Category Archives: Beer picks

Matchmaker

My Linkedin bio recently changed from “self-amusing wine blogger” to  “matchmaker”.

Specifically hooking up Toronto’s Muddy York Brewing Co. with Guelph’s finest gastro pub, Baker Street Station. It’s a classic tale … blogger turned matchmaker meets microbrewer Jeff, drinks stout … blogger sees gastropub guy Dave at the gym and says “you know what you should do, blah, blah” – next thing i know there’s something there that wasn’t there before [yes, that’s a Beauty and the Beast reference – ah romance].

And I think I done good. So good that the beer menu at Baker Street Stn looks like this now. Tasting notes are hardly necessary – it’s love.

Okay, maybe the board looks like this …

Would you believe that one of more of these photos was photoshopped by my mischievous daughter little m?

Guelph’s first keg from Toronto’s Muddy York. I got to touch it!

 

Muddy York Brewing Company’s Stork Derby Stout – Now on tap in Guelph thanks to my matchmaking skills. You’re welcome Guelph.

Jonathon’s historic pouring of the first pint of Muddy York’s Stork Derby Stout in Guelph

 

 


The Oud Couple – heh

I found two beautiful creations this week – “oud”ly enough at the same place [heh]. Revel Cider’s Revelation Oud Blanc and Exchange Brewery’s Oud Bruin at The Only in Toronto. The Oud Bruin i have had before, and raved and raved about it to anyone that would listen. My daughter M subsequently drank her weight in Bruin [heh].

An “Oud” is a complex sour – Belgian style – usually aged in barrels.  Just like many red wines that i like, there are pronounced tannins [pr. tan-in, heh] in a sour. This is my new favourite discovery in the beer world. I’ve even devoted part of my wine cellar to sours.

Here are the two beauties side by side – the Oud couple [heh].

Further research uncovered that the Revel cider [located in my home town of Guelph – or G-town as the kids call it] was barrel aged for 8 months and partially soured with wild pears – if i understand brewer’s talk at all – and there’s really a good chance that i don’t.  However, what i do understand is delicious.

Further, further research uncovered that Exchange brewery used a lactic fermentation and aging in oak barrels with a “mixed cocktail” [their words] of wild yeast and bacteria.

Speaking of research – i’m working on my own authoritative guide to all things sour and yeasty and bacterial [actually only the ones pertaining to beer – heh]. Sneak preview below.

Thanks C for promoting the liberal use of “heh”.  Heh.

 


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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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.

 

 


Closing Ceremonies 

I believe i am the only wine blogger in the world with a PE degree, and as someone with such a degree it should be no surprise that i love the Olympic games. The final three days were awesome but also a bit sad –  in an “all good things must come to an end” kinda way.  So to celebrate – a form of “three cheers to the Olympics” I opened a Sour a day for the last three days, cleverly combining my University degree with my latest hobby – collecting Sours.  Here’s how the last three days played out.

Wellington Brewery’s Prismastic Golden Sour – chosen for it’s rather mild sourness and complexity gained from being aged for one year in Cabernet Franc barrels with a mix of wild yeast and sour bacteria. Golden because i drank it during the Gold Medal men’s volleyball match between Brasil and Italy.

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Wellington Brewery’s Against the Currant – a Blackcurrant kettle sour – made in much less time than the Prismatic and soured in a kettle by creating lactic acid through some magic that i don’t really understand totally.  I would like to say that i watched this during the kayak races, but truthfully i had it during the 4×100 m relay when Canada has to wait 15 minutes to discover they actually won a bronze.

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Royal City Brewing’s Berliner Weiss was Friday’s edition of the “three cheers for sours” weekend.  Honestly, i don’t recall what i watched because i started into a string of Wikipedia pages on John F Kennedy’s “Ich bin ein Berliner” quote which kept me amused for over an hour reading about East Germany, the cold war, Berlin, and the complexities of the German language.  Did you know some people think that the translation of that was “I am a donut”?  Thanks for trying to rewrite history whatever idiot added that to the highly reputable and accurate Wikipedia site.

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