Autumn really is a food lover’s paradise. Consider this haul from the farmers market in Guelph last Saturday. Cornucopia indeed.
It’s also the best of times for Autumnal Ale from up North. Here are two of the best
Lake of Bays 10 Point is a nice, lightly hopped IPA – I love the pine aroma and the bite on the finish.
Muskoka’s Harvest Ale has been repackaged from the original orange label [in part because people thought that it was a pumpkin ale] but the recipe remains the same.
If you hurry you may also catch a keg of Mash ‘n Pumpkins on tap at OX. Pumpkin pie in a pint glass with notes of spice and molasses – delic.
There really is no effective way to come to terms with the end of a vacation.
The most one can hope for is to prolong it a little with some photos, conversations, or memories.
I think we all feel this way. Recently a columnist in the Guelph Mercury wrote about holding onto his vacation beard for at least a week after vacation. But I didn’t grow a vacation beard – it would have been far too scratchy for my wife’s comfort and far to grey for my own.
But what about a taste memory. I’ve read that taste and smell are the strongest memories.
Earlier in the summer I posted this photo of me enjoying a bière in my jardin in France.
Yesterday I found 1664 Blanc here in Canada, bought one, and then opened it up in my own kitchen [in front of my French copper pots just to add some je ne sais quoi - or terroir as the French have it]. That should help prolong my vacation.
It appears that the real estate axiom “location, location, location” applies to the world of beverages. Normally I would never be interested in a white beer with lemon. However, package that up as bierre blanc avec une pointe d’agrumes – serve it to me in a jardin on the French Riviera and suddenly it’s ma boisson préférée dans le monde. Also I am on vacation – that helps.
Subtitle: How Germany Wrecked Soccer Forever.
The Germans are taking their best shot at wrecking soccer forever. They beat Brasil 7-1 both scoring and allowing goals at a rate of one goal every 11 minutes. This unprecedented display of soccer excitement prompted my friend [rugby guy] to email me here in Spain asking if FIFA had finally done away with the offside rule for the last stages of the World Cup – something he has been lobbying for as long as I’ve known him. When rugby guys are finding soccer interesting there is clearly something wrong.
The Dutch and the Argentines quickly snapped us back to reality one night later buy scoring ZERO goals in 120 minutes – or a rate of zero goals every infinity.
I’m grateful to both these teams for helping me fall asleep during a FIFA semifinal. Try watching that rugby guy.
So I am consoling myself with the most expensive beer that money can buy in Spain – Alhambra Reserva 1925 at under 1 Euro per bottle. Spain is wrecking the way I look at beer too.
Sitting down, sipping a glass of Royal City Brewing Gateway IPA I came up with a few more World Cup Observations – aside from the one that my IPA was delicious.
Puma is getting attention at these games with their stupid coloured shoes. The right foot is pink and the left is blue. Sorry did I say stupid? Good, I did say stupid. Besides looking like the pink and blue popsicles the players look like they’re annoying, “I’m so wealthy I buy 2 pairs of shoes and only wear one of each” kids.
Speaking of popsicles did you catch a look at the USA jerseys – now those look like popsicles. No matter how you love USA soccer don’t buy one of these, they will look 10 years out of date by July 5th.
And finally, check out the new World Cup Adidas ball. Tell me it doesn’t look eerily like like the one I bought my daughters 5 years ago at Old Navy for $2.
Nano is small. Really small. But don’t underestimate the power of nano – especially when it’s in your back yard. Royal City Brewery is a nano-brewery [that means tiny] right here in Guelph. They opened up on Saturday with sample tastings, a tour, and sales.
So I sampled
And I toured
[Local coffee roaster Joe Harrison's Grizzly Bear coffee is used in this über-local stout - click here for my exposé on Grizzly Bear Coffee]
And they sold me a Growler of Gateway IPA
The best thing about buying a growler [2 litres] of IPA is that you bring it back and then they refill it for you. 199 Victoria Rd S – GO NOW!
Craft beer breweries are taking the level of marketing to a new level. A clever hashtag seems to be born every minute [#wellyoneoff my current favourite]. New flavours and names are pushing the craft beer envelope [Muskoka's Legendary Oddity reminds me of premium gin and what the heck is that falcon/peacock/scary antler deer thingy on the label?].
Lake of Bays Brewing Co. is speaking Canada’s true love language – hockey – through their NHL Alumni Signature Series. Last year they released China Wall Vienna Dark Lager, a beer dedicated to the Leafs’ legendary goaltender Johnny Bower. This year’s edition is Cujo Imperial Golden Ale. If I have to explain who Cujo is then you likely aren’t interesting in this blog post anymore.
LAKE OF BAYS NHLA CUJO IMPERIAL GOLDEN ALE
LCBO 383653 | Price $ 11.95
Only 16,000 bottles have been produced – I have one of them – and I know what my annoying Leafs fan brother-in-law is getting for his birthday [he's only annoying because he's a ridiculously optimistic Leafs fan - the only thing worse than an arrogant Habs fan - which I'm]. The Cujo is delicious. It starts off with sweet notes of caramel and honey, continues with some nice orange and grapefruit marmalade hops, and ends up with a nice dry finish. Very refreshing and not so hoppy that it blows your head off. My brother-in-law and I found ourselves conversing back and forth between hockey and beer for the entire sitting. And isn’t that what a great Canadian ale is meant to do.
Now Habs fans, don’t worry, rumour has it that Jacques Plante gets honoured next with Jake The Snake Imperial Pilsner, a white ash wood aged strong lager. Go Habs.