I joined Toastmasters last month, because I want to get good at public speaking for my next job. Even if I don’t end up speaking on stage in front of large groups of people, I want to be decent at it. Toastmasters is a club that allows you to do just that: get good at public speaking through weekly challenges. Your first speech, also known as the Icebreaker, is a simple introduction to who you are and what you’re into. What better opportunity to talk about one of my greatest passions: craft beer. Here’s the speech I gave this last week. Continue reading
This past weekend, I attended my third Cask Days, the all-cask (*ahem*, mostly-cask) beer festival the Morana family started 11 years ago. It was awesome. Not only did I get to try some word-class brews like Four Winds Nectarous, the dry-hopped sour which won Beer of the Year at the 2016 Canadian Brewing Awards, but I got to cheers a bunch of my friends with said beer. Because we went for the first session on Friday. And had first pick of everythang. Also, Halo, that brewery I work for who won Best Newcomer at this year’s Golden Tap Awards, had two of their delicious offerings on cask: Event Horizon and Elder God. Continue reading
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 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.
Vice Munchies recently featured one of the most hipster craft breweries in the world, New Belgium. Like most established American craft breweries, they make some world-class IPAs and have an extensive barrel aging program.
I hear they pay their employees to ride their bike to work… And give them a sweet New Belgium bike after working there for a year. Yeah they have some great benefits.
Bikes and good beer for all!
There’s this beer at Halo called Wit or Without. It’s a ginger lime witbier with smoked malts, and is drawing attention to an interesting phenomenon. Some people think it’s perfectly balanced, and it’s one of their favourite beers at the brewery (I’m in this camp). Others think it’s too ginger predominant. Others can’t taste the ginger. Others can’t taste the smoked malt. Others think it tastes like soap, even “fresh Band-Aid.” What is going on? 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!