27 Apr

Heelch O’Hops Beer Review

Heelch O Hops_Anderson Valley

This Double IPA is brewed with a heelch of Columbus, Chinook, & Cascade hops

Brewery: Anderson Valley
Style: American Double India Pale Ale
ABV: 8.7%        IBU: 100

Sometimes cat-sitting has its perks. In fact, it has many perks but the relevant one at this point is the image to the left.

This delicious Californian Double IPA is an especially tasty treat left for me by my grateful and very thoughtful neighbours as a thankful for watching their 3 adorable cats.

Extremely well balanced, Heelch O’Hops features not only lovely citrus hop profiles but also plenty of resinous hops and lots of malt. Far from detracting from the flavour, the high levels of Pale Two-Row, Victory malts in this beer give it a solid backbone on which to hang the intense hop characteristics.

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21 Apr

Toronto Festival of Beer: Spring Sessions

Date: Friday April 24 & Saturday April 25
Hours: Friday 4-10 pm | Saturday 12-6 pm
Location: Sherbourne Common

The first in a spring and summer packed full of beer related events, the Toronto Festival of Beer Spring Sessions kicks off this Friday at 4pm. As usual, this festival will host a huge number of breweries pouring some of their best beers alongside some truly tasty local food establishments, and live musical performances from Lowell (Friday at 8:30pm) & JJ and the Pillars (Saturday at 4:30pm).

 

TORONTO FESTIVAL OF BEER: 

SPRING SESSIONS

If you haven’t already grabbed a ticket, maybe this list of fantastic beer and delicious eats will inspire you! I for one am really looking forward to Rashers as I can only imagine what an all bacon sandwich place could do and I am eager to find out.

breweries

  • Big Rig
  • Flying Monkeys
  • Central City
  • Goose Island
  • Thornbury
  • Beau’s
  • The Publican  House
  • Sierra Nevada
  • Muskoka Brewery Company
  • Junction Craft Brewing
  • Mill St. Brewery
  • Sawdust City Brewing Co.
  • Brickworks Ciderhouse
  • UnderDog’s Brewhouse
  • Great Lakes Brewery
  • Steam Whistle
  • Whitewater Brewing Co.
  • Creemore Springs Brewery Ltd

food vendors

  • FG
  • Buster’s Sea Cove
  • Chimney Stax Baking Co.
  • Caplansky’s Delicatessen
  • Menu Food Truck
  • Rashers
  • Oyster Boy
  • The Pie Commission
  • Tiny Tom Donuts
  • Smoke’s Poutinerie

See you there!

If you have already scored a ticket, or this impressive list of breweries has driven you to pick up one, be sure to stop by the GLB booth and say hi! I’ll be working all day Friday and Saturday, slinging beer and enjoying what I am sure hoping will be a beautiful Spring weekend in Toronto. Hope to see you there!

20 Apr

Octopus Wants to Fight Beer Review

octopus wants to fight_GLB

A perfect IPA for a sunny afternoon

Brewery: Great Lakes Brewery
Style: IPA
ABV: 6.2%        IBU: 88

Having already tried this beer in a can direct from the brewery when it first launched just a few weeks ago I almost did not order it on tap this afternoon. Luckily there was nothing on that I had not already tried and I know that GLB is always best fresh from the tap. I was not disappointed.

Already a delicious IPA, Octopus Wants to Fight gains an extra level of tasty when served fresh on a sunny spring afternoon in Toronto. Bright and effervescent, it features a lovely mingling of hop flavours.

In any case, I was glad I decided to it as I feel I have much greater appreciation for the beer than I did previously. If you get the chance, drink this one fresh, as Octo says. And this is not to say that it is not worth drinking from a can, it is still a delicious IPA well worth the $2.50/can.

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16 Apr

Punch Buggy Beer Review

punch buggy_indie alehouse

Packed with raspberry, Punch Buggy is surprisingly tart

Brewery: Indie Alehouse
Style: Fruit Beer
ABV: 4.5%        IBU: N/A

Making the most of the great weather in Toronto the last few days I decided to wander over to Indie Alehouse for a pint or two in the almost-patio front area. Unfortunately when I arrived I found they did not actually have it open. Ah well, I got lots of air on the way over, and was quite thirsty by the time I arrived.

Eager to earn more achievements on Untappd (by far my favourite social media of late) I always try to have something new on New Brew Thursdays. As I was feeling pretty summery today I decided to try the new fruit beer on offer: Punch Drunk. I figured it was likely to be pretty refreshing if a little sweet.

While it did slake my thirst, this raspberry beer was certainly not the sweet beverage I anticipated. More tart than anything else, it was still packed with strong, natural berry flavours.

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13 Apr

Winey Bastard Beer Review

Winey Bastard is a fantastic strong beer for wine lovers

Winey Bastard is a fantastic strong beer for wine lovers

Brewery:  Nickel Brook Brewing
Style: Imperial Stout
ABV: 9.5%       IBU: 70

Initially I was unsure of this particular imperial stout: The Pinot Noir barrels promised a rather different finish than the Kentucky Bastard’s beautiful bourbon aromas and flavours but the idea intrigued me.

While I do enjoy my occasional glass of red wine, my relationship with the stuff if not always a good one and I tend to reach for a beer over a wine most days. That said, I really like the basis for both of these barrel-aged brews, Nickel Brook’s Bolshevik Bastard, and so I figured it would be worth the experiment to find out just how different the two brews really are. Good thing as this tart imperial stout is highly delicious!

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09 Apr

Midtfyns Bryghus Double IPA Beer Review

This tasty double IPA has a strong aroma of apples

This tasty double IPA has a strong aroma of apples

Brewery: Midtfyns Bryghus
Style: Imperial/Double IPA
ABV: 9.2%        IBU: 119

Having good neighbours can be a great thing, especially when they leave you tasty treats for taking care of their (adorable and affectionate) cats.

This particular brew had been on my Untappd wishlist for some time so I was pretty excited to try it out. It was a bit different than I expected from the high IBU rating but, despite the surprisingly fruity aroma, it was quite delicious.

Sharing it with my husband was a good choice as the flavour is quite deceptive, hiding the high alcohol content and making it easy to drink it too quickly.

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06 Apr

My Summer of Beer

Greetings and Salutations! First off, my apologies for the sporadic posting of late, my schedule has been up and down due to starting a new job (yay!). With Great Lakes Brewery. That’s right, I am now going to be working for the Canadian Brewery of the Year for 2013 & 2014 as one of their event staff. I am super excited and really looking forward to a summer of delicious craft beer with many events, festivals, and unique opportunities to try out some unusual brews. (mention SOBDL?)

As the spring and summer play out I will update this blog with upcoming events and festivals and hopefully I will meet some of you there! For now you should know that Great Lakes Brewery is handing out free samples of both Canuck Pale Ale AND Pompous Ass English Pale Ale at The Court Jester Pub (Located at 681 Danforth Ave) from 5:30-8:30pm this Thursday, April 9. I will not be there myself but if you’re in the area it’s well worth it to drop by, enjoy a tasty sample or two, and try something off the pub’s extensive menu.