Sunday, July 20, 2014

4 x 4 - Stack Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Sudbury)

4 x 4 - Stack Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Sudbury) 5.2%

This a nicely, subtly hopped lager with a nice amount of bitterness as well as a malty body that is a bit complicated but without any flavours that don't belong there. Very tasty.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Brewery Market in Hintonburg Park - July 5th (Canada - Ontario - Ottawa)

The Brewery Market in Hintonburg Park - July 5th (Canada - Ontario - Ottawa)
Don't let the line discourage you.
Last Saturday, July 5th, in the glorious sunshine I had the chance to attend the Brewery Market in Hintonburg Park here in Ottawa. The perfect weather and popularity of the event meant that I had to wait in line for about 35 minutes to get into the park but once inside the park was hardly crowded (though it was at its official capacity and hence the lineup and wait to get in) and beer lines moved swiftly. Unlike a typical Beer Festival, the Brewery Market is modelled after traditional, family-friendly beer gardens so full pints are sold (at $6 a piece) rather than sample sized glasses and there is no charge to get in. Breweries on hand included Beau's, Beyond the Pale and Covered Bridge Brewing as well as a few others.
On a day this nice you can see why people would want to enjoy craft beer in a park!

For the me, a cask version of Covered Bridge Brewing's Double-Double, a sweet chocolate stout, was the finest beer I had that afternoon but honourable mention goes to their Eternally Hoptimistic. Double-Double sweet had a herbal, yeasty cask touch with lots of chocolate, a bit of an earthy maple touch and subtle wood tones. It carries its alcohol quite well but you can still tell that it is strong, 7.4%. In addition to dozens of different craft beers on top, there were also plenty of yummy eats on the menu.

Mmm... Lentil burger.

The next Brewery Market will be held on Quebec side of the Ottawa River on July 24th. Another Brewery Market in Ottawa will happen in September, please check out their website for further details. I had a wonderful time and certainly plan on attending again. If you are in the area I suggest you head on out for the next which will be held rain or shine.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Angry Moose - Stack Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Sudbury)

Angry Moose - Stack Brewing (Canada - Ontario - Sudbury) 9.0%

A crystal clear amber gold in a glass. A sweet and somewhat peachy aroma mixed in with all those hops! Cedar, resin and citrus. As it warms there is a bit of toffee

Bitter flavour with lots of evergreen flavours a mix of cedar, pine and ... well that's just about all the evergreen trees I know. Oh wait, spruce! A caramelized sweetness that reminds me of the way burning sap smells which is exactly where some sweeter barrel tones come from as the charring on the inside of barrels before their use in aging beer or spirits brings out and caramelizes the sap and sugars in the wood. This beer is really amazingly balanced and it really conceal its alcohol content well. If they can produce this beer consistently to this high quality, and consistency can be a problem for new microbrews as they start up, I can see this Imperial IPA bringing home some awards for Stack Brewing.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Steeler - Lakeport Brewing (Canada) 5.0%

Not quite actual size.
Steeler - Lakeport Brewing (Canada) 5.0%

A musty malt aroma with a hint of bitterness. A rather mild malt aroma just a bit of crusty bread.

The taste is very standard lager: not sweet, not bitter (though there is a bit of bitterness). At times I got a metallic touch but this is otherwise a pretty acceptable beer in the style of yellow and fizzy. It's better than Molson Canadian, better than the Bud products and I like it better than Labatt. It's also cheap and it comes in a giant can! What more could you want from a giant can beer?

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Empirical Ale - Black Creek Historic Brewery (Canada - Ontario - Toronto) 5.0%

Empirical Ale - Black Creek Historic Brewery (Canada - Ontario - Toronto) 5.0%

Copper colour in a glass, nice moderate hop aroma with toasty bread, a sweet caramel or even maple touch mixed with an earthiness and wood tones (cedar or pine). Very nice aroma.

Cedar hops flavour, firm but not very strong, paired nicely with that malt flavour I mentioned in the aroma that is somewhere between caramel and maple with just a kiss of smoke. There is also an earthy flavour that mellows and broadens the flavour of the whole beer and although there is a caramel/maple tone Empirical Ale isn't particularly sweet. The mouthfeel isn't heavy, it has a watery aspect that keeps this beer refreshing and really goes well with the restrained hops flavour and the only moderate sweetness. I think this is an excellent beer and would say it most resembles an English IPA though the hops character is that of a North American hops.