;  a Kellerbier, a brewing style brought to Saskatchewan by German immigrants;  Kellerbiers are often described as "young lagers";  hazy, translucent;  fruity, honeyed nose;  grainy and fruity with a bitter herbal finish;

July 6, 2017

225/2043) Berry Smooth, a collaboration between Central City of British Columbia and Last Best of Alberta:  **;  3.5%, 15 ibu;  a Berliner Weisse brewed with raspberries, milk sugar, wheat and barley;  "refreshingly tart dessert beer experience";  fresh raspberry nose;  tart raspberry flavours, slightly offset by milky creamy sweetness which comes into its own at the finish like whipped cream on top of the berries;

When this was brewed Alberta was a part of Canada, our boy Prime Minister notwithstanding.

July 4, 2017

224/2042) Home:  Left of the Divide IPA, a collaboration between Central City and Four Winds, both of British Columbia:  **;  6%, 70 ibu;  brewed with Idaho 7 hops;  slightly musty nose with green tea;  musty herbal notes;

July 3, 2017

221/2039) Home:  Swift Currant Dark Ale, a collaboration between Central City of British Columbia and Yukon Brewing of Yukon Territory:  *1/2;  5.1%, 20 ibu;  brewed with local black currants, wheat and barley;  grainy nose with forward back currant;  it's black currant all the way through;  very summery with a mild roastiness;

222/2040) Home:  Refresh Grisette, a collaboration between Central City of British Columbia and NWT Brewing of the NorthWest Territories:  *1/2;   4%, 17 ibu;  the Grisette style originated amongst Belgian miners and it translates a "little grey";  brewed with spelt;  pours a translucent straw colour;  very saison-like and if truth be told I do have some difficulty defining the demarcation lines between things like saisons, farmhouse ales, table ales, grisettes and the like;  the nose is earthy and musty with citrusy lemon notes;  musty,  yeasty, peppery with a citrusy finish;

These are from Central City's Red Racer Across the Nation 150 Years 1867-2017 mixed pack, the West version.  In other provinces it is marketed as a complete case of twelve but our LCBO will not carry packages larger than six so it was split for the Ontario market.

223/2041) Home:  Azimuth Belgian Blonde by Wellington Brewery of Ontario:  **;  6.7%, 18 ibu;  yeasty nose with citrus zest;  unusually citrusy for a Belgian but it makes for a nice variation on the style;  sweet with mild clove notes;

Monday, 24 July 2017

July 1, 2017

218/2036) Home:  Canada 150 Best Bitter Ale by Black Creek Historic Brewery of Ontario:  **;  5%;  "inspired by the recipes of the 1800s";  rich and malty with a mildly bitter hop finish;

219/2037) Home:  Confederation Amber Ale by Flying Monkeys of Ontario:  *1/2; 5%;  pours a clear colour somewhere between amber and copper;  nearly no carbonation;  malty, bready flavours;  it's inoffensive yet nondescript;

The tin reads, "The beer that started it all" and, indeed this was the first beer Flying Monkeys brewed on opening some 13 years ago.

Some appropriate beers to unapologetically mark the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation:

220/2038) Home:  150 Maple and Thistle Rye Ale by Innis & Gunn of Scotland:  **;  5.9%;  brewed to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation;  matured for 150 days in 150 oak barrels;  bottle conditioned;  brewed with maple syrup and Scottish wild thistle;  likely worth aging;  pours a  dark amber;  oaky vanilla nose;  toffee notes, maple; herbal bitterness, presumably from the thistle, offsets the sweetness at the finish;

Innis & Gunn almost always have a special beer to mark Canada Day, a tribute to some of their more enthusiastic customers and a symbol of how important individuals descended from Scotland have been in our history.

June 30, 2017

It was announced today that Peter McAuslan, founder of McAuslan Brewing of Quebec, has been made a Member of the Order of Canada.  McAuslan Brewing is very well represented on these pages.  Congratulations go out to Peter Gould McAuslan, C.M.

June 29, 2017

217/2035) Home:  Spotted Cow Fieldberry White by Amsterdam Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  5%;  brewed with blackberries, blueberries and raspberries;  a very nearly cidery nose what with all those berries;  the yeastiness of a wheat beer with a snap of berries, especially at the finish;

June 26, 2017

216/2034) Monk's Kettle, Etobicoke:  Catch 23 IPA by Forked River Brewing of Ontario:  **1/2;  6.3%;  nose is citrusy (lemon) with a hint of pine;  fresh citrusy flavours;

June 25, 2017

214/2032) Home:  Vienna Lager by Ace Hill Brewing Company of Ontario:  *1/2;  5.0%;  perfectly clear amber;  malty nose;  hint of fruit, malty - a standard Vienna lager;

215/2033) Home:  Dry Hopped Lager by Charles Wells Ltd. of England:  **;  4.7%;  brewed with water from well sunk by C. Wells himself in 1902;  nose is floral and spiced;  mildly citrusy and grassy;

I am no lager fan but I would drink this one again.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

June 24, 2017

213/2031) Home:  Pilsner by Ace Hill Brewing Company of Ontario:  *1/2;  4.9%;  unusually malty for a pilsner;  grassy with a muted hop snap, saaz-free;

June 23, 2017

212/2030)  Home:  Canadian Lager by Moosehead Breweries of Ontario:  *;  5%;  Moosehead is making much of the fact that they have been around as long as Canada;  pours perfectly clear;  rather bland and flavourless;

June 22, 2017

211/2029) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Exploring Dora by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  *1/2;  the Canada 150 Saison beer of the month in cask form with coffee beans and cocoa nibs;  pale and cloudy so the fresh coffee bean nose is a surprise;  an unusual blend of flavours with the sharp tang of cranberry and spruce meeting lingering coffee bean flavours;  the cocoa is just barely noticeable in the finish;

June 20, 2017

209/2027) Thirsty and Miserable:  Joyce De Wit by Forked River Brewing of Ontario:  **;  4.9%;  a Belgian style Wit;  the yeasty nose does not prepare one for the onslaught of spice and sweetness that follows;

It is not out of the question that a bonus was awarded for the name.

210/2028) Thirsty and Miserable:  (I Swear) Sugar Pants (It Was Your Idea) by Sawdust City of Ontario:  **;  5.3%, 34 ibu;  a chocolate oatmeal brown ale;  brewed with cocoa husks, flaked oats and demerara sugar;  sugary, chocolatey nose;  flavours of dark sugar and chocolate;

This was a tin from Katie's well-stocked refrigerator.

June 18, 2017

208/2026) Home:  Patersbier by Beau's All Natural Brewing of Ontario:  *1/2; 4.7%, 22 ibu;  from Beau's Farm Table Series;  musty yeasty nose;  tastes yeasty and spicy;

It translates as Father's beer, though the fathers in question were brewing stronger beers inside an abbey.  Details aside, it was appropriate that my son brought this around for Fathers' Day.

June 17, 2017

206/2024) Home:  Demon Host by Amsterdam Brewery of Ontario:  **;  a 6.2%, 70 ibu Black Rye IPA; an Adventure Brew;  pours very dark;  rye dominates the nose;  taste is a blend of sweet chocolate with bitter hops;

207/2025) Home:  Moosehead Pale Ale by Moosehead Breweries of New Brunswick:  *;  5%;  labelling aside it tastes rather lagerish to me;  grainy with honey-like sweetness;  nothing special;

June 14, 2017

205/2023) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  The 150th by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **;  4.8%, 22 ibu;  a saison using all Canadian ingredients including Nugget hops, Muskoka cranberries and Quebec spruce tips;  cloudy appearance;  cranberries are more up front with the spruce in the background and lingering through the finish;  very refreshing;

It is nice to get away from automatic maple where things Canadian are being celebrated, not that I have any issue with maple.

June 13, 2017

204/2022) Home:  Beach Chair Lager bu PEI Brewing Company of Prince Edward Island:  *;  4.5%;  leafy grassy nose;  grassy with a hint of lemon;  a standard lager;

June 12, 2017

203/2021) Home:  Charles Henri Blanche by Brasserie Les 2 Frères of Quebec:  *1/2;  5.1%, 19 ibu;  well carbonated;  persistent fine foam;  tangerine like nose;  fizzy mouthfeel;  clove and tangerine flavours;

Saturday, 22 July 2017

June 11, 2017

Earlier this year the Canadian Brewing Awards created some controversy over a decision to restrict entry to “Canadian-owned commercial brewers and cider makers”, a change from previous years where it was only necessary for a product to be brewed in Canada for consideration.  One wonders if the awards won by unfashionable brands like Coors, Molson, Keith's and Budweiser in past have called their street cred into question.

In addition, they neglected to mention this upcoming change when they were soliciting the companies with deep pockets for sponsorship.

As a result the Beer Store and Beer Canada are withdrawing their support.

The usual suspects are clucking their approval but I find this uncommonly short-sighted.  What it means for me is that should I wish to nominate the Old Mill from Tracks Brewpub I will first need to have a word with Roger.  He was born in Sri Lanka, attended university in Germany and spent time learning to be a chef in France, according to my sources.  What I don't know is whether or not he ever became a Canadian citizen and now because of the new eligibility rules I have to know the citizenship of the owner of Tracks Brewpub, as if it were my business to know this.

June 10, 2017

An event was held today at Birreria Volo called Sour vs. Bitter where sours were pitted against IPAs.  I went strictly for the five ounce pours as there were quite a number of things I wanted to try.

193/2011) Birreria Volo:  Air Ride by Redline Brewhouse of Ontario:  **1/2;  a 6.1% American IPA;  fruity, tropical nose;  flavours lean to bitter and resiny with a dry after taste;  tropical flavours in back ground;  a great start to Sour vs. Bitter;

194/2012) Birreria Volo:  Zodiak by Omnipollo of Sweden:  **1/2; a 6.2% American style IPA brewed with Simcoe, Citra and Mosaic hops;  nose is tropical fruit with a hint of pine;  citrusy flavours with a touch of sweetness;

I think this may have been brewed under contract in Toronto.

195/2013) Birreria Volo:  Immoralité by Dieu du Ciel! of Quebec:  **;  8% double IPA brewed with Citra, Simcoe and Amarillo hops;  very dry nose;  bitter, astringent flavours;

196/2014) Birreria Volo:  Happy, a collaboration between Tooth & Nail and Great Lakes Brewery, both of Ontario:  **1/2;  6.5% American IPA;  tropical citrus nose with a side of astringency;  fresh, fruity, tropical flavours;

197/2015) Birreria Volo:  Juicin' by Sawdust City of Ontario:  **1/2;  6.1% Vermont Style IPA;  citrusy, tropical nose;  in contrast the flavours are tart, nearly cidery;

This was brewed with oats to soften the flavours and a special variety of yeast which enhances the fruitiness of the hops.

198/2016) Birreria Volo:  Northern Wish, a collaboration between Dominion City and Twin Sails of Ontario and British Columbia respectively:  **1/2;  7% American IPA;  dry hopped with Galaxy hops;  tart citrusy nose;  bitter citrusy flavours;

It was time to switch things up so the next two are from the sour side of the list.  In addition these were bottle pours and thanks go out to Tomas for his suggestions.

199/2017)  Birreria Volo:  Tropical Platypus by Almanac Beer Co. of California:  *1/2; a 6% "equatorial sour blonde ale" aged in wine barrels and oak foeders with kiwi, lime, mango and passionfruit;  hopped with Galaxy hops;  champagne like mouthfeel;  sour, tart, funky nose;  boldly aggressive tart flavours;

200/2018) Birreria Volo:  Silly Cybies by Crooked Stave of  Colorado, U.S.A.:  **;   a 9% Belgian style dark ale aged in oak barrels with raspberries;  tart raspberry nose;  sharp, tart raspberry flavours;  tart astringent aftertaste;  mild oakiness is present especially towards the sour, tart, funky finish;

I hear tell cybies is what they call spring onions in Scotland.  Mercifully, there is no hint of  that here though I fear this beer has given someone the idea.

201/2019) Birreria Volo:  IPA by Burdock Brewery of Ontario:  **1/2;  a 7% American IPA brewed with hop hash;  one of many differing beers from Burdock simply labelled IPA;  nose has a very fresh hop edge;  sharp bold hop flavours with just a touch of sweetness at the finish;

202/2020) Birreria Volo:  36" Chain by Barncat Artisan Ales of Ontario:  **;  8.2%;  mildly tropical citrus nose;  there is a bitter edge to this one;  citrusy notes but mostly dry astringent flavours;

There is a patio out back which feels quite roomy after sitting inside the somewhat confined bar area.  Things are so tight that even though I don't recall steps I am wondering if you could call this place accessible or not.

June 9, 2017

192/2010) Home:  Charles Henri Ale Ambrée by Brasserie Les 2 Frères of Quebec:  **;  6.2%, 31 ibu;  named for the 2 brothers' (Nicholas et Matheiu) grandfather;  fruity, yeasty nose;  opens with sweet caramel but the hops quickly take the edge off;

June 8, 2017

191/2009) Home:  Raspy Engine by Harviestoun Brewery of Scotland:  **;  5.3%;  this is Harviestoun's Old Engine Oil (which I have tasted but prior to starting this blog) infused with fresh whole Scottish raspberries:  "crafted with a twist";  mild raspberry and chocolate notes;  grainy raspberry flavours, roasty notes, and a hint of chocolate;

Which reminds me, I only recently learned that only a little bit off to the side of one of the trails that I run along there are raspberry bushes growing wild in the no-cut, no-spray area along the side of the creek so I can replace electrolytes without carrying anything with me.  At least in theory.  

June 7, 2017

190/2008) Home:  Iona Scotch Ale by Amsterdam Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  5.6%, 25 ibu;  an Amsterdam Adventure Brew;  brewed with "naked oats" and wildflower honey;  a typical Scotch ale with a sweet malty nose and amped up sweetness from honey with a  honey aftertaste;

June 6, 2017

189/2007) Home:  Rocks and Shoals by Amsterdam Brewery of Ontario:  **;  a 5.8%;  English IPA brewed with Bramling Cross and Jester hops;  an Amsterdam Adventure Brew;  herbal green tea leaf nose;  dry herbal flavours ;  not precisely what I was expecting from a beer billed as an English IPA but very fine just the same;

June 5, 2017

187/2005) Home:  Dunes Beach Beer by Country Brew Co. of Ontario:  *;  4.8%, 22 ibu;  a Kolsch style lagered ale;  nose is reminiscent of central European lagers;  leafy pilsner like flavours;

Brewed as a tribute to Prince Edward County where brewery is located and the local sand dunes.

188/2005) Home:  TGIF Friday Helles Lager by Wellington Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  5%, 20 ibu;  malty nose;  mildly fruity sweetness;

June 4, 2017

185/2003) Home:  Little Norway Pale Lager by Sawdust City of Ontario:  *1/2;  4.5%;  brewed with German pilsner malt, Saaz and Magnum hops, though I found the hops to be understated;  a collaboration with Arendals Bryggeri of Norway;  grainy, mildly fruity nose;  faint fruit notes among grassy flavours;

Sawdust City is located in Gravenhurst.  In 1940 some 3,000 Norwegian airmen relocated here after the fall of Norway in the second world war and the town became known as Little Norway.  Seventy five years later this collaboration was brewed.

186/2004) Home:  Rhubarb Saison by Wellington Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  5.1%, 20 ibu;  brewed with farmhouse style yeast;  rhubarb in nose and the dank musty farmhouse yeast;  rhubarb not quite so up front as I may have wished;  another example of a farmhouse/saison being rescued by fruit;  musty, yeasty aftertaste;

 The label reads, "best enjoyed out doors" and, indeed it is definitely a patio beer.

Friday, 21 July 2017

June 3, 2017

183/2001) Home:  Pale Rider by Amsterdam Brewery of Ontario:  *1/2;  a 4.2% dry hopped lager;  brewed with El Dorado and Amarillo hops;  forward hoppy nose;  opens with hops, quickly grainy lager notes take over with a hoppy finish;  unusual;

184/2002) Home:  Anniversary Ale Limited Release by Moosehead Breweries of New Brunswick:  **;  5.7%;  celebrating 150 years of brewing by Moosehead and 150 years of Canadian Confederation;  brewed with all Canadian ingredients including Galena, Columbus, Cascade, Chinook hops;  notes of Asian tea, mildly astringent finish;

A number of years ago, my wife's cousin took us to a "Canadian pub" in London, England.  They served the original Moosehead.  I remember being so convinced that I was the problem on being nonplussed that I actually ordered a second pint.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

June 1, 2017

180/1998) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  She Is The Darkness by the 3 Brewers of Ontario:  **;  there are two casks this Thursday;  the first is Rhiannon casked with oak;  sweet nose reminds me as much of maple as oak;  sweet with berry notes;  a bit of licorice towards finish;

181/1999) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Insatiable Lust by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  *1/2;  thier saison with coriander, lime peel, sea salt and lactic acid;  a salty sour;  the lime hits the nose first but with a salty dimension;  tastes of lime with coriander - lactic acid is very much in the background;  salty throughout especially towards finish and salt dominates the aftertaste along with the lime;

182/2000) Home:  Bodacious Blueberry Blonde by Broadhead Brewing of Ontario:  **;  5%, 12 ibu, which are the same figures as Great Lakes' Rosie, oddly enough;  sweet blueberry nose, bold refreshing blueberry flavours;

May 31, 2017

179/1997) Home:  Belgian Blonde Belgian Style Ale by New Limburg Brewing Company of Ontario:  **;  7.1%;  brewed with sugar;  pours a murky orange colour;  nose is yeasty with cloves, sugar, citrus;  mildly sugary with notes of cloves and oranges;  a worthy effort;

Brewed in Nixon, Ontario.

May 29, 2017

178/1996) Home:  Bridal Veil Pale Ale by Manitoulin Brewing Company of Ontario:  **;  5%;  brewed with wheat and barley;  named for a waterfall on Manitoulin Island;  green tea nose;  mildly herbal, mildly floral, fresh tasting;

May 27, 2017

176/1994) Home:  Edison's Peep Show West Coast IPA by Bell City Brewing Co. of Ontario:  **1/2;  6..5%, 60 ibu;  tropical fruit, melon, green tea nose;  melony finish;  citrusy, tropical flavours;  very nice;

177/1995) Home:  St. Ambroise Session IPA by McAuslan of Quebec:  *1/2;  4.5%, 55 ibu;  Cascade, Chinook, Citra hops;  unfiltered;  nose is citrus zest;  taste doesn't quite match the nose;  more grainy than I had expected;

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

May 25, 2017

175/1993) The 3 Brewers, Heartland:  Quivering With Ecstasy by The 3 Brewers of Ontario:  *1/2;  cask;  the seasonal, Witteke Belgian ale with coriander and orange zest, has been soured with lactic acid and Mandarina Bavaria and Motueka (from New Zealand) hops have been added;  interesting notes of lime; tart, cidery nose;  astringent cidery notes, lime, tropical flavours;  the sour is dominant;

It may be a short cut but using lactic acid to sour is more reliable, according to the brewmaster.  I find it easier on my g.i. tract.

May 24, 2017

Fauxcountry News is at it again:

Equal parts hilarity and truth.

May 23, 2017

173/1991) Home:  Full Time IPA by Beau's All Natural Brewing of Ontario:  **1/2;  6.7%, 60 ibu;  brewed with hops from the U.S.A. and New Zealand;  tropical and pine nose;  sharp piney notes and citrus finish;

The intent to have an IPA available year-round, not just seasonally.

174/1992) Home:  Stout Beer by Woodhouse Brewing Co. of Ontario:  **;  4.7%;  wheat;  mocha and roast nose;  flavours of mocha and coffee with a coffee after taste;

May 22, 2017

170/1988) Home:  All Day IPA Session Ale by Founders Brewing Company of Michigan, U.S.A.:  **;  4.7%, 42 ibu;  brewed with barley malt, wheat malt, oats, Simcoe and Amarillo hops (and those ingredients are listed in seven languages);  nose is a blend of hops;  pine, resin, tropical notes;  mildly herbal with a piney finish;  a pleasant APA;

171/1989) Home: Cusqueña Dorada Golden Lager by Backus y Johnston (who are owned by SABMiller) of Peru:  *1/2;   5%;  my son brought this back from Peru;  Saaz hops;  grassy, malty nose;  sweet, light bodied;

172/1990) Home:  Invictus Bourbon Barrel Aged Russian Imperial Stout by Flying Monkeys of Ontario:  **1/2;  17.5% ;  aged one year in Heaven Hill, Jim Beam and Buffalo Trace Bourbon barrels;  nose is bourbon, wood, leather, dark chocolate, raisins;  very strong flavours, a blend of sweet bourbon, vanilla, dark fruit;  as well as being high octane it comes in a large bottle so it is another one for sharing;

This was available on-line only, marking my first experience if you don't count the limited edition Utopias.  My quibble has been that regularly you are required to buy six or twelve of a beer that is expensive to begin with.  Luckily this was available as a single unit and I was able to fluff my order beyond the free shipping minimum with little fuss.