Saturday, 7 October 2017

Beer # 367 First World Problems Stewart Brewing

Beer #367 First World Problems Belgian IPA

Stewart Brewing Company


Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom

Independent Microbrewery
Established: 2004
Belgian IPA
6.2 % ABV IBU: 80
330 ml Brown Glass Bottle
$3.85 (Canadian) At the LCBO


Twitter: @StewartBrewing



I admit it. I bought this beer for the label. The Lichtenstein inspired cartoon caught my eye even before the clever name and witty "I ordered Sourdough, and they brought me brioche..." punchline. So naturally, this beer had to come home with me. It wasn't until I got it home that I discovered it was from Scotland, and a Belgian inspired IPA. Stewart Brewing is an award-winning craft brewery in the heart of frenetic and cosmopolitan Edinburgh. It's a wonderfully big welcoming city very friendly and ready to party at the drop of a hat. I learned valuable lessons about drinking while I was in Edinburgh and actually how to pronounce Edinburgh and not sound like a tool. Locals pronounce it ED-in-BURR... only foreigners pronounces it Ed-in-Boro or Ed-in BURG. I also admit it is easier to pronounce after a pint or two or 14 in my case.

Onto our beer tonight...

Pours a cloudy honey amber with a scattered thin head made up of various bubbles. Nose is sweet with nuts and toffee, clover honey flowers and some dried fruit. First sip is warming, with dried fruit and cooked pineapple. Hints of bright green hops. Slightly syrupy, reminiscent of a late harvest wine, leaves a sticky lips sensation. Fresh and bright with lingering hints of spice at the end. Aeration gives us a pump of alcohol as the full height of the 6.2% ABV stands up. Finishes warm toasty notes,  hints of treacle and caramel.

Impressions: Fail, So-so, Pass, Exceptional 


Cost: 5/6 PASS

Colour: 5/6 PASS
Beer Style: 5/6 PASS
Re-Order:  5/6  PASS
Experience: 5/6 PASS


Final Thoughts:


Very good IPA from Scotland. Well balanced and full of subtle little flavours. One you should give a try while you can.
Cheers


CJT


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Friday, 6 October 2017

Beer # 366 Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale: Left Field Brewery

Beer #366 Eephus Oatmeal Brown Ale

Left Field Brewery


Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Independent Microbrewery
Established: 2013
Oatmeal Bown Ale
5.5 % ABV IBU: 35
600 ml Brown Glass Bottle
$5.45 (Canadian) At the LCBO

Twitter: @LFBrewery



Tonight we head down to Left Field Brewery. A, obviously, baseball themed brewery in the Leslieville neighbourhood of Toronto. They have been around since 2013 and while I have had a few beers by them not much has made it into the blog. This one came as a bit of coincidence. I read an article about the "10 Must-try Beers from Toronto," and this was one of them, then by Chance I stumbled across a bottle in the LCBO.  As the brewery tends to use baseball terms to name their beers this is one that had me scratching my head. I've watched a bit of baseball, but hockey was king in my house growing up. Eephus (pronounced either EE-fuss or Eff-ess (see below)) is a very specific type of pitch.


The Eephus Pitch, from Wikipedia:


According to manager Frankie Frisch, the pitch was named by outfielder Maurice Van Robays. When asked what it meant, Van Robays replied, "'Eephus ain't nothing, and that's a nothing pitch." Although the origin is not known for certain, "Eephus" may come from the Hebrew word אפס (pronounced "EFF-ess"), meaning "nothing".[3] The Eephus pitch is thrown overhand like most pitches, but is characterized by an unusual, high arcing trajectory.[4][5] The corresponding slow velocity bears more resemblance to a slow-pitch softball delivery than to a traditional baseball pitch. It is considered a trick pitch because, in comparison to normal baseball pitches, which run from 70 to 100 miles per hour (110 to 160 km/h), an Eephus pitch appears to move in slow motion at 55 mph (89 km/h) or less, sometimes into the low-40s mph (66–69 km/h). source

Most often when the Eephus pitch is employed it is used to catch a batter off-guard. A pitcher will throw a bunch of fast balls and then lob in an Eephus to confuse the batter. And I think this is the heart of the idea in naming this beer Eephus, something to catch us off-guard.

Tonight's beer is a rich,  smoky, and fruity oatmeal brown ale. Let's try it.

Pours a rich chocolate brown with a generous tan head made up of small and medium bubbles. Aroma is dark and malty with strong notes of molasses, light smoke and a hint of spice. first sip is warm and malty with rummy molasses, light bodied, still fruity , with hints of smoke, and smoked meat. Light sweetness from the oatmeal, and a hint of effervescence. Very smooth and easy drinking. Makes me want a big stack of ribs. Aeration gives us notes of caramel, vanilla, some spicy green hops Second pour into the glass gives me a smoother creamier head with much finer bubbles. Flavour builds and develops as the beer warms.

Impressions: Fail, So-so, Pass, Exceptional 


Cost: 5/6 PASS

Colour: 5/6 PASS
Beer Style: 6/6 EXCELLENT
Re-Order:  5/6  PASS
Experience: 6/6 EXCELLENT


Final Thoughts:


Definitely falls into the category of a "Must-try" beer. Malty and complex while still maintaining an airy fruitiness. Much more than a curveball... certainly a Eephus.
Cheers


CJT


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18th Century Ginger Beer

I really, really enjoy this Youtube Channel: The Townsends. It does mainly deal with food in Colonial America but as beer was mostly made at home it is a subject that comes up frequently. It is really interesting to see how brewing has changed through the ages, and how much of it has actually stayed the same. In reality the advancements in brewing have mainly be in sanitation, and volume. Bring a 19th century brewer forward in time to today and I don't think he (or more likely she, as Brewing was a housewife's job) would be lost for very long. So check this video out for a Ginger flavoured Small beer, you will be surprised how approachable home brewing is.




Cheers

CJT

Beer # 365 Wild North Series Pina Grande Lake of Bays

Beer # 365 Wild North Series Pina Grande



Brewery: Lake of Bays Brewing Company

Type: Independent Microbrewery     Est.: 2008
Location: Baysville, Ontario, Canada
Beer Style: Flavoured Wheat Ale
ABV: 4.2%      IBU: 29
Format: Aluminium Can  Size: 473 ml
Cost: $3.15 CAD     Purchased At: LCBO

Twitter: @LB_Brewing

I'm a little late in posting this one. The notes have been languishing in my to-do pile for quite some time. I've had a very busy summer with work and renovations and gardening, I've been coming home and falling into bed more than poking at the blog like I should be. Never fear Fall is here as is the flood of new seasonal beers and unfortunately Pumpkin Spice everything. Don't look for any Pumpkin beers on the blog this year, I've suffered through enough. They are rarely worth the effort, either overly sweet or over spiced. I may still taste a few, and if by the rare chance I find a good one... I'll share. But I would rather talk about the deep, dark, unctuous, and lethally alcoholic beers that arrive with the cooler weather.

But now... A beer that is far from deep dark and unctuous, A bright flavoured wheat from The people up in Baysville. Pina Grande is a wheat ale that has added pineapple juice in the brew to tick up the acid, add some nice fruit sugars and a hint of tropical brightness. Which is really nice to talk about when I've been dealing with frost warnings in my garden since August.

Onto our beer.

Pours a bright clear gold with a generous white head made up of small bubbles. Aroma is pilsner malt with some wheat, light citrus, and a hint of roasted pineapple. The first sip is very malt forward with a district pilsner feel. Light fruity sweetness keeps this ale from being too malty and a hint of bitter hops crisps it up and keeps it light on the tongue. Pinpricks of citric acid and a hint of tinniness/mineral right at the end is reminiscent of pineapple juice from a can. Aeration sweetens up the brew bringing the pineapple forward with hints of papaya and banana. 

Impressions: Fail, So-so, Pass, Exceptional 


Cost: 5/6 PASS

Colour: 5/6 PASS
Beer Style: 5/6 PASS
Re-Order:  5/6  PASS
Experience: 5/6 PASS


Final Thoughts:


This is a delightfully easy drinking beer. Nice and bright with good flavours. The pineapple mixes well with the tropical flavoured hops, and the wheat malt keeps it nice and clean on the tongue.

Cheers


CJT


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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Pennsylvania Swankey

I came across this very interesting video for a home brewed beer from the 1800's . Swankey is definitely a beer I had never heard of and it was interesting to see how integrated brewing was into colonial life. They also talk about a Gruit, which is a style that is making a tremendous comeback. Give this a watch, I might also like to try this recipe myself. If I do I will make sure to blog about it.



Cheers

CJT

Thursday, 20 July 2017

In Search of Tom Thomson: Part 3, Photo Journal


The photojournal of my day. Despite a little cloudiness. it was absolutely perfect.

Cheers 
CJT

Arriving

The Lighthouse

Across the Bay

Heading to the point

Looking Towards Where Mowat Lodge Stood

Beached

Left

Centre

Right
Panorama

The Cairn

The Inscription


Blogging Begins

Testing a few shots

Lunch

The Totem Pole

The Poem that explains the symbols on the Totem

The Dedication

The Grave at Mowat Cemetery

Mowat Cemetery

Hand carved Granite tombstone

Grave of a young boy


Heading back

The old logging road ended here it was too swampy, some kind cottagers allowed us to beach at their property and walk in

The Portage Store





Broken piece of stick found at Grand Lake where Thomson Painted the Jack Pine (1917) Coated in paint similar to Thomson's



Trail Patch

In Search of Tom Thomson: Part 2, A Beer With Tom - Big Timber APA Lake of the Woods Brewery

Big Timber
Beer #364 Big Timber APA


Lake of the Woods Brewing Company

Kenora, Ontario, Canada

Independent Microbrewery
Established: 2013
American Pale Ale
6.0 % ABV IBU: 60
473 ml Aluminium Can
$3.20 (Canadian) At LCBO

Twitter: @LOWBrewCo

The Cairn

So yesterday, We took a canoe trip across Canoe Lake in Algonquin Park to visit some of the Tom Thomson sites. Specifically the Memorial and his grave. I figured Tom Thomson shared his passion with us so I wanted to share mine with him. As I am a beer blogger I knew no better way. In our packed lunch I smuggled in a glass and a can of beer. (Beer is not forbidden in the park. Cans are recommended, bottles are frowned upon, and they prefer you to drink at a campsite... so a little rule bendy...) I had picked Lake of the Woods From Kenora and their BIG Timber American Pale Ale. Since Tom Thomson was a Park Ranger and an avid woodsman, I felt this was appropriate. Plus I think the guy on the can looks a bit like him.
Canoeing shakes up your beer a bit

Onto our Tasting... it's as pretty as a picture.


Pours a light amber gold with a massive off tan head... mostly from the canoe trip herbal hops tropical fruit carmelised pineapple biscuit and woody. First sip gives us a smooth malt forward ale with plenty of fruit and orange zest to back it up. Aeration gives us spicy wood some caramel some bitter green hops lemon zest and a lingering tropical fruit sweetness.
Brew with a view

 Impressions: Fail, So-so, Pass, Exceptional 

Cost: 5/6 PASS
Colour: 5/6 PASS
Beer Style: 5/6 PASS
Re-Order:  6/6  EXCELLENT
Experience: 6/6 EXCELLENT
Lunch

Final Thoughts: 

Woodsy malty and robust. It was an excellent choice for the trip up to visit Tom Thomson. I'm not sure what was better, tasting the beer or experiencing it in this historic outdoor location. Canoeing across the lake sure built up a thirst and the beer didn't last too long but the memories will always remain. It went well with our Lunch which included homemade smoked chicken liver pate with grilled shallots, a Welsh Cheddar, and some freshly picked kale salad from my garden that morning. But It will pair equally well with burgers, BBQ, friends, and Canadian Art.
Don't Drink and Canoe... I am an
Untrained Professional...

Cheers

CJT




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