Friday, 1 December 2017

The 2-4 Beers of Christmas Day 1: Préaris Quadrocinno


Beer # 392 Préaris Quadrocinno


Brewery: Vligende Paard Préaris Brouwers



Type:
 Contract Brewery    Est.:  2011

Location: Oedelem, Belgium
Beer Style: Flavoured Quadrupel
ABV: 9.5%      IBU: 
Format: Brown Glass Bottle  Size: 330 ml
Cost: $3.75 CAD     Purchased At: LCBO

 N/A


    @prearis


Our initial offering for your holiday stocking this year is a coffee flavoured Quad from Belgium. Préaris started out as homebrewers until they decided to submit a beer to the prestigious Brouwland Beer Competition in 2011. Their entry took the grand prize so they decided to try and make a go of a brewery. They took their recipes to De Proef Brouwerij which is a brewery designed to brew small-batch beers for third parties. They continue to brew under contract to this day despite having expanded they portfolio greatly. Perhaps one day they will find the investment to open their own building.

Onto to tonight's brew


Pours a dark chocolate brown with a light brown head made up of small bubbles. aroma is dense. Lots of sweet malt fresh brewed espresso rich chocolate and new leather. Alcohol is evident right away and warms the chest as it goes down. chocolate and espresso dominate the attack. a good sweetness rounds out the bitterness and leaves the lips a bit sticky. hints of burnt sugar caramel and touches of baking spice make this a very warming and Christmassy brew. aeration brings out a deeper spice more alcohol and more leather





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
Christmas Cheer 5/6 PASS


Final Thoughts:


This is a great beer to start off the 2-4 Beers of Christmas. It embodies what I am looking for. Deep, dark, complex flavours. Warming, delicious a nice beer to sit and savour over the holidays. Try one you will like it.


CJT


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The 4th Annual 2-4 Beers of Christmas Starts Now!

It's December already?


I can not believe this is the 4th edition of my annual beer-soaked advent calendar. This year has just trucked right along and now there are 24 days left until Christmas... Don't worry, I'm easy to buy for. Plus, that only gives us 31 drinking days until New Beer's Eve (get ready!).  Well, I'm ready, my tastebuds are ready and the Fridge of Fame is stocked to bursting with my Yuletide offerings. Without much more adieu, we should get stuck in... because somebody has to drink this beer... and it may as well be me.

As always I have added the extra "Christmas Cheer" metric to the score sheet. It is slightly arbitrary, but it signifies that "extra holiday glow" you get when you drink the beer (read: how boozy is it?)

I hope you have as much fun as I do going through all of these cheerful beverages. Let's have a safe and Merry Holiday.

Cheers

CJT


Editor at Large and Chief Typo Inserter, Perry is already half in the bag

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Beer # 391 Dockside Red Ale Bobcaygeon Brewing Company

Beer # 391 Dockside Red Ale

Brewery: Bobcaygeon Brewing Company



Type:
 Contract Brewery    Est.:  2015

Location: Bobcaygeon, Ontario, Canada
Beer Style: Red Ale
ABV: 5.0%      IBU: 30
Format: Aluminium Can  Size: 473 ml
Cost: $2.95 CAD     Purchased At: LCBO

bobcaygeonbeer


    @bobcaygeonbeer

I picked this one up the same day I picked up my Bobcaygeon beer I did for Gord Downie's passing. I have been meaning to get to it but it has lingered in the Fridge of Fame for a couple of weeks. Anyway, I am home alone and left to my own devices I can catch up on some writing.

Tonight's beer is a red ale from Bobcaygeon, still brewed under contract while they build their new brewery. 

Onto our beer...


Pours a dark chestnut red with an off-tan head made up of small bubbles. The nose is a little sugary with hints of caramel molasses and vanilla. Some nice barley notes follow in the background as does a gentle touch of bittering hops. First sip is a well balanced yet complex English styled red. with a good mix of caramel and bitter hops. The mouthfeel is slightly creamy and gives over to a slightly bitter mustard greens finish and some distinctly herbal hops. Aeration pumps up the bitter hops and gives a slight coffee note to the background.



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: 6/6 EXCELLENT


Final Thoughts:


This is a delicious red ale. I had to stop myself from guzzling it and just taste it. Very drinkable, definitely a good food beer. Either to cook with or to pair. It makes me think of ribs... Mmmm, Ribs.

CJT


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Beer # 390 11/05 2017 Edition Imperial Fruit Sour

Beer # 390 11/05 2017 Edition 
Collaboration with: Sawdust City Brewing Company

Brewery: Nickel Brook Brewing Company


Type:
 Independent Microbrewery/Brewpub    Est.:  2012

Location: Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Beer Style: Imperial Fruit Sour with Soursop
ABV: 11.05%      IBU: 
Format: Draught  Size: 14 oz
Cost: $6.80 CAD     Purchased At: The Brewery

Sawdust City Brewing Company


Type: Independent Microbrewery Est.: 2012
Location: Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada

nickelbrookbrewing        sawdustcitybeer

    @NickelBrookBeer    
@SawdustCityBeer

Soursop


One of the more anticipated beers of the brewing year up here in Muskoka is the fun collaboration between Sawdust City in Gravenhurst and Nickel Brook Brewing in Burlington Ontario. The two Brewmasters Sam Corbiel (Sawdust), and Ryan Morrow (Nickel Brook) share a birthday, November 5 (get it? 11 05?) So every year they plan and brew a beer that has an alcohol content of 11.05% (yikes!) Every year is a different style and the actually brewing swaps back and forth between the two breweries. Which sadly sucks this time around due to our antiquated laws in Ontario. Because this year was Nickel Brook's turn to brew, cans of 11/05 were not available for purchase in Gravenhurst. We did, however, get a few kegs to be served in the Sawdust City Saloon. So in I went.

This year's brew is an Imperial Fruit Sour. It was flavoured with a fruit that is not too commonly know of in this area: soursop. While the fruit is native to the Americas, it is from the tropical regions and is not generally seen up this way, fresh, anyway. The prickly green outside hides a soft creamy interior with many small brown seeds. The flavour is reminiscent of strawberries and pineapple.

Onto our beer.

Pours a hazy light gold with tinges of green and a short off-white head made up of small bubbles. The aroma has grapey notes of wine, Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc. Plus a sweet and sour background with hints of green fruit and citrus. First sip is quite tart but smooth with lots of fruit and wine notes. Has a distinct champagne mouthfeel, slightly acidic with bready notes citrus and cheek pricking bubbles. sweet fruity background note of strawberry and banana come out as the beer warms. Lastly, hints of oak come completing the wine feel. Aeration gives us a touch of pineapple some creaminess and a little raisin.




Impressions: Fail, So-so, Pass, Exceptional 



Cost: 5/6 PASS

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


Final Thoughts:


Wow. This is certainly the best 11/05 that I have had. It is very easy drinking and it masks the high alcohol very well. This is not a beer you would want to pound back 3 or 4 of, at least if you want to see the next morning. I had the one and moseyed. Very flavourful, I can't wait to try next year's!

Cheers


CJT


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Saturday, 11 November 2017

My Toronto Day Trip



Toronto Day Trip, A Play, and Ontario Craft Beer.


So, on the 9th of November, I managed to sneak down to Toronto with The Queen of Pint Jockey Headquarters, and we actually got to take in a play. Something neither of us has really done recently. We went to the Randolph Theatre in Mirvish Villiage and took in "EVIL DEAD, the Musical." No, we did not sit in the "Splatter Zone." A fact which we were kind of glad for because we had to drive back to Muskoka, and didn't necessarily need to mess up the seats in the car. For the uninitiated, EVIL DEAD's "Splatter Zone" is the very front section of the orchestra seats. If you sit there you are guaranteed to get COVERED in stage blood (And I mean COVERED). They hand out oversized T-shirts to minimised the clothing destruction, but stage blood is quite good at washing out. It's a combination of corn syrup and water-soluble dyes. Nevertheless, you leave a sticky mess. They don't even let you leave the theatre through the front, you have to go out the back across a walkway that has been carefully taped off with plastic. The play was incredible. Wonderfully funny and capped a great day. It runs in Toronto until November 19th, 2017, and there are a few tickets left. If you like the Evil Dead movies you will love the play.
Yes. That Says Blood Case 1 of 3 (Giant Steamer Trunk)

Before the play, we got to walk around a bit and hit a few places to taste some beer.



Harbord House

150 Harbord Street. 

We started at the Harbord House for lunch it is a nice little Gastropub serving a good selection of Ontario Craft Beers and Ciders. I had the Burger and The Queen had the Vegetarian Sandwich, Both were quite good, but most sincerely, they had the best fries I had ever tasted. They were Yukon gold potato fries and were just delicious. A definite highlight of the meal.

Onto my beers.
Fresh Hop EPA

Beer # 379

County Durham Brewing Company
Fresh Hop EPA Cask Ale
4.5 abv

Clear to brilliant gold with a solid white head made of small bubbles. Aroma is bright and green with some medicinal hints and caramel malt. First sip is light and airy with fresh green hops, very English style light ale with the hops adding a nice fruity funk. aeration gives us some black tea and pear with hints of light citrus.


Henderson's Best
Beer # 380
Henderson Brewing Company
Henderson's Best Bitter Ale
5.5% ABV

Pours a light clear mahogany with a thin off-site head. aroma is slightly smoky and rich caramel. First sip is light chocolaty and fruity. a light effervescent. hints of caramel and malt with hints of coffee. aeration gives us some woodsy notes and mild hints of molasses.













Kensington Brewing Company



299 Augusta Avenue

Ever since they opened in the heart of my favourite community in Toronto, I have been keen to get down to the Kensington Brewing Company. Their new location is shiny and clean, mildly claustrophobic, and filled with good beer. Sitting at the tasting bar you almost have the fermentation tanks at your back.


Paired up with some impressive hand-blown glass light fixtures that look like over-inflated beer bottles. the place is very unique and a cosy spot to slip in for a flight.

Here is what I tried.

Gamelle Grisette
Beer # 381
Gamelle Grissete
4.6% ABV 15 IBU

Pale straw in colour with a thin white head slightly cloudy. Aroma is citrus and pepper with good wheat notes. First sip gives us banana and clove some medicinal hops with a hint of bitterness to clear the palate. Aeration gives us a zippy dingy tongue biting citrus with hints of green apple on the finish.



Beer # 382
Low Boy NE Pale Ale with Apricots
4.3% ABV 20 IBU

Cloudy off gold with no head. aroma is very fruity with strong hints of pine. First sip is TONS of grapefruit hints of pink pepper sweet and tart apricot fading into a green pine finish. aeration gives us some mild citrus pith with hints of zest and some woodsy notes. 

Final Thought: I believe this was my favourite beer of the day.



Fall Saison w Pepper
Beer # 383
Fall Saison with Black Pepper
6.5% ABV 24 IBU

Slightly cloudy medium gold in colour with a thin skiff of an off-white head. aroma is wheat and banana. Hints of pepper and a touch of clove. First sip is warming and wheaty, with background notes of black pepper. aeration gives us the classic Belgian combo of banana and clove with a slightly toasty, baking spice finish.


Beer #384
Neu Rodes Dark Sour Cherry Flander's Red.
5.7% ABV 14 IBU

Red-brown in colour with barely a skiff of head. aroma is malty and sweet. First sip is very sour. fruity sweet and tart. tastes like unripe fruit. coffee and chocolate follow with hints of old smoke.

Final Thought: This one didn't sit well with me. I could not put my finger on why exactly, however, something in this beer did not appeal to me. Which is very odd as I am a huge sour cherry fan. Perhaps I have just not had enough Flander's Reds.

Beer # 385
Bonne Faim
Bonne Faim Strong Belgian with Hibiscus
8.0% ABV

Darker gold with a light off-white head aroma is wheat and some floral sweetness. First sip is quite sweet with hints of hibiscus and banana aeration brings out more sweetness almost syrupy.

Final Thought: This beer did not hit the mark with me either. A little too sweet and the hibiscus was too subtle. Not a bad beer by any means... just not for me.



A Crafty Lineup

Crafty Coyote
511 Bloor Street West

Last Stop before the show and some Fajitas to fill our bellies, oh.. And they had 30 taps to choose from. 20 Craft Beers and 10 Ciders. (should have taken a picture, bad Pint Jockey...)

These are my picks.

Blood Brothers
Shumei IPA
Beer # 386
Blood Brothers Brewing Shumei IPA
7.0 ABV 70 IBU

Pours a cloudy gold with a short off-white head made up of tiny bubbles. Aroma is citrus pineapple and light hints of pine. First sip is warming and tart with a slight sourness. Notes of pineapple cilantro
and parsley. Lips are left slightly sticky. Aeration gives us a very herbal finish.

Final Thought: Definite runner-up for the day, a great IPA.


St. Mary Axe
Canadian Best Bitter
Beer # 387
St Mary Axe Canadian Best Bitter
4.6 ABV 32 IBU

Pours a golden copper with an off-white head made up of tiny bubbles. aroma is caramel and fruit. First sip is malty, hoppy, smooth and creamy with lots of bubbly body.

Final Thought: I was excited this was a new brewery for me, I had not even heard of it yet. I really liked this beer and I can't wait to try more from these new brewers.




Beer # 388
High Park Brewing Company
Across the Pond
High Park Brewing Company Across the Pond ESB
5.5% ABV

Pours copper gold with a thin white head made up of tiny bubbles aroma is malty with hints of toast First sip is warm and creamy with fruit and nuts hints of bright green hops and mild bitterness.
and nuts.




Cowbell
McNall's Mission
Beer # 389
Cowbell Brewing McNall's Mission Brown Ale
4.8% ABV 20 IBU

Colour is light mahogany with an off-tan head. aroma is sweet with some light spice and lots of malt. First sip is quite sweet but not cloying hints of molasses and brown sugar touches of leather and old wood.

Final Thought: This is another brewery I am looking forward to go to, perhaps next summer.




Well, that was my road trip I hope you enjoyed my notes as much as I enjoyed tasting the beers. I hope to get down to Toronto again soon, there were so many more places I wanted to get to, but just didn't have time. Until then.

Cheers

CJT


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And I shall Hug him, and Squeeze him, and call him "George" Beer # 378

Beer # 378 George American Brown Ale 
Collaboration with: Sawdust City Brewing Company

Brewery: Big Rig Kitchen and Brewery


Type:
 Independent Microbrewery/Brewpub    Est.:  2012

Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Beer Style: American Pale Ale
ABV: 4.7%      IBU: 
Format: Draught  Size: 20 oz
Cost: $7.00 CAD     Purchased At: The Brewery

Sawdust City Brewing Company


Type: Independent Microbrewery Est.: 2012
Location: Gravenhurst, Ontario, Canada

bigrigbrewery        sawdustcitybeer

    @BigRigBrewery    
@SawdustCityBeer




Down at the brewery the other day, and they had this excellent collab with Big Rig Brewery out of Ottawa. I had to try it because of the name... "What do you want to call your beer?" "
George." "Heh... Why not?" It made me think of that old Looney Tunes cartoon where the Abominable Snowman is looking for a pet bunny. Graciously provided by YouTube on the right here.


Let's try out "George."

Pours a rich mahogany, just slightly translucent that sparks ruby as the light shines through. Off-white head with hints of tan is made up of tiny bubbles and stands tall thick and creamy. Aroma is herbal and nutty with light hints of smoke and caramel. First sip caramel sweet with a nice hop bitterness to balance. Very fruity and nutty, light hints of smouldering malt with touches of bruleed sugar. Very open and airy, drinks on the lighter bodied side despite the intense flavours.
aeration gives us lots of nuts hints of green hop bitterness a touch of marijuana some molasses and dark roasted barley.




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:


So tasty. A nice crushable brown ale. Well rounded flavours and a good balance. See if you can find this one... it is a limited run.

Cheers

CJT


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