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Chocolate Milk before bed

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Hello again everyone.
I decided it was time for a blog post because I had a beer that got me fired up!
As you may or may not know, I am a big fan of the dark beers and am always on the hunt for a new stout or brown ale to try. The roasted chocolate malts and deep coffee flavours are exactly what I’m after. So when I got my hands on a bottle of Chocolate Milk Stout from the Wellington Brewing Company I was pretty stoked to crack it open. I actually had a sample of this at Session Toronto a few weeks ago and was impressed. In fact, just knowing that I remember drinking it is a testament to how great this beer really is!

Subtle bottle = awesome brew

Subtle bottle = awesome brew

Pours jet black with a thin beige head. Aroma is lots of chocolate, roasted malts, coffee, and some dark fruits. On the palate is tons of mild chocolate, lactose, hints of dried fruit, and coffee. Finish is bitter chocolate and coffee with a nice burn from the 7.2% ABV. The lactose makes the entire mouthful extremely smooth and compliments the aforementioned boozy finish.
Hoppy Endings officially endorses the intake of this beverage. Get out there and find yourself a bottle. Like, now.


Muskoka Summer

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I’ve found the beer of summer 2014. It’s light, refreshing, decently hoppy, and it won’t have you falling asleep on the subway home at 11pm. The beer I am talking about is of course Muskoka Brewery’s “Detour”, a session IPA now available in six-packs at your local LCBO.

At first I was skeptical. Why would Muskoka want to produce a light IPA? They’re already the creators of Mad Tom, which I consider to be the staple IPA for Ontario. Hop-heads love it, as do some of the newer craft beer drinkers, and at 6.7% ABV it definitely helps you forget about your shitty day at work. So until I tried Detour, I didn’t really see a reason for it to be produced. Now I’m a believer.

At just 4.3% ABV and 30 IBU’s, Detour is truly the perfect beer for a hot summer day in the sun. When it gets hot and muggy, I don’t really feel the need for a heavy, high IBU beer that will only help the sun melt my face off. The lighter, yet still hop-forward experience of Detour is exactly what I look for. It gets this character from being dry hopped; the process of adding hops to the fermenting wort which contributes to the aroma more so than the flavour.


The review:

Light aroma’s of citrus, sweet caramel, and floral notes. On the palate are citrus hops which are carried through by the high carbonation. Finish is mildly bitter and refreshing.

If you are at all skeptical about lighter beers like I was, I highly encourage you to pick up a six-pack of Detour and give it a try. It will change the way you think about sessionable beers.

Sunday Raceday

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Last week I had a nice surprise when I noticed a distinctly taller can of Central City Red Racer IPA on the shelves of the LCBO than I ever remember seeing. That’s right folks, Red Racer is now available in tall cans! And just as surprising (to me anyway) was that I hadn’t yet reviewed it. So lets get down to it.


Pours a cloudy amber with a small, off white head that dwindles down quickly. Aromas of fresh grapefruit hops, other citrus, and pine. On the palate there is a much stronger pine flavour, along with the lingering citrus and floral notes, with the citrus carrying into the finish to provide a nice bitter, piney punch. It’s not an overly complex beer, but an amazing Canadian IPA.

This beer comes in at 6.5% ABV and is a great all-year-round IPA. The fact that we can now buy tallboys of Red Racer for $2.50 is definitely something worth celebrating.

I hope you all enjoyed your weekend and are looking forward to Session Toronto coming up this Friday/Saturday. Who knows; I may see you there!

Wheeling Catherine

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I’ve come to realize Belgian IPA’s just may be my ideal beer style for summer. The Belgian yeast makes them incredibly refreshing on the palate and the hop content varies enough from brew to brew to keep things interesting.

Last night I enjoyed some delicious (and very well priced) pints at the Bellwood’s Brewery on Ossington. The atmosphere was great even though we weren’t on the beautiful patio, and the beers were fairly tasty. My buddy Steve even decided to order the Duck Heart’s (four hearts for $4). They were very tender and covered in a jalapeno sauce that provided a nice kick in the crotch, and a thirst for beer. Well done folks.

I’ve had a bottle of Catherine Wheel Belgian IPA from Bellwoods in my fridge since the last time I visited the retail shop and I decided today was a great day to drink it.

Beautiful evening in Etobicoke North

Beautiful evening in Etobicoke North

Pours a cloudy light amber with a thin white head that dissipates quickly. Aromas of light citrus, flowers, grassy hops, and yeast. Light mouth-feel with more citrus, yeast, and grass. Its got a nice sweetness to it, but not diabetes-inducing by any means. Finish is dry, with grass and yeast. A little bit of lemon bitterness is evident, with some sweet malt undertones coming through. You wouldn’t guess it has an ABV of 7.2%

I’d recommend Catherine Wheel for a hot day on a patio. It’s not the best Belgian IPA I’ve ever had, but if it popped up on my Tinder page Catherine Wheel would be a firm right-swipe.

A stout for bedtime

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Hi there friends. Today I’m back to reviewing beer, although just a reminder that the Craft Beer Passport is now active, so get out and explore Toronto’s craft beer scene!

Today I’m reviewing a Belgian Stout from the always impressive Beau’s Brewing Co. This one is appropriately named Matt’s Sleepy Time Belgian Imperial Stout. It boasts an ABV of 8% and 38 IBU’s.

Great graphics on the bottle, which is nothing new from Beau's.

Great graphics on the bottle, which is nothing new from Beau’s.

Pours jet black with a moderately thick beige head. Aroma’s of dark fruit, vanilla, biscuit, spice, and some chocolate. First sip had more flavours of dark fruits, chocolate, and I could definitely pick up on the Belgian yeast. The 8% ABV provided a subtle boozy burn at the end.

Since the bottle was straight out of the fridge, I decided to let this one warm up a bit and see how the flavours changed. Great idea Matt *gives self high-five*.

After warming to room temp for about 20 minutes (the glass was sweating, as was my forehead):
The dark chocolate comes through much stronger on the palate, along with the spice from the yeast. There is a much more distinct vanilla sweetness to the aftertaste, complimenting the alcohol flavours nicely.
Most people wouldn’t be looking for a stout on a day like today (one of Toronto’s first humid days of smog season), but the Belgian spice and fruit really make it enjoyable despite the heat. I definitely recommend taking the bottle out of the fridge about 20 minutes before pouring it for the boldest flavours right from the start.


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Hey gang.

If you haven’t heard, some of Toronto’s best craft breweries and craft beer bars have got a pretty sweet deal in store for folks like us. It’s called the Craft Beer Passport, and it offers holders of the passport the opportunity to enjoy a $2 beer at 20 different locations around the city.


In reality, you aren’t getting a full pint of beer for your toonie, and you aren’t able to select just ANY beer on each bars draught list. The passport gets you a 12 oz sample, which is still a good deal as that’s three-quarters of a full pint (or three-fifths of an imperial pint as Ben Johnson’s stick-in-the-mud readers quickly pointed out in his comments section here). Also keep in mind that you will be selecting your brew from 3 options at each pub.

Out of curiosity I contacted the founder of the passport, Mike Stulberg, to inquire as to whether each bar would be offering 3 exclusive beers to the program (ie. Are there 60 different beers available for the passport?). He told me that it is at the discretion of the bars but pointed out that it would be in their best interest to offer some unique selections to entice patrons to order another pint or six (my words, not his). In other words, there will likely be some overlap in terms of the beer offerings at the participating bars, but you’re sure to have no shortage of interesting new brews to try.

The passport is available online here or at many of the participating locations around the city. Pre-order is on now and the deal begins June 1st (so soon!).

For $20 I think it’s a great deal and an excellent way to encourage craft beer lovers to explore the local beer scene instead of always sticking to their usual watering-holes. I definitely encourage everyone in the Toronto area to take advantage of the passport and who knows; maybe I’ll bump into one of you at the pub!

Cheers for now.


Out of hibernation

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Okay, I got REALLY busy at school during the second semester, so brewing beer and writing reviews definitely wasn’t a priority. That doesn’t mean I wasn’t drinking beer this whole time, I just wasn’t concerned with writing about it. The good news is that exams are over and I’m back home in Toronto and I couldn’t be more excited to have 4 months to check out all the great beer this city has to offer. I will be making a pointed effort to use this blog much more often this summer as I really have no excuse not to… (also because it’s fun).

Today I’m reviewing Great Lakes Brewery’s “Apocalypse Later”, an imperial black IPA weighing in at 10% ABV. I haven’t tried many black IPA’s but the ones that I have were all very impressive so I had some very high hopes for this one.


Pours jet black with a nice tan head. Aroma is fresh hops, sweet licorice, and citrus (maybe pine as well?). Earthy hops, caramel, licorice, with a bitter hoppy finish that hides the 10% scarily well… The hops definitely tone down the other flavours from the malt and are front and centre throughout this pint.

This one didn’t have as much roasted malt/chocolate flavours as the other black IPA’s I have tried. The “black” in the name seems to only speak to the colour of the beer. With that being said, I still really enjoyed this beer as I am a self-proclaimed hop-head. Yet another impressive beer from Great Lakes. I’m so stoked to be living 10 minutes away from the brewery all summer long!