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Monthly Archives: June 2014

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Cheers!