30 Apr

My Bitter Wife IPA Beer Review

Great Lakes Brewery LogoOriginally released as part of the Tank Ten series, My Bitter Wife IPA  met such great reception that it has returned – and will continue to return each year – as a Spring seasonal brew from Great Lakes Brewery. It is named for Carrie Nation, an American woman who was a radical member of the temperance movement in the United States before prohibition.

She was particularly well known for getting her message across through vandalism, using her trademark hatchet to destroy the property and stock of bar owners. She was arrested a total of 30 times between 1900-1910 for her “hatchetations.” A large woman, she stood almost 6′ tall, had a stern countenance, and was self-described as “a bulldog running along at the feet of Jesus, barking at what He doesn’t like.” During her campaign against libations she published The Smasher’s Mail, a biweekly newsletter, and The Hatchet, a newspaper.

A strong and bitter beer, My Bitter Wife IPA became a fast favourite throughout Ontario and this year’s limited run appears to be moving quickly. If you get a chance, try it. If not, there is always next year.

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26 Apr

Society of Beer Drinking Ladies: Bevy 0004 Review

On the last Friday of each month, The Society of Beer Drinking Ladies gets together to drink and discuss craft beer and have an amazing time. Each month there are a series of different brews to try as well as new and familiar faces, many of them brewers and beer reps and bar owners. A great networking event as much as anything else, I was highly anticipating getting my third stamp and enjoying what was sure to be a fabulous selection of beer and a great group of ladies. While the evening was not quite what I had expected from my previous experiences, I did get to try some amazing beer and chat with some new beer buddies.

The Society of Beer Drinking Ladies

Started by a group of friends who love beer and work in the brewing industry in Ontario, the Society of Beer Drinking Ladies has grown rapidly to include over 150 beer-loving ladies from Toronto and the surrounding area. There are also regional offshoots in nearby cities. The group has grown so quickly that events sell out within just a few hours of tickets becoming available. Luckily freelancing means I have the ability to watch my email fastidiously for notification that tickets have gone on sale and I have managed to snag a ticket to all but the first event.

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23 Apr

Rhyme & Reason Beer Review

I first tried Rhyme & Reason at the Society of Beer Drinking Ladies Bevy 0003 which took place at the end of last month and, in preparation for this Friday’s Bevy 0004, I found myself thinking about my favourite from the last event. A direct, head-to-head comparison between 2 different (and delicious) examples of 3 popular types of beer, Bevy 0003 was a great chance for me to try out a good selection of craft beer.

This beer was definitely my favourite of the evening and I’ve indulged in a 6-pack or two since. With Citra, Centennial, Chinook, and Simcoe hops, this American Pale Ale has a lovely malt sweetness which is well-complemented by a light bitterness and a crisp finish. Flavourful and artistic, this brew is easily distinguished from the huge crowd of mediocre – and vastly similar to each other – APAs.

Collective Arts Rhyme & Reason


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19 Apr

Snakes & Lagers Bar Review

Snakes and Lagers Taking a lesson from the success of the board game cafe, Snakes & Lattes, the owner of Snakes & Lagers, Aaron Zack, has outdone himself with this board game bar. Featuring over 200 different board games and a good selection of munchies and craft beer, Snakes & Lagers is a great evening for small to medium groups of friends.

Being enthusiastic fans of both beer and board games,my husband and I had planned to go since it opened a few months ago but stories of long wait times had dissuaded us until yesterday when our plans had fallen through and we were looking for something relaxed and fun. Having friends in town, we wanted something entertaining but which allowed conversation and catching up and board games naturally came to mind. Not a large space, we had both read reviews claiming wait times of up to a few hours just for a seat on Friday and Saturday nights but our group of 4 was able to get in after only a short wait.

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17 Apr

Mad Tom IPA Beer Review

Muskoka Brewery Mad Tom IPAOne of my favourite Ontario IPA’s, Mad Tom IPA from Muskoka Brewery is dry-hopped with Chinook and Centennial hops and won the Alberta Beverage Awards in 2013 for the India Pale Ale Category. The double IPA, Twice as Mad Tom, won Best in Class and rightly so. These brews are truly delicious and have played an important part in the Ontario craft beer scene and the re-emergence of India Pale Ale as a popular style as well as having a unique set of lore.

Well-balanced and versatile, this beer is just as nice on a hot summer afternoon as it is on a cold winter night and is one of my go-to choices when I want to satisfy my hop cravings without being adventurous.

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14 Apr

Fire in the Rye Beer Review

Double Trouble Brewing Co. has done a great job with this novel brew made with pure Centennial hops. This bold, smooth, and balanced brew is a great example of the style. From Double Trouble Brewing Co: 
With 60 IBUs, our single-hopped Rye Pale ale combines the earthy aroma of rye with a bold hop flavouring from Centennial which compliments the distinct rye malt. Having it unfiltered results in a beer that will attract craft beer drinkers and other beer consumers alike.
Sure to become a popular brew, this is a delicious, refreshing mix with enough hops to satisfy a hop-addict like me but still light enough to be a fantastic sessional beer.
Double Trouble Brewing - Fire in the Rye
11 Apr

St-Ambroise IPA Beer Review

McAuslan has created a truly tasty English style Indian Pale Ale with their release of the St-Ambroise IPA. Made with Chinook, Golding, and Cascade hops, this New World take on the classic IPA style of 19th century England, this brew has a lovely hop bitterness and malt smoothness. This is an excellent, hoppy but sessionable drink which is great for summer drinking.


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07 Apr

Grendel’s Revenge Beer Review

Grendel’s Revenge is a barrel-aged old ale and one of the newest  in-house creations at West end brew-pub Indie Alehouse. I originally tried this brew on tap about a week ago and could not resist the opportunity to take some home in our 2014 Growler Club growler. While the Indie does sell many of their brews for home consumption in large glass bottles, selection is often limited to 1-3 options at a time, unless one is a member of the Growler Club. These stainless steel growlers – pictured below – contain about as much as a 6-pack of beer and can be filled with anything made in-house for about $16-$20 depending on alcohol content. With their ever-changing selection of quality beer, it was a good investment.


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04 Apr

Lone Pine IPA Beer Review

One of the benefits of living in the west end of Toronto is the beer. One of the last areas of the city to allow the sale of alcohol, it has become quite the attraction for beer aficionados thanks in large part to the Indie Ale House. Part brewery part gastro-pub, the Indie has become immensely popular in the few years since it opened. The food is fantastic, the beer truly excellent – and varied – but one of the best parts about going frequently is trying their ever-changing collaborations and guest taps.  Among one of my favourites to date is this well-balanced and very drinkable American IPA from Sawdust City Brewing Co: Lone Pine IPA.


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