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The Beer Geeks travel near and far to sample the wares that the finest breweries, pubs and brewpubs are serving up. Latest stop, Milos Craft Beer Emporium in London, ON.

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Ryan's Liquor in Port Huron, MI!

For Ontarian's wanting American craft beer at great prices, Ryan's is the place to go. Located just across the border at 1837 Pine Grove, Port Huron, MI.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Railway City Brewery Release 'Witty Traveller'

St. Thomas, ON

On the heals of a Gold Medal win for their Black Coal Stout, Railway City Brewer is happy to release another beer for their fans to enjoy.

"The Witty Traveller has finally arrived! In his trunk, the distinguished beer flavours of the world. With a top-hat in hand he's stopped in Railway city to share his knowledge and adventure. With spices from the East, the fruits of the South, and yeasts of the North enveloped in taste and aromas of far flung places. He has stopped to offer us a pint!

The Witty Traveller's tale opens with a potpourri of spices and fruit - sweet anise seed and subtle orange rind. As you delve deeper into the libation you discover clove and bananas alongside soft and sweet arrowroot biscuit with a short layover of bubble-gum before cleansing fresh-pepper and gingersnap.

When asked, the Witty Traveller would suggest: stuffed pork tenderloin with pilaf, fresh Goat Cheese Focaccia, or most simple fair - even the lowly soft-pretzel may be raised to new levels!

So we raise a pint to this traveller!"

Look for this at the brewery shop and finer craft beer establishments near you!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day Ale Trail to Kick off Ontario Craft Beer Week in Guelph

Guelph, ON

Wellington Brewery is getting ready to celebrate Father's Day in style with a craft beer bus tour of Guelph. Back again after a hugely successful event last year, the 2nd annual Father's Day Ale Trail includes stops at Wellington Brewery, F&M Brewery, and The Woolwich Arrow.

On Sunday June 16th from Noon until 5pm the Father's Day Ale Trail will be an opportunity for beer lovers to meet the brewmasters and sample year-round offerings as well as exclusive small batch "One-Off" beers including a Sour Cherry Brown Ale, Shangri-La (an American style India Pale Ale), Pan Ontario Ale (a barrel aged blend of 5 Ontario Craft beers), and a collaboration beer made by the brewmasters at Wellington Brewery and F&M brewery that uses locally grown hops from Ignatius Farms.

The Father's Day Ale Trail marks the start of Ontario Craft Beer Week, a week-long celebration of locally produced craft beer. All week Wellington Brewery will be toasting the art of craft brewing with over 15 events happening in Guelph, Toronto, and beyond. The week will feature diverse events including: Beer & Cheese Tastings, One-Off Cask Samplings, Tap Takeovers, a Battle of the Brewery Bands, and much more!

Ontario Craft Beer Week, "is a chance for craft brewers and beer lovers to get together and celebrate the great beer produced here in Ontario by local independently owned breweries" says Brent Davies, Vice-President of Wellington Brewery.

Tickets for the Father's Day Ale Trail are only $20 which includes samples at each location and bus transportation between locations. For more information about the Father's Day Ale Trail and other craft beer events happening during Ontario Craft Beer week visit: www.wellingtonbrewery.ca or www.ocbweek.ca

Friday, June 14, 2013

Kensington Brewing Company's Baldwin FishEYE-PA Now Available at LCBOs Province-Wide.

Toronto, ON

Kensington Brewery announced that their Baldwin FishEYE-PA is now available at LCBOs across the province of Ontario. Inspired by Kensington Market’s (in)famous fishmongers on Baldwin Street, FishEYE is a bold and unapologetically hop-forward American IPA. Adhering to their principles of inclusivity, FishEYE was brewed with the input of their fans over a series of test batches in 2012. The call for “more hops!” has been answered!

Baldwin FishEYE-PA has already begun to hit LCBO shelves in the GTA and will initially be featured in over 100 stores. Each 473ml “tall-boy” can will retail for $2.85 including tax and deposit.

At 6.5% ABV and 70IBU, FishEYE-PA is a brew for hop-loving beer enthusiasts. A marriage of 3 types of malt and 4 hop varieties, including an extra dose of dry hops, meld beautifully to create a complex, hop-forward ale. The aroma is dominated by floral and pine notes, with a slight tinge of grapefruit rind and sweet caramel malt. A lengthy finish is characterized by the balanced interplay between residual sweetness and a lingering hop bitterness.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Sawdust City Brewing Company - Lone Pine IPA

ABV 6.5% (Bottle 650ml)

The Brewery (Under Construction)


The Brew
"Sawdust City's Lone Pine IPA is aggresively hopped and bursting with flavours of pine and citrus, loaded with mounds of hops and balanced with a blend of 4 different malts...each glass is like a pine bow across your face.  You've been warned!"

The Pour
Pours crystal clear and golden coloured with vibrant fall leaf orange at the edges.  The body is bubbly with a pure white head that sinks into some nice sudsy lacing.  The brew quickly settles still with no visible carb.

Aroma
Delicious, with generous portions of orange peel, tangerine slices, OJ with vodka and light pine.  Overall the smell is fresh, alive, juicy and full of grapefruit and citrus tang.

Taste
This quaff presents a medium body upfront and big pine flavours that come through as alcohol warmth rather than resin.  The four malts lend the brew a smooth body and even balance in flavour and feel throughout; it all ends with a sticky finish of pine and earth that doesn't overwhelm the senses.

Overall
"A pine bow across your face" is truth in advertising.  If a lone pine on the Canadian Shield had a taste, this would be it.  The pine is present but not overwhelming and everything is nicely balanced and delivers on every level.  A real class act from an emerging craft brewery.  I give it an A. Can't wait to see what they come out with next.


Check out what other beer geeks think of this brew at  Ratebeer and Beer Advocate.

Up next...
I tackle three brews from LCBO's latest brewery feature: New Zealand's Renaissance Brewing Company.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Toronto's 'Fermentations!' is Celebrating 20 Years of Helping Torontonians Brew Their Own Craft Beer!

Toronto, ON

With an ever growing craft beer scene, it is easy to forget about the pioneers that helped start it all.  "Enablers" like Fermentations!, have been essential in the quest for tastier beers.  Homebrewers and self brewing shops are a great way to enter the world of craft and explore all that beer has to offer.  Fermentations!  located at 201 Danforth Avenue in Toronto, has been helping introduce all grain brewing to those passionate for 20 years.

"Fermentations! was craft beer before there was a craft beer scene in Toronto- our clients came to us to be able to design and brew beer that represent the worlds great beers, or exist only in imagination.  A cross section of chefs, beer writers, and others involved in Toronto’s exploding craft beer industry have taken up our offer of designing the beer of their dreams." says Charles Fajgenbaum, owner of Fermentations!.

Some of the more interesting creations include beers like Pomegranate Wheat, Jalapeno Ale, Kefir and Curry Leaf Pale Ale, even a Rosehip Cardamom and Orange Peel Saison conditioned with Ice Wine.  In the end there is no limit to what you can come up with.

Fermentation! offers those interested in brewing an opportunity to gain knowledge an experiment without having to invest in the equipment themselves.  They create the opportunity to guide one through all of the steps to create the beer you truly want to drink.

I can drink to that!  Cheer to Charles and his team at Fermentations! for 20 years of brewing!




Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fans to Once Again Choose Favourite Beau’s Beers for Holiday Mix Pack

Ottawa, ON

“Best of Beau’s” to feature 4 beers with top votes; polling has begun

Voting has begun for the second edition of Best of Beau’s: a mixed 4-pack of the most popular beers Beau’s has ever released, as chosen by the public. This is the second year Beau’s All Natural will be letting democracy decide which beers go into the holiday gift pack. Last year’s Best of Beau’s 4-pack sold out of LCBOs in less than a month.

The selections in the running include every beer Beau’s has produced in the last seven years, with the exception of a handful that simply can’t be recreated, and the flagship beer Lug Tread, which is available year-round and therefore excluded. Last year, Matt’s Sleepy Time Belgian Imperial Stout, Screamin’ Beaver Double IPA, Patio Saison, and Farm Table Belgian Pale Ale received the most votes, and were brewed up in the fall for inclusion in the mix pack.

Fans will have only a few weeks to vote their favourite Beau’s beer into the mix pack, as the polls will close June 30. Voting can be done online at the Beau’s website, or at the brewery’s retail store in Vankleek Hill. The mix pack, containing 4 signature 600 ml bottles, will be sold for $24 in LCBOs across Ontario, as well as direct from the brewery, and through home delivery in Ottawa via BYBO (www.bybo.ca).

“Best of Beau’s is so much fun for us because we get to see which of our beers really got people excited, and it’s fun getting to watch all the votes come in,” says brewery co-founder Steve Beauchesne. “It’s like the elections, but with tastier results!” he added. “Personally I’d vote for Lug Tread as it’s my favourite, but seeing as it’s already available all year, I’m going to vote strategically for Burnt Rock Vanilla Porter instead.”

The online ballot for Best of Beau’s can be found online at www.beaus.ca/VOTE, or as noted earlier votes can be cast in person at Beau’s retail store at the brewery in Vankleek Hill. The poll will close June 30, and results for the 2013 Best of Beau’s mix pack will be announced in early July. The 4-packs are expected to be on the LCBO shelves in November, just in time for the holiday season.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Grand River Brewing - Dogstalker April Bock

ABV 6.0% (Bottle 500ml)
The Brewery


The Brew
"Amber/red in colour with a defined malt aroma. Upfront malt sweetness that dries out in the finish. Pale & Munich malts are balanced by German Hallertau Tradition and Mittelfruh hops. Very minimal bitterness, yet the standard GRB ‘back of the throat’ finish is there. Very easy drinker."

I had to include this:

"Brewmaster Rob Creighton also noted at the time that the beer was named in honour of April, a goat owned by brewery owner Bob Hanenberg and his wife Jane. According to Creighton, 'April will hide around corners waiting for the dogs to come along and then attack them, trying to ram them with its horns. One mean assed goat.'"

The Pour
Pours a beautifully clear golden amber with a foamy one-to-two finger head.  The brew settles nicely in the glass with very little carb - rather like an English pale ale.

Aroma
Delicious sweet malts with hints of dandelion and lilac (although that may be coming in through my window).  I also detected the lighter end of dark chocolate and honey oat bread.  A very nice start.

Taste
Mouth-feel is getting on for medium bodied - which you need when you don't have very much carbonation - but overall it's a bit watery.  The flavour falls fairly flat, but there are some caramel notes.  The nose is the star here.  However, there is a decent bite that develops as you move through the glass.

Overall
I suppose this could be a decent session beer if not for the higher ABV.  I'm a bit disappointed with this one; but coming from a brewer that tries to keep their beers mild in flavour and under 5%, this is in line with their other fine offerings.  Still for a lighting drinking ale any time of year, I'd reach for their Plowman's Ale or (fingers crossed) their Blackberry Wheat.  I give this one a C+.

Man, I just don't have good luck with Bocks...I didn't like Amsterdam's Spring Bock either...I know, commence throwing rotten tomatoes.

Check out what other beer geeks think of this brew at  Ratebeer and Beer Advocate.

Up next...
Not sure...I think a trip to the LCBO is in order.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Kensington Brewing Co. is Turning 2!

KBCo is turning 2!

To celebrate their second anniversary they are hosting a party at The Rhino on Sunday June 3rd, 2013 from 3:00pm - 8:00pm.  They will be featuring their entire line-up of beers, including Baldwin FishEYE-PA, Augusta Ale and Fruit Stand Watermelon Wheat. They will also have 5 special one-off collaborations brewed specifically for this event by their Head Brewer Dave Lee, in partnership with 4 amazing Ontario craft breweries.

KBCO x Sawdust City – “The Fundamental”
One Malt, One Hop, One determined Yeast: it's all about Fundamentals. The first offering in The Mental Series from Sawdust City & Kensington Brewing Company, a series that defies styles and is all about creativity.

Style: uh, Belgian-ish? (single hop, brett fermented, Apricots)
ABV: 6.4%
IBU: 25
Hops: Centennial

KBCo x Indie Ale House - “High Maintenance”
An “involved” brew (long story, ask Jeff & Dave) with Abbey ale flavours complimented by plums and grape must for added flavour and complexity.

Style: Belgian Strong Ale
ABV: 8.5%
IBU: 25
Hops: Fuggle/Sorachi Ace

KBCo x Indie Ale House - “Wit Way Scoo-Tea Go?”
A Belgian Wit with tea added in secondary to add a distinguished touch. This is a tribute to our scooter that we simply lost too soon.

Style: Belgian Wit
ABV: 5%
IBU: 20
Hops: Brambling Cross/Zythos

KBCo x Silversmith Brewing – “Bitterly Rye’teous”
A Bitter Rye/Hefe Hybrid that pushes boundaries of both styles & palates.

Style: Rye PA/Hefe Hybrid (Multi Hop, Hefe Yeast & Lemon Zest)
ABV: 5.9%
IBU: 72
Hops: Centennial/Simcoe/Sorachi Ace/Motueka

KBCo x Bar Hop x Great Lakes Brewery – “Coco Beware 2.0”
An excessively hopped black IPA with shards of roasted coconut added to the boil and hop back.

Style: Black IPA
ABV: 7.5%
IBU: 70
Hops: Sorachi Ace/Galaxy/Simcoe/Centennial

Important Details:

The Rhino – 1249 Queen St. East
No cover charge, no tickets, just beer!
First 25 people get a free KBCo pint glass
Cash bar - ATM available at The Rhino
Limited quantities of one-offs so show up early to avoid disappointment

PLEASE RSVP ON THEIR FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE:
https://www.facebook.com/events/155919587913624/?context=create

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