Friday, April 4, 2014

Candied Ginger & Orange Pop!

Crabbie's Spiced Orange Alcoholic Ginger Beer is dangerous! This UK 4%er legitimately tastes like orange pop, heavy on the ginger. It leaves a spicy warm tingling in your throat that kind of simply works on this chilly Spring evening.

It's pretty sweet, kind of hard candy-like. I feel like I've chewed a bunch of candied ginger and washed out down with orange pop, yes, that's it! Does that sounds compelling? If so, the LCBO has these right now- you're welcome.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

When in Quebec!

The Saint Alexandre pub in Quebec City seemed the perfect place to sit by the window and watch the St. Patrick's day parade!

I had to go with a Quebec Dieu du Ciel, and chose the Rosée d'Hibiscus 5.9% strong spiced beer.

The server explained it best when she said this beer gives you a tingling in your cheeks! It's a bit bitter, has a familiar Dieu du Ciel flavor, and is a beautiful pink color from the hibiscus. It's definitely something to try but not a session beer.

That familiar taste is potentially from the ttype of barley or the wheat. After a few sips, the Rosée d'Hibiscus tastes very similar to the Blanche de Chambly with a small floral finish. 

If you like Campari, you'd like this beer.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Beer Makes History Better V2

I decided to take the Toronto Urban Adventures Beer Makes History Better walking tour again. Yup,  again! Three years after my first time on this tour.

Did you know that beer was used as a form of currency in ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia?

... Note to all, watch the documentary "how beer saved the world". 

Have you every heard of a lupulin shift?

Well anyhoo, I had the Granite hopping Mad at C'est What, the cask version of the Market Citra (I truly can't remember what it was called, and we didn't know the brewery either... I know, horrible) at Betty's, and polished my tour off with all the Mill Street samples available. I stayed for a pint of their seasonal cherry ale but didn't find it to be very special. I did however learn how Mill Street gets their canned stout to pour like a can of Guinness. Check out the photos below, they had to develop their own version of the Guinness widget. Mill St also recently opened a new bar area that feeds its taps directly from the brewing area. How cool. See the photo below. 

I'd highly recommend this tour to folks either visiting Toronto or to those living here. I learned a lot about the history of the Old Toronto and Distillery areas and had a excuse to visit the east-ish side of the city.
Points go to James our tour guide who bought us butter tarts at St. Lawrence Market; they were unbelievable. And I got to buy that fresh pasta. If you've ever been to the Market, you'll know the one I mean.

Beer-wise, the bars we went to were perfect for selection. I love my cask ales.

One last thing I learned: Stiegl Radler is only 2%. Two. So I've substituted my morning grapefruit juice for it. 

Just kidding...!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The coolest pour I've ever seen

This was by far the coolest pour I've ever seen. I wish I took a video. From the bottle to the glass there were three colours: the black at the bottom, a glassy middle that looked like beautiful pearls, and the top head. The top and bottom both rushed towards the centre like they were magnetically attracted. Well I'm attracted.

The limited edition Flying Monkey Chocolate Manifesto Triple Chocolate Milk Stout is 10% alcohol and 100% chocolate milk deeeelicious! Creamy, like a Sam James coffee, chocolaty like a Godiva truffle, and just slightly bitter to let you remember you're drinking a stout.

Try this. Please. It's rich, so have it after a light dinner as a delectable dessert. Maybe alongside a creamy strawberry cheesecake. Mmmmm.

Friday, January 3, 2014

A whole new world

Sam Adams never seems to fail,  much like my current favourite brewery, Rogue.

We found this Barrel Room collection at the LCBO for about $35. Three oak barrel aged beers in distinctly shaped bottles that make you want to save them for special occasions. 

I had my first one on Christmas day. The first bottle we had was the 10% New World (which sparked a duet of the Aladdin song "A Whole New World") Golden Tripel. 

Golden color, cloudy, flavour-hints of spice due to the two types of hops used, and finished with a light but earthy note. It had a slight sediment which made me reminisce about the recent peanut butter "sediment" I had in my Rouge collaboration with Voodoo Chocolate Peanut Butter & Banana Ale- there's nothing wrong with a little sediment in my books. 

This beer was impressive. Not only could you not tell it was 10%, it was so refreshing and fruity that I was disappointed we didn't get two boxes. 

Speaking about being disappointed, what's with Muskoka Brewery's price jack on their seasonal Double Chocolate Cranberry Stout? They put the Winter Beard bottle in a fancy box and charge $13.95 for what cost $10.95 last year? Now I'm not one to penny pinch so I bought one, but you also can't pull the shiny box over my eyes and charge me ~25% more when all I'm going to do is throw the box out. Sure, maybe they'll say it's because it keeps more light away from the bottle and makes for a better beer. Well when I crack this one open I'll let you know if it tastes ~25% better than last year's.

Happy New Year, my friends. May your beer drinking be limited to only the best, because with great beers like Sam Adams New World, you're taking in a solid 265 calories per serving. Cheers!