Friday, February 24, 2012

My Night of Work and Lagery

Hadn't had this one before tonight.

So thanks to La Carnita, I ended up with this Muskoka Brewery Craft Lager.  Again, really, thanks - it's 10:45pm on a Friday and I'm working.  Sure sure, I'm taking a quick break to write this post, but I'm working away.  Who goes out on Friday nights anymore anyways?

Well, IF I were to go out on a Friday night, I might pick a few of these Craft Lager's up next time.  They're a surprisingly 4.8%, which is only surprising because I hadn't realized that Muskoka Brewery produced anything light, having been a frequent buyer of their 5% Cream Ale and 6.4% Mad Tom IPA.  But anyway, a 4.8%er is good for one of those loooong session nights where you know you'll be at it for a while.

Now, as you may have realized by now, I'm more of an ale fan.  But in terms of the lagers I've had, this one's pretty alright.  My favourite, being Brooklyn Brewery's Brooklyn Lager, is a lot stronger, but this one embodies what you would expect from a lighter lager with that distinct Muskoka taste.  That's a good taste, btw.

If you're a lager fan, or a Muskoka fan, I'd recco this beer.  If you're a light ale fan, maybe not so much, as lagers have a nice bitterness to them that take a bit of taste acquiring.


My Recco's
Food: Sliders.  Any kind.
Music: Pearl Jam.  Any album, just listen to Eddie Vedder's voice.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I'll have a draft beer. To go, please.

Recently I received a message from some folks over at, on account of our matching web addresses.

Turns out they produce a New Jersey based beer show that's broadcast on their YouTube channel.  Who would've thought - "Drink This" would be so synonyms with the nectar of the cool gods.

While checking them out, I came across this video, where the host talks to Jack Babin, and Tony Forder, the co-publishers of the Ale Street News.  The free, print, newspaper has been around for 21 years, and is as of March 20th, 2012, introducing their first product: A take home beer container.

Yes, you read that correctly.  A portable beer carton that brewpubs can fill up with beer, and you can take it... with you.

Do me a favour - check these guys out:  I may not live the in United States of Take Out Beer, and walking out of a bar with cartons full of your favourite draft seems like something I dreamt up, but come March 20th, I'm definitely going to try and get these bad boys up here in Toronto.

Think about the opportunities!  Imagine this:  You have time to grab one drink at the pub because you have to rush home to pick up the kids, and your favourite local is having a one-night-only cask event, with twenty different once-in-a-lifetime beers available.
mon Dieu!
You can maybe throw two down really quickly, but you'd feel bad for not taking the time to taste and respect the bev.  What if you could take these one-time-only brews home with you? Say, choose six of the twenty, rush home, feed little Molly and Steve, and sit down with the significant other and enjoy 6 pints from the comfort of your own home.

Now that's just crazy talk! ...Right?

Nope!  I can't wait to hear how this March 20th product launch goes in the States, and want to know if Canadian laws would let such a thing happen here.  Something to think about barVolo?

Friday, February 17, 2012

Monks, Those Enablers

It's days like these that make you want to leave society behind and go live in a monastery. Sit around and play the flute, paint calming symbols onto papyrus, and sit around in the adjacent meadows.

So I've been a bit busy with work and haven't had a chance to read my comments on here, let alone post something new, so here's something for you, along with my sincere "I'll do better".

Greene King Abbot Ale: Sometimes you have to choose the tallboys in your fridge so that your plights will have more beer to drown in.

That's the plan for tonight.  Cans.

If anything, Abbot Ale will make you dream of never reaching that gorgeous meadow... that monastery in a secluded Swiss mountain... that aerial view of precipices vast, only because such rich fruity, malty flavour is being suppressed by being .. in a can.

My Recco's
Food: Nothing. Your fridge is as empty as a tunnel with no light at the end.
Music: Atmosphere - The Best Day.  Then, the 1990's Spiderman TV show theme, on repeat.

My Additional Recco:
Pour it out of the can and release all of the glory.

NB: I'm not really all that upset right now.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Rich, Creamy, Hard Kickin' Cow

Ever wanted to save time and have your dessert and get bombed at the same time?  Well welcome to Southern Tier's crème brûlée Imperial Milk Stout.

10% AND it tastes just like crème brûlée - no kidding.  It also made me feel exactly as happy as I am in a candy store.

This strong stout screams vanilla and caramel.  It's definitely not a session brew, but if you're thinking of switching it up in the digestif area, do me a favour - try this.  But don't try it after a 67oz steak for pete's sake; treat this bevy with the respect it deserves.  I'd recommend having it after either a late, light lunch, deli-esque perhaps, when you have no intentions of dinner that night.  That, or even after hearty salad.  One of those southern ones with corn and strips of steak in it.
Best yet - after a small sized helping of spinach, cheese, and beef or veal ravioli in a nicely seasoned tomato alfredo sauce. Oh yea, that's the one.

Ps. If you want to read about other Southern Tier (I love you Souther Tier) bevy's I've had - check these out: (I've had their Imperial Choklat Stout, but failed to write about it.  I will remedy that some day soon, that's a promise.)

Southern Tier IPA
Southern Tier Imperial Pumpkin Ale: Pumking

My Recco's
Food: AFTER a tomato alfredo leafy veg + red meat ravioli
Music: Jingle Bells.  (What? It made me feel festive.)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Arret Indeed

Having one of these St. Ambroise Pale Ale's tonight, reminded me why I like beer.

For years I've avoided Quebec beer.  8 and 9 years ago I was drinking a lot of different QC brews, trying anything I could find.  I visited Quebec a few times between '04 and '09, visiting a few micro brasseries, and just didn't ... like... anything.

Well, quelle surprise.

Maybe my total lack of love for the Montreal Canadiens got it in my head that anything from Montreal couldn't be acceptable.  Well tonight, St. Ambroise's given me a ray of sunshine in the form of a pale ale.

This beautiful brew is 5%, 100% Canadian, has a best before date stamped onto the bottle's label, and is so delightfully amber, it tastes like maltiness and hoppiness were put onto a balancing scale, and formed St. Ambroise Pale Ale right at the perfect balance.

I've missed pale ales.  I've been spending so much time with IPA's recently, that I've forgotten how beautiful a pale ale can be.  My taste for good beer has grown ever so much over the last decade, that I'm happy (and slightly embarrassed to say it's taken this long) that Quebec beer is back on my list.
Another great thing about this pale ale - this 4-pack was a gift.  Thanks Lily!

My Recco's
Food: Bacon wrapped dates stuffed with candied peanuts
Music: The Beatles - Revolver (the whole album)

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I'd like to Meet this Mad Tom

What one would call a true IPA.

...One of the truest I've had, that's for sure.  Muskoka Brewery's Mad Tom IPA just plain yells comfort beer.  It's one of those 6er's you can grab when feelin' like you need a 6er, and turn any mood into a party.

As for some deets: it's 6.4%, craft, and has over 60 IBU's; plus ya gotta love the clear label.  The label makes me think of sittin' on the dock of the bay... watchin the tiiiiide roll away..... (ooo hooo hoooo)

This post has been a long time coming for me, as the first time I tried Mad Tom was back in September of last year at Toronto's Premium Beer Experience, during Toronto Beer Week, the night before I left for Chicago for the 3rd time in 2011 - this time to go to my first ever American Football game: CHICAGO BEARS vs GREEN BAY PACKERS.  How fitting that this coming weekend is Superbowl weekend eh?

The story?
I tried it, I liked it, I wanted more.  I even snagged a lovely lookin' gentleman's number that first night.
Since then, I've had my fair share of Sir Tom.  I typically reach for one of these when I'm either looking forward to a nice evening at home watching cartoons, or before I head out to do the standard weekend dinner/pub/bar ritual.

My Recco's
Food: Salmon risotto
Music: Men at Work: Land Down Under.  Seriously, if you've never watched this video, you'll love me for introducing you to it.

As for Sunday's big game: Go Patriots!