Tag Archives: IPA

First in Space

Sometimes a man [which I’m] needs to do something noteworthy and daring – to bleed to know he’s alive.  And since my bridge jumping days are over this is what i came up with.

I’ve done my part to get spring kickstarted by being the first person on two different patios in Guelph already. Some people are comparing it to Neil Armstrong’s giant leap for mankind – admittedly it’s not “some people”, it’s only me. Yet the servers at both establishments were suitably impressed. So this blog post is really a guide to being first in space [opening patios] after a ridiculously cold [i.e. nobody believes in global warming anymore] winter.

OX was the first up in early March. I picked OX because it’s sheltered from the wind and a bit of an oasis in downtown Guelph. My adventure opening the patio at the Wooly came later.

  • Step 1 – bring a blanket, metal chairs are cold on the bum. Bring a friend so that you can both convince yourself this was a good idea when you get numb.
  • Step 2- walk up to the bar and order a stout or brown ale, something that has roasted malts.  An hoppy IPA will do if you can’t find a brown ale suitable to your tastes.
  • Step 3 – walk through the bar, open the patio door like you know what you’re doing, and set up camp. Beer in the snow, blanket protecting your gluteals
  • Step 4 – be a little smug


IMG_9292One small step for man …

The harvest

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.




Royal City Brewing is NANO

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!


Uncle Albert’s detour

Few things give me greater pleasure than mentioning Albert Einstein in my blog. Here goes …


Hey Uncle Albert – fish are stupid!


This got me to thinking about stupid beer.  If you are going to spend your whole life drinking cheap beer then you will live your whole life believing that it is good – and that you are a genius.  If, however, you want to really be a genius then you have to try new stuff – like Muskoka Brewery’s Detour IPA. This weekend I had it on tap at Baker Street Station in Guelph and found it again in a 6-pack at the LCBO.

I think “Stop drinking stupid beer” should be on the front of the Detour IPA t-shirt.  This is a big hop ale with a clean finish that is the perfect detour from winter beer drinking to clean, genius, spring beer drinking.  I think Uncle Albert would approve.


And I want a kick back on the “Stop drinking stupid beer” t-shirt sales.

Acronyms worth learning

I stopped learning new acronyms years ago.  I find them annoying – but maybe that’s because I’m in education where acronyms seem as important as curriculum. I just knowingly nod my head when they come up in conversation. You know what? If you wanna talk to me you have to use full words now. I’m acronymed up to my eyeballs.

However, and it’s a big but, I found a new acronym that I was willing to learn.  Last week was Ontario Craft Beer week and my wife and I attended an event at The Albion.  My new favorite acronyms are IPA and RPA.  The Mad Tom IPA (India Pale Ale) and the Cameron’s RPA (Rye Pale Ale) were hands down the winners of the event. And while the Albion wasn’t really holding a contest you need to remember that I have a Physed degree and most everything is a contest to me.

While I’ve always been a fan of the Wellington SPA (Special Pale Ale) I was blown away by two ales at the event.  Muskoka Brewery’s Mad Tom IPA is made with two hops and a whole lot of WOW.   It tastes like somebody threw a whole bucketful of  spices in the brew. A predominant juniper / pine finish makes for an exceptional IPA.  The second great ale, Cameron’s Rye Pale Ale (RPA), was the most complex ale I’ve ever had.  It is made with 7 different hops and a generous amount to rye.

However, there is a major flaw in this RPA. You can only get it at the brewery in Oakville.  So I’m begging somebody in Guelph to carry the RPA on tap – I’m begging you – throwing down the gauntlet if you will.  Baker St? Wooly? Any takers? I have the regional rep’s business card if you need it.