Now this is a PIE CHART we can all relate to… What is your favorite beer & pie pairing??
Now there’s an idea!
Pie + Beer = Pieer!
I coud see the pie crust working with the beer malts and the fruit flavours enhanced by the hops! I must try!
Beer Dinner Pairings - Beer Bistro Toronto / Prud’Homme
This past Tuesday we had our beer dinner presentations as part of Prud’Homme’s Beer Sommelier certification program. What a night!
I feel lucky to be surrounded by creative people who truly appreciate and love beer. Only a quirky bunch like this could come up with such unique pairings!
So I thought I would generally outline the pairings for you. I do not want to bias your tastebuds by posting detailed notes on each, so I recommend you go ahead and try them yourself (http://www.beerbistro.com/). If you want details it would be best to contact some of the people who came up with these directly. They can be seen lurking Twitter or at a Toronto restaurant with beer in hand (like any Beer Sommelier should). Alternatively, why not take the certification yourself?
Here are some of their twitter accounts:
The goal was to pair Beer Bistro’s updated menu with beers also on their menu in a 4 course meal that would showcase the versatility and often over-looked options of pairing beer and food. This is what they came up with:
(Note: I’m doing this from memory so I apologize for the lack of detail in some of these. Go ahead and bother these guys a bit, they won’t mind >:] )
Bacon Theme Pairing
Course #1: Red Stripe’s Pale Lagger with daily soup (bacon bits added)
Course #2: English Porter with potato truffle perogies (bacon bits added)
Course #3: Karmelite Tripel with hog wild pizza (with beer cured bacon)
Course #4: Young’s Double Chocolate Stout with Ice cream (to make a float and topped with maple syrup covered Bacon)
Locally Crafted Ontario Brews Pairing
Course #1: Oasthouse Brewery Saison with trout and potato laktes
Course #2: King Brewery Pilsner with salad and witbier vinaigrette
Course #3: Black Oak Brewery Double IPA with Lamb Shank
Course #4: Nicklebrook Imperial Stout with flourless chocolate cake
Quebec Beers Pairing
Course #1: Unibroue’s La Terrible with cheese lager fondue
Course #2: Unibroue’s La Fin du Monde with Foie Gras
Course #3: Unibroue’s Trois Pistoles with Coq a Biere
Course #4: Dieu du Ciel’s Solstice D’Hiver withb crem brule
Fruit Beers Pairing
Course #1: Stiegl Grapefruit Raddler with Blanche de Chambly Cured Smoked Salmon
Course #2: Linderman’s Cassis with Jamaican Goat Curry
Course #3: Sierra Nevada Ovilla Quad with Plums with Duck Foie Grass Rillete
Course #4: Brasserie Dubbuison Peche Mel Scaldis showcased as a tropical fruit maceration (Pineapples, Strawberries, Pears and Mangoes)
American Beers Pairing
Course #1: Anchor Brewing Steam Beer with Steak Tartare
Course #2: Victory Brewing Headwaters Pale Ale with Tandoori Shrimp Tostadas
Course #3: Sierra Nevada Ovilla Quad with Plums with Duck Breast Salad
Course #4: Brooklyn Brewery Monster Barley Wine with Sticky Toffee
The fun in all these pairings is in trying them yourself. So go ahead and take a trip to Beer Bistro (http://www.beerbistro.com/). You would be surprised at how well some of these work out to be.
"Difficulties break some men but make others. No axe is sharp enough to cut the soul of a sinner who keeps on trying, one armed with the hope that he will rise even in the end." NELSON MANDELA
RIP President Mandela.
Kensington Brewing - Back-to-back review!
As promised, a review of Santa’s Stache (Kensington new brew) and a bonus review of Tilt (its weird little cousin) ;]
Kensington Brewing guys started out contract brewing with Black Oak back in 2011 and have just recently purchased a piece of property in 299 Augusta Avenue in the heart of Toronto’s Kensington market. They plan to build their production brewery, retail store and bar to be open mid 2014. Good job guys! I think the location is terrific to develop your brand!
I had a chance to meet Brock Sheperd (founder) who gladly donated a couple of shiny silver cans for this review. But I hope the design does not stay so dull, I mean, look at their Augusta Ale design or their Fish-eye design (http://www.kensingtonbrewingcompany.com/the-beer/). I have also seen their Fruit Stand Watermelon Wheat (of which I owe a review but haven’t had a chance to finalize - I may have to wait till 2014).
Beer review: Santa’s Stache
Style: American Pale Ale (unfiltered and spiced)
Brewery: Kensington Brewing Company
Serving type: Can
Overall rating: 7 / 10
Appearance: Amber coloured and hazy with a big frothy head. Could not see through it unless really close to a bright light source. This one actually had some sediment at the bottom when I finished pouring (not sure if that is intended, but I don’t mind)
Aroma: Grapefruit peel comes at you at the beginning along with some cloves, and as it warms up a subtle spice like cumin came out to play. I later learned cardamon was the actual spice which is a very particular aroma in indian cuisine.
Taste: A zesty grapefruit meat with a slight tartness of grapefruit peel is the first thing you notice. As you wait for the beer to open up in your hands, the clove spice comes out and later on the subtle taste of cumin (at least for me)
Mouthfeel: Medium body, not enough to cut through spicy dishes but enough to complement.
Finish: The slight bitterness of hops and tartness of grapefruit stays in the back of your tonge until you take your next zip. It does keep you coming back for more.
Overall: For a spiced beer, it was subtle and delicate. I think the flavour profile is meant to compliment dishes such as meats and curries but not sure if it could stand up to these. I consider this a good appetite opener. And you drink for a good cause too since 5% of revenues from this beer go to Movember Canada (in the month of November - http://www.kensingtonbrewingcompany.com/santas-stache-moselfies/)
Beer review: Tilt
Style: American Wheat Ale
Brewery: Kensington Brewing Company
Serving type: Can
Overall rating: 6.5 / 10
Apperance: Pale gold and hazy, translucid with a big frothy head.
Aroma: Citrusy lime or orange peel with some grassy bitterness (more like hay/straw than fresh cut grass)
Taste: A slight lemon citrus sweetness and grassy hop bitterness mixed with some biscuity malt sweetness.
Mouthfeel: Medium body with plenty of effervescence.
Finish: Grassy bitternes accumulates in the back of your tongue while staying quite refreshing and sessionable. The bitterness slowly builds up after each zip.
Overall: Very reminiscent of Munchner Kellerbier in its appearance. Dare I call Tilt an unfiltered golden ale?
Peachy Goodness - Beer Review!
I believe this is going to be my first fruit beer review and I do have a sweet tooth!
For this review I had to have this beer in 2 separate occasions to appreciate it fully. First, I tried it in a lager glass, which did not jump at me with its full peach profile but was somewhat refreshing and then in a Tulip glass which did really display the aromatics and taste. The alcohol in this beer is well-balanced to the point is almost not noticeable.
Beer review: Peche Mel Scaldis
Style: Belgian Amber Ale with Fruit
Brewery: Brasserie Dubuisson Frères sprl
Serving type: Bottle
Appearance: The beer has an amber-orange hue similar to the pulp of a ripe peach and pours with a big white head which is perfect presentation for a beer that boasts a fruit flavour. The initial presentation is very reminiscent of peaches and cream in this sense.
Aroma: Starts with fresh ripe peaches blended with some honey-like sweetness and ends with a very subtle lime and citrus undertone.
Flavour: Peach bombards your taste buds but it is not intensely sweet as it is well-balanced by the slight bitterness of the amber ale. The mouth feel is crisp with a light to medium body and a slight syrup-like thickness that lines your mouth. A dry slightly bitter aftertaste entices you to empty your glass while warm and sweet booziness makes this a good beer to pair with salads or desserts.
While browsing the interwebs I found a curious blog that has a very methodical method to review craft beers (http://www.beeritual.com/). The pictures are great, the layout is nice, the beer reviews feel personal and well worded! what’s not to like?
With every beer, there is a chart that maps the flavour profiles in a very unique way (go ahead and take a look so you can see what I mean). I feel this would be a great way to evaluate a blind tasting using a methodical approach (like we just learned in Prud’Homme). This approach would benefit a comparison of similar style beers but its a little over the top for a single beer review (and I’m sorry to say, a little useless - I get more out of the worded description)
Although the top chart appears adequate enough, I do have concerns over the second chart with descriptors such as “oily”, “fizzy”, “sustain” or “sticky”. These are not normal descriptors of beer! what the hell do they mean?! Fortunately the beer reviews are well-worded and descriptive enough to catch the reviewer’s drift, but the second chart does little justice to the review (I mean, I don’t want an oily beer!)
What do you think of this approach?
Infographic of the craft beer drinker.
Simple and well summarized statistics, but I would like to add to your post the definition of the term “craft beer” before categorizing a “craft drinker”.
For this, I would like to share with you a very well written and simple blog post on this topic exactly:(http://worldofbeer.wordpress.com/2013/11/27/this-is-the-definition-of-craft-beer/)
The most simple and eloquently definition I have come accross was from this post: “craft beer is beer created from the perspective of producing great tasting beer … beer designed to be full of flavour and character. Period.”
On this basis, these statistics may be a little misleading.
Moreover, 4.4% market share for women. Really?! I would have guessed a little higher. Underdeveloped market for opportunity anyone?
A visit to the Gentleman’s Expo
The Gentleman’s Expo happened this past Friday, Saturday and Sunday November 22 to 24 in the Metro Toronto Convention Center with a variety of manly treats and tricks varying from cars, food, liquors, seminars and beer!
I had a chance to meet Mirella Amato - the first Canadian Master Cicerone who had a very brief 20 minute talk on beer. Of course, this was not enough time to cover a topic of this magnitude but I thought Mirella did a good job introducing the topic in a simple and concise way. The Gentlemen who organized this event do not seem so gentle-manly anymore. I am also proud to say I mugged her and stole her Master Cicerone pin >:] but then she tracked me down. She’s stronger than she looks.
My interest was in the brewers that showed up to the show of course. The definite winner for me was the Budweiser Crown tent. Their station had a couple of novelty malt roasters which expelled the delicious aroma of roasted barley while you waited to received a stemmed glass of their newly introduced Budweiser Crown (and you get to keep the glass too! I snatched 4 of them). As for the beer, I thought it was stronger in taste than what it normally is since I had a pint of Crown in a bar in Ottawa before. It may have been the aroma of roasted barley (nice touch).
Other brewers who showcased their beers as well, include:
Hogtown Brewers - with their Hogtown Ale
Krombacher - with their refreshing weiss beer
Big Rock - with their refreshing wheat ale (Grasshoper) and Pilsner (Saaz Republic)
Lake of Bays - with their delicious red ale (Sparkhouse) and IPA (Crosswind)
Top Shelf - with lagger style beer
In the end it was a nice event (at least for the first of its kind). I even had a chance to join the Canadian Club (Canadian Whiskey Club) whose motto is “Everything in moderation. Except Bacon”. I raise of my glass and a tip of my hat to you sirs!
Benji always had a way with words. Benji you my kind of guy! Love and respect for beer!
After all it was also him who said “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy” (by the way, words etched in the walls of a brewery in Bogota, Colombia and that I am just dying to try - the Bogota Beer Company)
I wonder if it would be possible to bring this to the LCBO somehow? What steps are taken to qualify a beer into their shelves? I will be in research mode trying to find out.
more quirkiness - this time from Beau’s!
Holy Lacing Batman!
What was that! No seriously that completely took me off-guard!
Last weekend I had a Flying Monkey with Glacier Hops at a restaurant called Chantecler on the Toronto west end (that is as much info as I have on this brew). The ambiance in this little nook was just delightful with a nice comfortable and homey feel blended together with their own particular trendy style. The staff was helpful and very friendly and not a hint of hesitation to explain the food or drinks menu. Now here is the kicker: they had beer on cask! Yes! with the cask dispense system and all!
I am well acquainted with Flying Monkey but I had never heard of this beer before (must be a one-off?). In any case, one zip of this and I was in a big fluffy cloud. It was smooth, it was bready, it was slightly biscuity sweet and balanced with some hoppy herbal tones to it. To me it felt like drinking a cream ale with a mouth covering feel to it like a slightly thick syrup, but that may have just been the cask conditioning since it was not overly carbonated. The lacing as you can see from the picture was just gorgeous!
Flying Monkey guys … what is this nectar called?! There is no way your quirky marketing team would just go with Glacier Hops for a name!
UPDATE: So Flying Monkey guys unnoficially named it “Biere Rostros Sin Nombre”. Hehehe. Clever. I see what you did there :]
The Porter Line-up - Tasting Notes
This week we had our beer tasting presentations as part of our Beer Sommelier certification and my topic to present was the Porter style. There is a rich history associated with this style which is deeply intertwined with history of modern man and that warrants a more detailed post (I will get around to it). For now enjoy my delicious choices to showcase this style and which are now available at the LCBO.
Beer review: Mill Street Vanilla Porter
Beer Style: English Brown Porter
Serving type: Nitro-Can
Brewery: Mill Street Brews
Overall Rating: 8 / 10
Appearance: Pours mahogany-brown color, relatively clear and topped with one finger of beige coloured head.
Aroma: The head has a slight aroma of vanilla, but not the focus, with lots of roasted barley, milk chocolate sweetness and mocha to round things out.
Taste: In the tasting vanilla is a little more pronounced but not to the point it is the only apparent profile. One of the first flavors that come through are caramel and milk chocolate with some dark fruits like plums toward the end. These sweet features soon blend seamlessly into the roastiness of the malts, with a vaguely coffee-like feel toward the finish.
Mouthfeel: The aftertaste is light in nature, but includes chocolate, vanilla and roasted coffee-like malts, managing to linger on the palate for quite a while.
Finish: It is a medium-bodied beer and feels silky-smooth in the mouth.
Beer review: Black Butte
Beer Style: American Brown Porter
Serving type: Bottle
Brewery: Deschutes Brewery
Overall Rating: 9 / 10
Appearance: The pour reveals a tan colored creamy head that lingers for a long time and leaves a great deal of lacing, very reminiscent of a frothy cappuccino head. The appearance is a dark brown, almost to the point of being black. However, if inspected close to a bright light source some auburn hues are noticeable.
Aroma: The aroma reveals some dark chocolate coupled with roasted coffee and some dark fruits such as figs or dry prunes.
Taste: The taste stays true to its aroma with significant dark chocolate notes coming at you almost instantly, later transforming into dark fruits and finishing up with a hint of roasted coffee which is more of an aftertaste.
Mouthfeel:The mouthfeel was light to medium with a slight carbonation which makes it a very drinkable Porter.
Finish: The beer finishes with roasted bitterness coming from the malts. Later on in the tasting when the beer gets a chance to warm up in your hands, malt sweetness like milk chocolate becomes apparent which makes this a great session beer
Beer review: Rug Porter - Rye Porter
Beer Style: American Robust Porter
Serving type: Bottle
Brewery: Amager Bryghus
Overall Rating: 9 / 10
Appearance: The beer pours dark brown to the point of being almost black with a big frothy head similar in colour to the shell of a brown egg.
Aroma: The aroma reveals dark chocolate notes with definite licorice booziness most likely coming from the rye, blended together with dark coffee roast.
Taste: The taste fully shows off the roasted malts which translate to a deep coffee taste like a nice French roast. The tartness of molasses is noticeable and enhanced by the spicy rye which leads to a drier finish and a slight woody taste.
Mouthfeel: Like any good robust porter, carbonation was not significant and the mouth feel was like thick and dark syrup covering the lining of your mouth which makes it a great sipping beer.
Finish: Overall, the booziness contributed by the rye comes across to accentuate the dark chocolate and coffee-like characteristics without coming back on its own in the after taste. Later in the tasting when the beer warms up in your hands, the savory rich sweetness of the malt dark chocolate becomes more apparent.
Beer Tasting Marathon - a journey through time!
Last night was fun! We had a few beer tasting presentations from some prospect Beer Sommeliers of Prud’Homme certification.
A total of 18 beers were pleasantly showcased and tasted with some interesting facts and history that are sure to keep this blog alive.
My tasting topic was the Porter style. I’ll be sure to post my tasting notes before Roger has had a chance to review and disect them.
Now that I think about it I should title this post a journey to the center of the earth because the gravity of some of these beers would certainly pull you closer to the ground!
Just a fun, simple night, with good beer and good conversation!