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!
I had somebody text me the other day to find out if I knew where Newcastle Brown Ale was on tap in Guelph. She referred to me as her “phone a friend” – a reference to the Who Wants to be a Millionaire game show.
It got me to thinking – how do you find out stuff like that in your city. I think Twitter is the answer to the modern “phone a friend”. It certainly casts a wide “friend” net. I tweeted at a local beer guy who got back to me within minutes. Sadly there wasn’t any on tap here in Guelph. But I thought that Mill Street Tankhouse Ale at the Wooly was a close second.
I think I would be okay if somebody tweeted me about where to find a wine. So go ahead – “tweet a friend” @TravisOke
#Hashtag, whatever you want it to be.
We recently got new neighbours – often a “we’ll wait and see” event. Our first chat with them was promising. Younger than my wife and I [a more frequently recurring theme than I care to admit] they moved here from Vancouver.
“Traded the Hipsters in for the Hippies – and I think we won” was the line that won me over.
I had to agree with them. I prefer the neo-hippies of Guelph to the Hipsters anytime. My wife gently refers to the latter as the “Look at me – I’m ironic with geeky glasses, tattoos, and outdated facial hair” kids.
What confirmed for me that the Hipster was in fact not hip at all was this article from the NY Daily News. To summarize – it appears that Hipsters have made Pabst Blue Ribbon beer so popular that the price of cheap [not to mention flavourless and watery] beer everywhere has gone up and up.
I do have some advice for these people – not everything that people stopped doing from the past should be considered retro. Some things just need to never come back. Go buy yourself a micro-beer! And stop growing moustaches.
Live in Guelph? Close to Guelph? Heard of Guelph? Have you been to the Red Brick Cafe downtown on Douglas street? If you haven’t then shame on you. Guelph has a great downtown and the Red Brick Cafe is one of the finest anywhere. A European inspired cafe that displays local artists, serves espresso, baked goods, pizza and Panini, but most importantly to pullthecork readers, it has a delicious wine list.
Here’s where the conflict of interest starts – Shelley Krieger, the owner, lets me select the wines each month so really I am shamelessly promoting myself – but isn’t that what the word “blog” means? The wine tasting set up is one of the cleverest anywhere (Shelley’s clever idea). For $8 you get to try three wines, there is no wine snobby person talking you through them. In place of a snooty sommelier you are provided with the tasting notes that I wrote. The notes are informative, entertaining, easy to read … there I go “blogging” again.
Also, the wines change monthly – for less than $20 a couple you can plan a date night each month and enjoy a changing selection of wines. Chances are you will run to the LCBO and buy a bottle of your favorite (or buy a half case like I recommended in Y210K It’s Time to Panic).
For January the wines move to South America where it’s warmer this month than it is in Guelph. Somehow knowing that makes me feel warmer when tasting these wines. There is a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, a reserve Malbec, and a Carmenere that will warm you inside when it’s snowing outside.
The wine tasting is daily from 11am to 11pm. The list of wines can be found on the Red Brick Cafe website.
Here are 5 Questions that will turn into Resolutions for Y210K.
1. “Why don’t I drink more white wine?” If you’re a serious wine drinker then you owe it to your palate to have a Sancerre, a Chablis, or an Ontario riesling wine once a month. I motivated myself to do this by purchasing a great vintage wine bucket from Chat Noir in downtown Guelph.
2. “Why don’t I drink more local wines?” Why do you think the French drink french wines? It’s not simply their almost fanatical devotion to La République that keeps them drinking close to home. A wise man once said, “When in Provence, drink from Provence. When in Guelph, drink from Niagara”.
3. “How can I try new wines and not buy a whole bottle?” First of all this is crazy talk – the obvious answer is the wine tasting at the Red Brick Café. But if you still insist on crazy talk then go to the LCBO and sign up for the Vintages tastings events at your local store. You get to try new wines and the Vintages product consultants are a lot of fun.
4. “Why have I never tried a …”. You fill in the blank with words such as Barolo, Chateauneuf du Pape, vintage Champagne etc. Just don’t say Cheval Blanc unless you are prepared to drop $2000.
5. “How can I read more of this clever wine blogger?”. Okay so maybe it’s only my close relatives that are asking this – actually they are probably tired of hearing me and reading me by now – but you can sign up to receive an email every time I post – it’s at the bottom of the blog page
Let me know how your resolutions work out.