So there’s that.
The LCBO released Lindemans Gueuze Cuvée René for the second year in a row. Everyone rejoice. It’s a bit more expensive at $7 a bottle instead of $5-something, but this time I made sure to buy two cases instead of one. And I’m going to try to not touch most of it until one year from now.
This is because this gueuze absolutely transforms after one year of aging. It becomes densely funky, fragrant, cheesy amazingness. Please please, save some. Continue reading
The LCBO now offers online orders for local pick-up and even home delivery.
I celebrated this momentous occasion by ordering a case of Beersel Morning, Drie Fonteinen lambic blended with Del Ducato‘s Morning saison and refermented in the bottle. Imported by Volo’s Keep6 Imports, of course.
So, while we’re completely behind the times, what with our alcohol controlled by the government and all, we’re at least getting on the ecommerce train #wayofthefuture. This convenience, in partnership with the world-class beers Keep6 is steadily importing, makes our situation almost bearable. Almost.
This spring, I’m only making one recommendation.
The Imperial IPA that doesn’t taste like one: Robohop!
This beer is the grapefruity, pineappley beer you want to be drinking on a patio, but it’s also 8.5%. This year’s batch of Robohop is delicious. Drink it now. Buy it at the LCBO, or at Great Lakes Brewery.
- The LCBO is carrying Japanese beer for a limited time, so pick up a Hitachino Nest Espresso Stout while you can. If the cute owl on the bottle and bottle cap alone doesn’t sway you, the 99 on ratebeer should.
- For a spicy festive treat, bring Great Lakes Winter Ale to your holiday dinner. If you don’t like seasonal spiced ales, pick up a bottle of what Great Lakes does best: fruity and dank IPAs. Lake Effect fits the bill nicely.
- There is so much Belgian goodness at the LCBO, and the big boozy St. Bernardus Christmas Ale should definitely be up there on your wish list.
- Spearhead has released a Belgian Stout. I would recommend anything from this brewery, and you know how much I adore Belgian beer and stout. This is a must.
- The champagne of beers, saison, is still around in wonderful barrel aged options! Pick up Session’s gift pack of their saison aged in chardonnay barrels and cabernet barrels for a delicious comparison. I’m bringing this to a holiday dinner for my wine-loving aunt. Hopefully this sways her. (The Amsterdam Brewery equivalent of this holiday set would be their Reserve Saison and Sour Cherry Imperial Stout, two of my all-time favourites.)
- Speaking of gift packs… Unibroue’s Sommelier Pack. Buy it.
- Great Lakes Saison DuPump is a pumpkin spiced saison (everybody likes saisons!). This one is subtly spiced and not sweet, like some pumpkin beers. Light and refreshing. Also good with food. Scoop it up before it sells out!
- If you want a more traditional pumpkin ale, I suggest the vanilla and nutmeg-heavy St. Ambroise Citrouille, or Samuel Adams Fat Jack, an 8.6% imperial pumpkin ale.
- Beau’s Night Märzen Oktoberfest is a good easy drinking fall beer that everyone can enjoy.
- Muskoka Harvest Ale is a 7% seasonal with bite. Malty with a nice bite of grassy hops, it comes caged with a cork and oozes specialness. Fall specialness. Bring this to Thanksgiving dinner.
- Anything Mikkeller. This is a renowned brewery from Denmark, and the LCBO is carrying six of their offerings for a limited time. Black, k:rlek, Green Gold, Monk’s Brew and Texas Ranger all have high ABVs and strong flavour profiles. The label designs are always among my favourites. One to save for the shelf (especially the k:rlek)!
- Anything seasonal hop, single hop, wet hop. Hops all ’round.
- Calabaza Blanca is a barrel aged white ale featuring that unmistakable Belgian yeast, notes of banana, and sour with a grapefruit finish. Great for those new to sour beers and connoisseurs alike.
- Les Trois Mousquetaires Gose is the only gose the LCBO currently carries. Slightly salty and sour, really nice. Buy it because it’s different. Mix it with grapefruit radler. Do it.
- Framboise: both Lindeman’s and Amsterdam. The Lindeman’s is a 2.5% Belgian sporting a nice mix of sour and sweet; not at all overpowering like some sours! Great on its own, better as a cocktail base with ice, mixed with wheat beer or champagne. Amsterdam’s is also brewed with raspberries instead of flavouring, is a beautiful shade of dark raspberry and is well balanced without being sweet.
- Great Lakes Brewery’s Karma Citra IPA is liquid gold if you dig fresh IPAs. This is what brewmaster Mike Lackey is known for: strong hops nose and taste. Karma Citra is more bright than bitter, and the bottles are always a pleasure to look at and read thanks to 1) illustrator Garnett Gerry and graphic designer Fabian Skidmore 2) Lackey’s philosophical meanderings (i.e. copywriting).
- Any saison. Beau’s, Black Oak, Nickel Brook and Oast House saisons are all great. Buy them all.