30 Jul

Weakday Warrior Beer Review

Indie Ale House I am usually not much of one for low alcohol beers – in fact, I usually feel like they are somehow a rip-off, as if I am not getting the full bang for my buck if it is any less than 5%. How glad am I that I allowed that concept to be challenged!

I first tried Weakday Warrior by happen-stance and immediately fell in love. I have been back to Indie on multiple occasions simply to drink this beer – not to say that I don’t enjoy others or the typically fantastic food – but this beer has been my main draw to the establishment since it’s arrival. Pungent, tropical, and hoppy this Warrior is ready to battle the summer heat!

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30 Jul

The Toronto Festival of Beer – Beer Review

Canuck_Pale_Ale_GLBDate: Saturday, July 26. 2014
Location: Bandshell Park, Exhibition Place
Time: 1:30-8:00 PM

Every year in Toronto, the Beer Store takes over Bandshell Park for an entire weekend at the end of July for their Festival of Beer and fills the area with a very large number of beer tents, pop-up restaurants, and vendors.From jerky and cigars to junk food and dinner, they have got all your needs covered so you can just relax and enjoy the myriad selection of beer.

Flying Monkeys in particular has had a substantial spread of widely different brews; in fact it was the most impressive number of taps I saw all day by easily double. If I had greater tolerance for beer I would have tried them all but there were plenty of other breweries with tasty treats to try. I’d meant to pick up a shirt but somehow plans become very fluid after a good quantity of beer and I never got around to it. I did snag some stickers and a whole mess of coasters throughout the day and stopped in to see Left Field early enough to remember to buy a comfy tank tap.

While I was disappointed that the first Left Field beer I tried – Resin Bag IPA, which turned me on the the brewery – was not available, I did go back multiple times and ended up trying all three of their offerings. This is a brewery to watch: I expect good things to come. If you can get your hands on the Resin Bag you should definitely give it a try but don’t hesitate to give the others a chance as well!

Below you will find a list of the beers I tried, some information about them, and my ranking. Over the next few weeks I will be going into more detail about as many of them as I can get my hands on again and will link to the full reviews from here as I go.

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29 Jul

Review of Bevy 0007 | SOBDL

SOBDL_RewardCard_6

What: Bevy 0007
Where: Artscape Youngplace
When:  Friday, July 25, 2014

The Society of Beer Drinking Ladies is a great example of the impressive growth of the craft beer industry throughout Ontario, and especially in Toronto. With an almost overwhelming number of bars, brewpubs, and restaurants serving a massive variety of local and imported quality beer it is no surprise to see craft beer become a topic of widespread discussion with magazines like Now dedicating entire sections to beer guides .

But women have long been an overlooked aspect of the movement towards better beer and the Society aims to change that: Not only by bringing women together in a safe place where they can discuss and enjoy new brews without having their opinions dismissed by the likes of those who still believe women only drink sweet cocktails but also by harnessing our love for said beer to encourage charity. Each month, the proceeds from their “Bevies” goes to supporting the Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF), a registered charity dedicated to “empower[ing] women and girls in Canada to move out of violence, out of poverty and into confidence.”

Lucky ladies who manage to get tickets for these monthly meetups get to enjoy great food, new and unreleased beer, and a consistently great party. This month the ladies offered beer from Collective Arts; Side Launch Brewing; Great Lakes; Black Oak; and Royal City Brewing Co. We also had the option to purchase small tasting sizes of each beer before spending drink tickets on full size pints. This was a nice touch this month and allowed me to easily try all of the offerings without spending too much money, consuming too much beer, or ending up with a pint of something I simply didn’t care for.

For more information about the delicious brews, the extremely satisfying food, and the charming venue, read on!

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26 Jul

Starting Tomorrow Monday: Beer Weekend Round-Up

Including:

  • Indie Alehouse & Nickel Brook’s tasty new sessional IPA collaboration: Weak Day Warrior
  • The food and beer of Bevy 0007; and
  • Beery shenanigans at the Toronto Festival of Beer.

We’ll start tomorrow Monday with a review of Bevy 0007, follow that up with  coverage of beerfest on Tuesday, and finish off with my full review of my favourite new beer-treat on Wednesday! Enjoy the festival!

23 Jul

The [Beer] Week to Come

This week I am going to be one happy – and drunk – kitten indeed. With Bevy 0007 on Friday night and the Toronto Festival of Beer on Saturday, I am really looking forward to all of the amazing new beers I will get to try this week. Unfortunately I am going to have to go back to the pen & paper method to record my thoughts as I try new brews: After noticing that my phone’s screen was not responding properly, I had to bring it in for RMA today. At least it is under warranty.

I cannot reveal the location for The Society of Beer Drinking Ladies‘ Bevy 0007  as it is a closely guarded secret until the big reveal on Friday but I can say that it will have delicious food from The Saucy Pierogi as well as some sure-to-be-delicious brews. And the space sounds pretty cool too. I am looking forward to volunteering this time around so if you are attending, come say hi! I’ll be at the swag counter from 10-12 and my baby dreads tend to stand out.

Saturday is looking like it will be fantastic – although they are currently calling for thunderstorms, again – and I am really excited about all of the new breweries that should be there this year, particularly some of my new Ontario favourites including Sawdust City and Left Field Brewing. I am definitely going to have to pick up some more beer swag this year. And the food promises to be fantastic as well with some food truck favourites like Hot Bunzz setting up for the weekend.

If you are heading down to beer fest this year, let me know what you are most excited about in the comments!

19 Jul

Coffee Pale Ale Beer Review

Nickel Brook LogoUnfortunately we did not actually make it to the Junction Brewery on Wednesday as once you get settled in at 3030 it is easy to simply stay. Fortunately I did try some delicious and interesting new beers. The first one was both of these, the second mostly just interesting so I thought it would be good to share my thoughts on the bizarre brew.

The first few sips didn’t bother me overtly but I didn’t really enjoy them either. The more I drank of the beer, though, the slower I got until the final third which I practically chugged because it was time to go. Something about the combination of coffee flavours and an otherwise fairly standard pale ale just did not suit my taste buds and I found the closest analogy I could make was an overly creamy, too sweet iced coffee. Not that it taste specifically sweet but that it had that watered down coffee flavour of an iced coffee that has been left to melt for just too long.

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12 Jul

Craft Beer Passport: Kensington Market

craft beer passport_5 Having so thoroughly enjoyed my first three stops on the Craft Beer Passport, I was really looking forward to crossing another couple of bars off of my list Tuesday night. We had made plans with my dad after buying him a passport of his own for Father’s Day and we were finally getting out to make good on our promise to visit some of the establishments together.

But on Tuesday morning I was worried: the weather network was promising rain all day and all evening with high risk of thunderstorms and powerful winds. As the rain poured down hard enough that I could barely see out the window, our plan of knocking off two bars with a stop for dinner in between seemed ill-suited to the day.

By late afternoon, however, the powers that be had decided to smile on our plan and the weather turned to our favour as the skies cleared for a lovely sunny couple of hours before dinner. Relieved, I set out to meet the others at our first stop: Thirsty & Miserable. The rain did make another short appearance as we strolled over to Margarita’s for dinner but it was a lovely summer evening and we didn’t mind it all that much. I, for one, was quite mollified by the unexpected treat of finding one of my favourite beers at our first stop.

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10 Jul

Craft Beer Passport: The Bar With No Name

craft beer passport_3rdWith the cast off and summer in Toronto heating up quickly, I have been picking up steam on my passport. Last Monday, taking advantage of the holiday to have an extra long weekend, we decided it was long past time to check out the nearby, geek-friendly Bar With No Name that we had walked past many times but never entered.  

Greeted with a unique atmosphere and friendly staff, we were happy to see the beer selection was not only quite good but also incredibly affordable: Mondays at the Bar With No Name means $10 pitchers of anything on tap! And with their selection, that is a pretty impressive deal. 

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06 Jul

Amnesiac Beer Review

Beyond the cave of Hypnos and up the river of forgetfulness, you will find our original IPA’s big gnarly brother. Craft brewed enlightenment and a profound does of hoppy citrus awaits you.

Phillips Amnesiac Double IPAThis double IPA from Phillips Brewing Company is a bright lemony and tropical beer that caught our attention thanks to the friendly and inviting label. I am quite partial to a good label design, particularly bright colourful ones. (I completely blame/attribute this to Flying Monkeys who taught me that colourful designs is a good indication of deliciousness.)

The lighting of this photograph leaves something to be desired as it is getting late here but I do like the dramatic effects it created through the top of the bottle. In any case, this beer is definitely more golden then it appears here.

In any case, we grabbed beer in something of a hurry today after a long shopping trip out at Vaughan Mills (wow is that place large!) but we did manage to find two interesting brews to try at the local LCBO. This is the first brew that I recall having from Phillips and I do like it: while it is not the most enticing double IPA I have ever had, it does leave me interested in trying more from the brewery.

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