Monthly Archives: June 2012

Rogers Daytime Toronto – 2nd Appearance Recap

So! Exciting day! I was asked to come back on Daytime Toronto today to talk about some heat-busting local beers. Like the last time, I had a blast and the host Glenn Dixon, asked some great questions and told me that he learned a lot about how diverse beer was. By the end I was thanked and asked to come back on in the Fall season and I gave Glenn two of the beers he liked the best from the tasting I gave.

An added bonus for me was, as the show was wrapping up, I was approached by crew members who asked questions and said that before today they had no idea that beer was so diverse and there was more out there than the mainstream lagers. It’s moments like that which make me really happy I’m doing what I’m doing.

But what beers was I showcasing? Some people might be able to recognize from the picture, but for those that don’t I’ll go through them right to left.

1. Muskoka Summer Weiss (Muskoka Brewery) – Light, sweet and crisp weiss beer that really cuts down the heat. I mean look at that.

2. Oranje Weisse (Amsterdam Brewery) – Beautiful hint of oranges and slight bitter notes.

3. Summer Festivale (Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co.) – Lovely Alt beer with nice hoppiness at the start and smooth maltiness as it reaches the back of the throat.

4. Rosée D’hibiscus (Dieu Du Ciel) – A light beer with the colour, aroma and taste all coming from the Hibiscus flowers used in the brewing process. Sweet, crisp and, dare I say it, flowery.

All of those and MANY more are excellent thirst quenchers on a hot summer day. I can’t tell you how much fun I had on this show and am looking forward to coming back in the Fall.

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Session 99

I made it out for the first session at Session 99 Craft Beer Festival, the grand event that capped off Ontario Craft Beer Week. Many breweries came out with some amazing one-offs and drinks I’ve never tried before. Spearhead, Sawdust City Brewery and Bellwoods Brewery were by far my favourite breweries of the day. Spearhead with their new Moroccan Brown Ale with hints of dates and figs, Sawdust City with thier ‘Ol Woody Alt and Cock Puncher IPA and Bellwoods with the Sharkwitch IIPA. But really, other breweries that were there, Amsterdam, Black Oak, Flying Monkeys, Junction Craft, Hogsback, Hogtown, Kensington Brewing Co…everyone was a star here with so many amazing brews to choose from.

It was spaced out nicely, had plenty of delicious food on hand and it was just a fun place to meet new people and talk about the beer we were drinking.

But jeez, those collaboration and one-off beers…unforgettable. Daily Bread, a light Belgian Style ale by Black Oak, Cheshire Valley and Sawdust City in particular really stood out for me.

A wonderful time. Can’t wait until next year.

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CURRENTLY DRINKING – BIRRA BRAN

Right! I just got back from New York City on Sunday and am in the middle of writing up a wrap-up post on that trip. BUT! I’ve decided to review a beer that I purchased over there at a WONDERFUL place called the Beer Table at Grand Central Station. The store, which accompanies and represents the actual bar they have in Brooklyn, is just…wow. Plenty of beers in all price ranges. I ended up buying three beers – one Oyster Stout from Ireland for $4 and two specialty beers that were…*ahem* more expensive. So this is one of them!

Bran (translated from Welch means Raven)! From Birrificio Montegioco in Italy. The style is an English Porter but, as I found out, a bit unlike any English Porter I’ve had. Interesting note, the bottle was wrapped in a beautifully designed paper and the bottle cap was actually a modified cork. Very interesting. Anyways, on to it.

BIRRA BRAN – Italy – 8.5%ABV

APPEARANCE: Almost Black with slight hints of amber when you put it to light. Almost non-existent head.

AROMA: hint of raisins, cocoa, tobacco, coffee and sliiiiiiiight amount of licorice.

TASTE: Nice vanilla tone off the top. The interesting thing about all the Italian beers I’ve had is that they always have a nice little tartness. It can either be the dominant part or there’s a hint of it, but it’s always there. This is a nice in-between point. A sort of twist in the middle of it that transfers the tastes of the beer from malty and sweet (hints of dried fruits and caramel, actually!) in to the cocoa and coffee notes that finish the taste off at the back of the throat. Not much of an aftertaste. Everything kind of goes away pretty fast.

FINAL VERDICT: So basically, with Porters I’m usually used to Chocolate and Coffee notes being all there is to the beer, but this is…rather nicely balanced. The sweet, fruity notes really make this a refreshing beer on level with a really nice port! Only comment I have is that I wish that there was more of an aftertaste to it, as it kind of goes away quickly.

So that’s it! Stay tuned for my NYC post and, if money is good, I’ll be doing something Ontario Craft Beer Week.

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