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!
Took a detour to Chicago last week. Chicago – The windy city? Hmm. I’ve seen windier. Ever been at the corner of Portage and Main in Winnipeg in January? Although I guess Saskatchewan is partly to blame for that wind too.
Back to our detour. One of the pleasures of a long road trip [a 20 hr drive from our cabin back to Guelph] is listening to NPR on American radio. I love the challenge of finding a new station as the current signal fades into the crackle of a weak handheld transistor radio.
While driving into Chicago, somewhere in rural Wisconsin, I happened on the NPR program On Point. Today’s episode – The Renaissance of American Craft Beer. Woo hoo! The discussion introduced the term Nano brewery – a more apt description of what I consider Micro breweries. I mean really, can Samuel Adams be considered a microbrewery if I can buy their seasonal beer in Ontario? Not really.
That got me in the mood to search for Chicago nano craft beer during my 3 night stay.
My first pint was the Goose Island Green Line Pale Ale at Giordano’s pizzeria. Available on tap only in Chicago the ale was
lightly hoppy with hints of citrus … well delicious. By the way the pizza is ridiculous. My wife and I didn’t even come close to finishing our small pizza.
Deep dish Giordano’s – a delicious exercise in excess
My best nano brewery experience was a 5 Rabbit Cervecería tasting at The Fox & Obel [my new favorite specialty food store]. My man Champi hooked me up with some samples of his Latin inspired cerveza. In Aztec mythology 5 Rabbit was the deity of excess and overindulgence. I’ll buy that. My two favourites were the 5 Rabbit golden beer and the 5 Grass hoppy ale. They were so good that I spent an inordinate amount of time popping my head into any pub that had taps looking for them. They weren’t easy to find but worth the effort nonetheless. When you visit Chicago please bring me back a 6 pack of 5 Rabbit.
Champi, if you’re reading this, bootleg a couple of cases to Guelph for me – we helped you guys out during prohibition.
So Chicago – you weren’t that windy, but you were toddlin’, and you were crafty, and you were awesome.