Author Archives: Travis Oke

About Travis Oke

Wine writer / consultant

SuperBowl thoughts

Wow!

Also, I saved this since my trip to the US of A this summer. Cracked it open on the kickoff.

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But man [or humans as I call them] cannot live on watery beer alone – at least in the winter.

So I went into the whiskey cellar to choose between bourbon and Tennessee whiskey – wait, this is sounding like a George Thorogood and the Destroyers song. Wait again – that couldn’t really have been the name of that band. Wait – Tom Brady did what ?

So in a very real way Bourbon won the SuperBowl.  But good season Yeungling.


Subscriber

Are you a subscriber?  I used to have a subscription to Sports Illustrated. I also used to photocopy photos of athletes, sign autographs to myself, and post them in my locker. “Keep dunking Travis – Patrick Ewing”.

Muskoka Brewery has a subscription worth investigating. “Do you want a 6-pack of Moonlight Kettle delivered to your door each month?”.  Why yes, maybe i do.

Here’s what i found out …

BEER CLUB

Venture off the Beaten Path and join us on a journey through great beer. Each month, Muskoka staff volunteer to join our Brewers to create and brew their very own beer.  We love consistently developing new, limited edition beers for our drinkers, available at our Brewery in Bracebridge and on tap– and now available delivered straight to you.

These brews are too delicious to keep to ourselves, so we’ve created the Moonlight Kettle Beer Club: subscribe to get a 6 pack delivered to your door each month.

Beer club! – sounds more delicious than Sports Illustrated.

Here’s the lineup

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Dear Muskoka Brewery – keep on slam dunking your beer stuff – Patrick Ewing

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Time

Time makes things better.  I know maybe a little self-serving from a man over 50 with more white in his beard than red. But it’s hard to wait isn’t it? I can’t wait to use “Come on man, it’s 2017” [truthfully i’ve been using it all year].

Sometimes when i’m impatient i feel like Futurama’s Fry, from Futurama, on the tour of the Slurm factory…

Fry: Can we have some Slurm now?

Glurmo: No food or drink on the boat. You’ll have plenty of Slurm at the end of the tour, where you will party with Slurms McKenzie.

Fry: When will that be?

Glurmo: Soon enough.

Fry: That’s not soon enough!

“That’s not soon enough” indeed! This is what i’m waiting for now – For Royal City Brewery’s Sour with red currant. It taunts me every time i visit. Sitting there smugly at the front door in its large barrels,with the patience of Job [bible Job] souring in its own sweet time. Doesn’t it know that i love it and can’t wait to meet it?

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Speaking of 1964, look what i discovered this week. I don’t know where to order it from yet but i want it. Actually i’m not sure how to pay for it either. I wish i had thought of that earlier. In 1964 this nectar was filled into ex-sherry casks [6 weeks after i was born]. When this cask was bottled in 1993 and released as a 29 yr old the price of a bottle was 100 British pounds. In 2007, as a 42-year-old the price was 4, 000.  This last barrel, the bottles, if there are any left, go for almost 20,000 pounds.  I hope i get to meet it someday.  Hey, maybe i’m not getting older, i’m getting more expensive. Or something.

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3 more sleeps

Do you buy beaujolais nouveau? I do. I even commissioned my own logo for this year’s party.

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Thanks cokemokeola for the design.

If beaujolais nouveau is a mystery to you then apparently it is at the LCBO too.  It’s so hard to find information on it. I had to go to the twitter of all places to find a press release.  Good thing i’m social media savvy – or not. Also, good thing i can read type in 2-font  – or not.

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If you want my advice – and why the heck wouldn’t you – inexpensive French nouveau almost always wins.  But if you’re coming to my house for the party, don’t be afraid to overspend.  And please, don’t bring a cellared nouveau from 2 years ago like my friends R&C did – it really did almost kill us.


Harvest Ale or Harvest Kale

“Did you say Harvest Ale or harvest kale?”  Why can’t it be both?  This past week i harvested kale from my micro-farm with a harvest ale in hand [photo proof below – well that’s not my hand, my daughter takes a better photo than i do so i outsourced the pic].  I’ve tried many Harvest Ales and i always come back to Muskoka’s Harvest Ale when i get to choose..  It has the right amount of roasted malt and bitterness that helps me transition from IPA beers into the colder autumnal months.  This season you can find it in 6-pack bottles at your LCBO and beer store for under $15.  I also like Miijidaa’s harvest ale [a Stonehammer  brewery product], and so does the little fly that found her way into my pint 🙂

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Once inside the cucina my kale were transformed into the most beautiful salty kale chips – i mean really, what else would a Guelphite do on an autumn afternoon?

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Hello pretty little fly – are you enjoying my harvest ale?  No, i didn’t ask my server what she was doing in my beer because she was clearly drinking delicious elixir and not swimming very well at all.

img_7513Also, i saved this little friend and set her out in the sun until she sobered up and could fly away safely.

 

 


Blue Jays Bubbly [why the French don’t watch baseball]

Looking for some insight on the champagne celebration in the Jays clubhouse?

As the only wine blogger with a Physed degree I want to know what they’re drinking and how much money are guys who earned a million dollars in salary this month paying for champagne.  The talking heads at Sportsnet keep referring to the expensive champagne in the clubhouse. What I found may shock you!

Firstly, why does Josh Donaldson get eye protection and Hazel Mae doesn’t?  Also, who pays for her dry cleaning?

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So it turns out the Jays aren’t pouring and spraying and possibly drinking champagne at all.  Super slow motion on my PVR shows me that they’re drinking American sparkling wine from California [ask anyone from France and watch them be outraged at this being called Champagne even though we mean no harm – WE MEAN NO HARM!] .

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And how much does it cost?  Less than $15!
img_7443These players earn obscene amounts of money – the team is owned by Rogers Communications – who i pay a thousand dollars a month for my cell phone – and they drink $15 bubbly.  Awesome! And they also drank Korbel, which is also less than $15 a bottle.
img_7444So my point here?  I think we could all afford $15 per bottle to shake up and spray all over each other if the Jays in the ALCS!  Do it, nobody from France is watching baseball anyway.


Get Ye to a Cask Days

If you haven’t been to a cask beer festival then I implore you to do so soon. 

Casks of beer are often made in smaller batches so brewers can experiment and have some fun.  Combining different hops, roasts, fruit, the brewers than use some voodoo to make the ales, lagers, sours, and ciders.

Last week we attended the Welly Cask Fest at Wellington Brewery in Guelph.

It’s so much fun that even the cider got “bunny-eared” during  a photo.


My winners were 

  1. Wit the Hell – a Chardonnay barrel aged Witbier by TWB brewing coop in KW
  2. KY2-7 – a barrel aged American  sour with plums by Wellington
  3. Lucy’s Orange Beret – a hopped cider with oranges by Revel cider that tasted like a mimosa

My only mistake was the ghost pepper milk stout that had I finished it would have finished me. Still, what doesn’t kill you …wait, that almost killed me.

Find a cask days near you if you can.