Here I am drinking my favourite beer (gueuze/lambic) aged in my favourite wine (vin jaune) barrels, at one of my favourite breweries in Belgium. This is happiness. Read about what makes this beer so special, and prey to the beer gods you get to try it one day. It is beautiful. It is my favourite beer of all time.
Karma Citra is a 6.6% American style IPA that is released once a year. Citra is a very in-demand hop here in Ontario, and GLB has procured “as much Citra as we can to bring you as much of this IPA as our little brewery can muster” for this limited release. This year’s batch is a bit sweeter and maltier than usual, but just as fruity and delicious. I am bringing a bunch to Europe in November for beer trades.
I have seen it described as Canada’s best IPA…. Do you agree? Comment with your top Canadian IPA, or tweet me @evelynrockon.
This week I stumbled upon what I consider to be one of the most epic beer photos of all time. Here is photographer David de Vleeschauwer and friends (via Facebook), wielding a Struise Blue Monk Special Reserve atop Khardung La, a mountain pass located in the Ladakh region of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, at 17,582 ft elevation.
I have had this beer at Thin Man Brewery in Buffalo and it is indeed really fucking good.
What a fantastic moment. As a brewer, this must be a sign that you have made it. When someone dedicates an epic moment in your honour. L’chaim.
Ralph Morana is credited for starting Toronto’s craft beer bar scene. He opened an Italian restaurant in 1988, made it a beer bar/restaurant in 1999, and rebranded to brewpub and craft beer destination Bar Volo in 2010. Since then, with the help of his family and sons Tomas and Julian, he has built something of a craft beer empire: they have their own importing agency, supply beer to some of Toronto’s best restaurants, and run Cask Days, the most ambitious beer festival in the country, which happens every October.
The Moranas are the reason we can get Cantillon in Toronto. I had it on tap last night, at a special preview of their new space Birreria Volo at 612 College St. A couple kegs will be making the rounds to some local beer bars soon. This is now a thing we can get used to. This is a big deal. Continue reading
The new-ish Bellwoods 5.6% dry-hopped mixed fermentation sour, otherwise known as Jelly King, is coming out with even fruitier variations this summer. Apricot Jelly King, the most apricot-ey beer I have ever had, launched a couple weekends ago, and sold out in a few days. I am cherishing my final bottles. It tasted like fresh apricot juice on tap, and is more dried apricot in bottles (where its base shines through a little more).
Brewer and Communications Manager Carmen Vicente tells me: “The name Jelly King lends itself so well to fruity flavours (fruit jellies!), and then of course fruited sours are delicious, so making an apricot version seemed like a no-brainer. We plan to do many more fruity versions.” Indeed, kettle sours* are hot this summer, due to their fast turn-around time (one month) and Ontario’s burgeoning obsession with tart drinks. I ain’t complaining.
*Jelly King technically isn’t a kettle sour because the souring happens in the fermentor (and not the boil kettle). Thanks for letting me know, Carmen!
The beer Cuvée des Jacobins is unblended old lambic, aged for at least 18 months in (French) oak barrels from the cognac region. These oak barrels are called ’Foeders’ in Dutch. It has a robust character but is beautiful and sophisticated with a full body and overtones of vanilla, dried cherry, stone fruit and cocoa. It is a complex, beautiful sour beer.
Photo from my Instagram.
I have been to New York a few times for brief stints, but made a resolution during my last trip back in 2011 that the next trip would be different. I told myself that next time, I’ll stay for a week, maybe in Brooklyn. Next time, I won’t be dirt poor, and I will be able to afford the things I want. Next time, I’ll book a flight, instead of an overnight bus.
Since 2011, I’ve also become a beer nerd. So while I did all the things, I also drank all the beers. This is because, here in Ontario, the government controls our beer consumption, and we do not have the selection of amazing American and world beers like they do in the states. Here are some highlights from my beercation: Continue reading
In honour of Bellwoods releasing a limited edition run of 4,800 Barn Owl 3 bottles this weekend, I decided to taste it next to my aged Barn Owl 1 bottle. These two beers are slightly sour, fruity and complex, and complemented each other perfectly. (Note: Full tasting notes on my Instagram. Buy at least a few Barn Owl 3 before it sells out, and open one every three months to see how it develops.)
Barn Owl 1: A Sour Brett Ale, Barrel Aged 12-18 months (as of May 2015) with Ginger, Apricot and Cranberry.
Barn Owl 3: A Mixed Fermentation Farmhouse Ale with Ontario Peaches.
Their bright colours impressively match the label colours. What a perfect treat of a tasting. I wish I had ten more of each.