Category Archives: Beer picks

In Stitches

As a life long Habs fan I can now look back fondly on the Boston Bruins of old and find nice memories. Okay, I was just kidding.  My fondest memory of the Bruins is the goal Guy Lafleur scored on Gilles Gilbert in 1979.  Ha Ha Boston. That was 35  years ago and I still feel the schadenfreude welling up within me like it was yesterday.

However, I am maturing and making peace with my the side of me that derives so much pleasure in the misfortune of the hockey team from Boston. With this in mind I invited my Leaf loving brother-in-law over [no room for schadenfreude with Leafs fans, their misery is just plain funny] and we tasted the Lake of Bays latest offering in their signature NHL alumni series – Gerry Cheevers “Stitches” Oktoberfest Lager.  The lager is named after the hall of fame goalie with the iconic stitch pattern goalie mask – a marking for each time he was struck in the face with a puck.

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It is a nice solid beer, strong enough for winter. Spicy and not sweet, it can warm you up on a cold night. A good transition beer for cold weather as it is 8% alc./vol. and low on the IBUs [25].  Also, I always secretly thought Cheevers’ mask was cool. While I enjoyed the lager I  also drank it wearing my Habs touque.  Ha Ha Boston.


Hoptorial – 3 for 1 deal

Two for the price of one.  Truly one of the great deals in the world. Perhaps only to be topped by the “gift with purchase”. I am one of those people who consciously allows myself to be taken in – suckered if you will – by a great marketing campaign and I love it when the product is equally as brilliant.

The craft beer industry has caught my attention again.  Fighting the urge to market themselves using slow motion cheerleaders or enormous horses playing football, the micro brewers carve out their own niche in a more personal way. Of course they do – they are real people. Often with wicked cool beards.

The latest to catch my attention is the Hoptorial pack from Muskoka Brewery.  Great beer, clever marketing, and a Hop tutorial – I love it when my 2 for 1 becomes a 3 for 1 and the “gift with purchase” is educational! The box is covered with facts about the beer, the hops, hops in general, and some general foolishness [my favourite kind of foolishness].

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Available at both the LCBO and Beer Store you get 2 Detour, 2 Mad Tom, and 2 Twice as Mad bottles for $14. Delicious and educational.

Ha – I just looked up my Detour review about Albert Einstein and laughed – narcissistic perhaps – but anyone who writes a blog has a bit of that in them i think. Note to self – avoid seeing your reflection in a pool if you can.


The harvest

Autumn really is a food lover’s paradise. Consider this haul from the farmers market in Guelph last Saturday. Cornucopia indeed.

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It’s also the best of times for Autumnal Ale from up North. Here are two of the best

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Lake of Bays 10 Point is a nice, lightly hopped IPA – I love the pine aroma and the bite on the finish.

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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.

 

 

 


Hanging on

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.

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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.

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Location, location, location

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.

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World Cup Penultimate Observations

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.

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World Cup Observations again

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.

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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.

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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.

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